Friday, February 16, 2007

SSRIs:'How I got hooked on Happy Pills'

Excellent, thought-provoking article from my friend and fellow KCU-er Kirsty, who was on my train on 7th July. Kirsty was prescribed Citalopram for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She has written a double page spread in the Independent about her attempts to come off the drug...
'On the Monday, I began to feel weary and cold, and the chill found its way to my bones. I couldn't concentrate or keep still; I was shivering to my core. The week continued with lethargy and exhaustion and my appetite started to fade. On Wednesday night, I woke suddenly, startled by a shudder. It was freezing and dark and my body was convulsed with fitful shakes. I hauled myself out of bed and piled on the layers - jumpers, socks and even a hat. I turned the heating up high and flung a blanket over my bed, all to no avail. This was the cold turkey of heroin addicts; it felt like a scene from a movie. Eventually, it subsided, but it was quickly replaced with biting nausea. I forced myself from my nest, staggered to the bathroom and was violently sick...'

'How I got hooked on happy pills'
UPDATE: I'm allowed to say its Holly Finch, so if you want to comment to the article's author, head over to Holly's blog

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Blogger Calamity Jane said...

Like you need that kind if thing after the trauma you've already been through. I hope Kirsty gets past the withdrawal problems very soon.

February 16, 2007 9:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel - I wish I could help. I've been on escitalopram for two years following work-related stress. I have found it to be a very good, effective and safe drug, and have weaned myself off for 5mg.

I think the problem lies in your friend's shock at being told 'it will take a year'. It has taken me 3 years to get fully well after working for a really shit boss in a bullying and unsupportive environment. I suspect in the fast and zappy world of London, people expect quick fixes and that you will be right as rain in months.

It doesn't work that way. Maybe your friend needs an environment where there is the luxury of time to recover properly from this hideous event, and an illness which is ill-understood by the public at large.

Please don't jump on the 'SSRI's are evil' bandwagon. They aren't the answer to everything, they shouldn't be handed out like smarties, and prevention of illness is much better than cure for things like depression - but no one had a choice about King's Cross.

I agree no-one should be on these tablets forever, but I don't think either that one should panic if one has been taking the tablets over a year. This sort of illness can be very debilitating since one feels that it is 'only happening to them'.

This is why I think what you are doing in supporting each other is VITAL and you should be very proud of the help you can give others.

February 17, 2007 11:27 am  

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