Let us be clear. I love anti-depressants like a family member and am very much in favour of prescription medication. I am not of the hippy, twig chewing school of medicine. No, I would not like a tincture of arnica for my broken leg, thank you. Anti-depressants - I have already said this, but it bears saying again - got me my degree. I was barely functioning without them. With them, I could sit still and calm for three hours and scrape the recesses of my memory for any shreds of 18th century history that might have lodged there during the previous year of weeping in corridors and sleeping 16 hours a day. More importantly, in 2005 when I was completely flipping out, they allowed me to look after my children, to communicate with those around me and to manage emotions that were really frightening me. The effect was dramatic, and salutory.
Clearly it is your right on a public weblog to weigh in and tell me that anti-depressants are a really bad trip, man and what I really needed was herbs and exercise and B vitamins. I promise not to mock. In any case, I will be too busy chopping myself up a little cocktail of Belgian pain medication to snort off the weepette's buttocks (Needs must. Sinclair has not yet made himself available to me for these purposes despite being top of my New Year's resolutions list. I am mystified by this oversight).
But. After accidentally running out again, and dealing with all the amusing side effects, I realised I wasn't feeling particularly compelled to start taking them again. So I haven't. And really, I can't say I have particularly noticed the difference. Possibly the short patches of time when I feel like I can't cope are marginally more intense? Maybe I am slightly more impatient? Hard to tell, I am still madly impatient at the best of times presently; everything has to happen yesterday. But there has been nothing frightening, or unmanageable. This is absolutely not the story of my triumph over psychotropic medication. I feel relatively sure there will be times in the future when I will need it again and when I do, I will take it with no sense of failure. But it has challenged my long-held belief that I am a nicer, more socially capable, more articulate person with anti-depressants. So far, I haven't morphed into a socially paralysed hermit. Any residual awkwardness is easily overcome with alcohol anyway! Marvellous.
I will not say anymore for fear of waking up tomorrow in black, sobbing despair, unable to speak or move, but it seemed like something worth noting.