Tapering off — 2

August 14, 2020 § Leave a comment

One of the things that can happen to people who get depressed is that they can lose the ability to keep track of what is the right thing to do at any given time. And one of the experiences that really brings this home is when getting off of a medication, especially when one has been on it for a long time. Like in my case, I’m struggling to get off of Trinicalm Plus (trifluoperazine and some other stuff), an anti-psychotic drug that is also used to treat anxiety and depression.

Days after stopping the drug completely, the real battle begins. On the one hand there is this image of a walk on an early summer morning, for example, when it is still cool — no trace of any struggle with medication or anything. On the other is this desperate feeling of fear and unease and the paralysing inability to do anything without the day’s dose of the drug.

One can find oneself literally walking round and round like a caged animal, trying to hold onto the summer morning and not take the medication, to hold fast to the ideal of being finally free of its cravings while at the same time desperately wanting to give into the need for the drug and at least have some semblance of normalcy. I’ve fought this battle a few times now, and each time lost. Losing being associated with going back on the drug, of course.

It is relatively easy to cut out a part of the dose, so the first part of my tapering off went fairly well. For two weeks, I cut out the evening dose while still taking the morning dose. Then came the time to completely stop and I did. The first attempt lasted only two or three days and I was back on the morning dose. The next attempt was the latest one, and this time I lasted six days before getting back on the morning dose.

I know, in my mind that it is a matter of time before I will once again stop fully, but it might  take time. I recall reading about some research that showed that some of these drugs can leave the patients craving for them even years after stopping them. Don’t know if trifluoperazine is one such drug.

For now I must live with the compromise of ingesting at least the morning dose until I’m stronger physically and mentally to be able to stop completely. Even though my dosage is what the doctor called a ‘baby dose’ I’ve learnt through hard experience that these medications have a very powerful hold on you, the longer you take them. That’s because they interact with your brain chemistry and alter it.

#anxiety #depression #anxietyanddepression #taperingoff

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