Mental Health

Medication Withdrawal

One-two, buckle my shoe …

Thump, slam, crash. Scream out loud. There it goes again, and again, yet again.

Three-four, knock at the door … scream out loud.

The knocking is inside my head, in the space between the front of my skull and between my ears. It is there that the pinball machine resides.

The metal ball-bearing is rattling around inside my skull. Each time the ball-bearing strikes, it generates an electric shock. It is a mild shock, not life-threatening, or indeed life-ending; just mild. Like the sound coming from the dripping of a tap … just mild, not deafening.

Every little electric shock makes my body jerk, just a little, not wildly. Thump, slam, crash. One-two, buckle my shoe. Scream.

Optic nerves are shrinking. Every time I move my eyes, a hissing sound rushes through my ears, and a searing pain shoots through the nerves from my eyes into the bowels of my brain. This excites the ball-bearing, and it crashes around wildly … sting, sizzle, fizz goes the electric shocks. Over and over again. Scream.

Every time I move my head, even just a little, my eyes hurt and my ears hiss … Three-four, knock at the door. Scream.

Like the persistent dripping of a tap – every single drip increases in intensity. The pinball machine moves to the next level. Lips tingle and guts wrench. Every last molecule is ripped from my gut. Feet can only shuffle, and my head hangs limply.

My doctor took me off Venlafaxine; it’s a week without any antidepressant, and my body is starting to experience the horror of discontinuation syndrome.

There it goes again, and again, yet again. Scream.
Mild, yet so intense.

12 thoughts on “Medication Withdrawal”

  1. Wow. Just wow, Shirley. I cannot say anything else. The discomfort of what you are going through is mind-numbing. I don’t remember any episodes like this coming off of drugs. This is just terrible for you. And what about replacing it? Do you have to wait a prescribed time before you can be introduced to another med for the depression?

    Shirley, I like your style. You are witty and silly. You make this journey seem more enjoyable than what it is – at least for me anyway. You just have a great outlook on life. it would be cool to hang out with you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Eric, sorry for the slow reply. Thank you for your warm words of support. I am so glad you see the light and fun side of me from my writing! It was a few years ago that I went through this; I had been on the meds for depression but got diagnosed bipolar so had to be taken off the antidepressant with nothing to replace it. It was a rough ride that lasted a few weeks. I wrote this for my psychiatrist to make sure he knew I was suffering! I just found it a few days ago so decided to post it.
      I am glad you find my style of blogs helpful for you. At least we can hang out on blogs together, eh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the blogging world has helped many a mental health soul, I’m sure. This is such a great outlet and a good sounding board. I wish I would have had this as a teen, it might have saved a few headaches.

        So glad you are in a better place with your meds. Stay fun and focused!


      2. I’ve been having a few blips over the last week or so, brought on by a tooth abscess. The antibiotics have healed it all now, thankfully! I am trying to keep things light hearted and not be too intense!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank goodness the antibiotics did their job. I’ve heard those absesses can be dangeous.

        Lighthearted is always beneficial. I tend to hang a chain around my neck too often. I don’t know why, it’s just what I’m used to I guess. That’s probably why I like comedies so much – I can escape the insanity. One of my favorite movies lately is Fool’s Gold with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaghie. (don’t know how to spell his name). It is a fun and lighthearted movie.

        Be sure to get that tooth taken care of. Maybe you won’t need it pulled or anything. That would be nice I’m sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It doesn’t need pulled yet, only if the abscess returns, then I will have to have it removed. So, fingers crossed!! I haven’t watched movies for so long as I can’t keep my concentration long enough to follow what is happening. I will look out for this one though. I hate it when I watch comedies when I am in a low mood and can’t laugh at what I know is funny. I tend to save the comedies for when I am in a higher mood, then I laugh my head off, hehehe!!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Wow. Sounds like you have it pretty rough with the mental challenges. How long have you been on Seroquel? Can you try something else? Do you take lithium? My “cocktail” is 900mg of lithium and 120mg of Geodon/Ziprasidone. It’s worked pretty good for me so far but I’ve noticed that my illness is pressing against the window here. I’m about to need my meds adjusted. I have had three pretty scary episodes in the last two months and if it continues I will need to do something about it. Do you experience any rage issues?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t take Seroquel anymore, it was replaced by Abilify (15mg) and the side effects lessened. Abilify comes with it’s own problems, but at least the weight gain stopped! I also take 300mg Lamictal and 60mg Cymbalta I don’t take Lithium, it’s not been tried on me yet. I am finding my meds are starting to help me now, I have reached a reasonably stable place for the first time in a long time and have started getting creative and more active again. Long may it last!

    Sorry to hear you are having scary episodes. I know only too well what that can be like. I went through a three-month episode of ‘bipolar rage’ as my doctor called it. I got enraged by other road users and drove recklessly. I picked fights with strangers for minor reasons. I would go from zero to boiling rage in a flash; it was horrible. I hope they are able to adjust your meds to help you manage the episodes. It is such a challenge to get the right meds at the right dose.

    Liked by 1 person

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