Living With Winston

Wife. Mum. Me.

The Down Days – Forgot to Take My Tablets

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This past week I have forgotten to take my antidepressant for a number of days in a row. I can’t be sure how many days, but I know it was more than two.

So what does that do to me? If I miss just one day, not a lot happens. I might get moody the day after, but that’s about it. That’s all I’ve ever experienced before – missing my tablets for only one day. However, this time, because of one thing or another, I missed more than two days’ worth of antidepressants.

Realisation

On Saturday morning, my husband and I were having a discussion and he noticed I was being quite snappy and cold towards him. I felt permanently irritated by him, but hadn’t really put any thought into the reason behind it. He asked me, “Have you taken your tablet today?” and it dawned on me – No. And I couldn’t remember the last time I had taken it.

Immediately, I realised why I’d been feeling like I was in a bubble or ‘behind a screen’ as I put it; a familiar feeling for me, from before I went on the drugs. I feel like I’m a spectator – like nothing is really real. I’m watching a TV show with Winston by my side. My vision becomes very slow, like things move into focus after I turn my head, instead of at the same time. I just let things happen, and the days turn into one big blur.

So, there was that. I had also been having some quite dark thoughts in the middle of the night. But Winston had convinced me I was being rational; that I really felt and thought these things. Now I was realising they weren’t my real thoughts at all.

I also became non-verbal. I wasn’t able to articulate anything to my husband about it, for a long while. Nothing. He was asking me questions: “How do you feel?” etc, and I could not speak. I eventually said to him, “It’s like there’s a physical block preventing me from talking about it.” Winston had me, and had put that block up. However, I reasoned with myself that I needed to trust my husband enough to let him into these thoughts and feelings for anything to get better. So I told him exactly my dark thoughts, and my feelings (numb, mostly). I also have no filter in this state, so my thoughts could have been quite damaging for him to hear. He helped me see that it was Winston all along.

Physically, my fingers felt tingly and I felt light-headed. In all honesty, I am still feeling like that, three doses back on the drugs.

I reminded myself of one of the women from the new Louis Theroux documentary, ‘Mothers on the Edge‘, and felt like I really related with how they were feeling. When I watched it last week, I was a spectator (though I knew how they felt, I wasn’t feeling it at that moment). Now, I was one of them – feeling exactly how they felt in the psychiatric unit. If you haven’t seen the documentary, I highly recommend it to understand maternal mental health.

The Aftermath

I took my tablets this morning and yesterday morning. As I said, I’m still feeling tingly and light-headed, and I’ve been feeling a lot of nausea and hot flushes. I also find myself zoning out and feeling immensely tired. I’m able to function; I put make up on yesterday! But, underneath, it’s a different story; I’m recovering, I’m protecting myself, I’m exhausted. And it does show through every now and then. Today, I am exhausted.

So now that I’ve had a reminder of how I am without the meds, or on a decreased dose, I need to remember to take them every day without fail. I’d like to not feel how I have these past couple of days, if I can help it!

Let me know if you’ve had any similar experiences coming off antidepressants, or forgetting to take them. Is it the same for you? I’d love to hear from you.

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6 Comments

  1. I have had a couple of days without my antidepressants in the past due to not renewing my prescription on time. If I forget a pill (which I normally take in the morning) I feel dizzy that same evening. Actually it’s more like small electric shocks in my head. I also get easily irritated and tearful. I really am awful without them. It always feels like they’re not really working, until you stop taking them!

  2. What a fascinating read. It really helps someone else to understand what is happening when a person suffers from depression.

  3. I find I can get away with two days of forgetting but I definitely pay the price if I miss three. Glad you’re getting back on track. X

  4. Reading this was strange as I could have written it myself today. I also noticed this morning that I have not taken my medication for 4 days and have been very ‘snappy and cold’ with my partner. Also the numb feeling and like you are just existing in body. It’s horrid to think that I clearly can not function correctly still without the medication. I hope that Winston soon fades away into the back ground again soon x

    • Thank you Rachel. It is disheartening to know your happiness is reliant on, and fabricated or enhanced by, medication. I hope you’re feeling better soon too. X

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