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  • Nicola Niemc

Why Can’t I Cope Without Medication?



I have to admit, I am a failure. I have lasted about one month since weaning myself off the Citalopram. In that month, I have slid from bone-numbing exhaustion, to bouts of near-manic energy, and now I am beginning to feel the tendrils of “nerves” creep back in, like that God-awful bindweed I was never able to truly banish from our old garden. Nerves – for me, at any rate – are very much like bindweed – the roots go incredibly deep; they spread out and leech into every part of your mind and body (and yes, it is a physical, bodily experience); it’s a daily battle to keep on top of the dreaded blighters – miss just one day of mental weeding, and they will be twice as hard to defeat the next day.

Today, I rang in sick, and I am terrified this is now the beginning of another slippery slope (this fear will then manifest itself in more nerves, and make it even harder to break out of the vicious circle). However, it is also my time of the month, so I am praying this onslaught of hormones/chemical upheaval is only temporary; an imperfect storm of panic. It wasn’t so much that I felt too nervous to go in, but there was this sense of impending doom, crushing me and forcing me to stay at home.

But the main question – why does my brain not seem able to cope without medication? Why am I not mentally brave enough to stand up to this horrible, exhausting anxiety, and why can I not stop myself falling down a sinkhole of panic? I keep wondering, what will I be like in ten, twenty years time – still stuck in a childlike rut of being unable to socialise, unable to meet new people, make friends, go out to all the places “normal” people go without thinking twice? Will I still be stuck in my bedroom in my parent’s house, pretending to be something like an adult?

I know this whirlwind of thoughts is only a symptom of the anxiety – but why do I need chemicals to be able to control these thoughts? I know tomorrow is another day – a day I can choose either to keep making the same mistakes or, perhaps, to be brave.

Perhaps, tomorrow I will feel brave enough to ring the doctors. A lower dose of Citalopram perhaps; a compromise between the anxiety and my conscience. I don’t want to be taking “happy pills” all my life, but if my brain needs that extra crutch, then who am I hurting in the long run by denying it?



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