I would first like to say that my heart goes out to everyone who is suffering now with depression. I have only read two posts so far and immediately feel a sad familiar alliance with the people here in this forum. If I can offer anything to you it would be living testimony that you can survive this and eventually feel peaceful again.
I really have a question to ask here, and will further on but I want to share as brief I can my history, and I'm sorry it's one filled with such violence. In 1980 I was witness to my husbands suicide by gun to head. He was going to kill me too, but changed his mind at the last second. He was only 21 and was tormented by his past. At age 14 he found the bodies of his grandparents brutally stabbed to death, (murdered by a relative) in their home which was walking distance from his family home. The tragic mind and body shock he experienced then became mine when he pulled the trigger in front of me.
I went down to 80 pounds then but never went to hospital. I had a mentor/photography partner, back then who helped me start eating again, of all things with chinese hot and sour soup, which I still find comforting today. He told me to put one foot in front of the other and that simple exercise helped me carry on. I've been plagued with blankets of depression since the day Mark killed himself. And have sought help only at desperate times, which was a mistake. I became a high functioning alcoholic and almost felt that alcohol cleansed me. I continually tried to quit alcohol and did from time to time, but always went back to it. I lied to my psychiatrists through out the years about my drinking habits and this made it impossible to gauge the effects of the prescribed anti-depressants. And in looking back I suspect that the effects of alcohol supersede and interfere with the efficiency of the drugs.
I quit drinking cold turkey seven years ago when my fourteen year old son found me passed out on my studio floor in front of the heater. And I heard him say to his brother as he walked up the stairs, don't worry mom's just passed out, she's drunk, she's always drunk. At that moment I realized what I was presenting to my beloved children and I vow to never pick up a drink again.
I must preface this next paragraph by saying that I thank god for antidepressant drugs. They are life savers and if I feel like I'm going to sink again I will not hesitate to go back on them.-One month ago I stopped taking my antidepressant ( effexor 150mm once a day). I have been taking that particular drug and approximate dose for the past seven years and have been pretty much even keeled while on it. I stopped abruptly which is not recommended, but my doctor understood that I had to feel the difference to be able to notice it. I had a few rough emotional days, but I really enjoy being able to dream again and cry again.
My mom asked me if I feel better and I told her I feel different. I don't feel depressed at all. I feel observant. I actually feel like I am seeing and hearing better than before but not in a manic way. But the strangest and most interesting facet of my non drugged body and mind is my compulsion to write. I have never wanted to write anything before. I create images, not words. But I am compelled to write now and am really enjoying it. I'm writing poems and songs and stories. Things are just coming to me with no effort. It is almost like I have been the observer of my life from a distance and now I need to do reports on it.
For some reason it is really hard for me to articulate my question.- I am very interested in hearing from other people who have been taking antidepressants for extended periods, say five years at least and then have stopped. I am wondering what they are feeling and if they too are writing. I am wondering if this will last? Thank you.
im keith im an addict and alcoholic too. ive been clean for a bit now, ive been on effexor xr ever since i stepped otu of rehab. it was suggested by some of my "we" in recovery that i try an anti dep. so i did. now i sit here not on it. i was switched to wellbutrin xl about 13 days ago. it is the most horrid drug out there. well some like it and some it does this stuff to. which is horrid. so i didn't take it today, and told my doc i quit taking it. i actuallyfeel clear headed. i am up now but usually im up all nite and can't sleep. that was even on effexor i didn't slepe normally. i am only up cause im snacking lol. but i went to bed at 11. ive gained 20 plus pounds on effexor, and couldnt get an erection lol. and on wellburtin i had just plain horribale days. i actually feel good. i dont know if the bad part is yet to come and ill w/d from it or not. but ive w/ded off of lots of things so im not scared nothing could be worse than benzos and opiate withdrawl at the same time coming off of a binge on both thats like double trouble. or even just coming off of benzos or opiates is hell too. so i dont think a/d w/d could beat those chemicals. or hell even booze. so im ready to experence this new unchemicalized state even fi it was with an a/d im ready. i even think that the a/d enhanced my ocd, but all addicts have a touch of ocd no matter what. as far as addiction is concerened, i use aa and na as my medicine, i have a sponser, i have a support group (a "we"). and i work steps. im good today with loving myself and forgiving myself so i can live in my own skin. ill let u kno how im feeling in a week or so lol.........
The-night-one, first let me offer my sincere sorrow for your loss. I am sure that the horror of that time is forever a burden to you. Did you ever get any help in the form of talk therapy? Post-traumatic stress can haunt, I know this because domestic violence once sent me to a bleak place, and decades after the fact, I still must work to come to terms with it. I have long since stopped trying to determine whether my depression is situational or inherent, but I have found my own formula for riding it out. I've tried AD's, and rejected them due to overwhelmingly problematic side effects. I take natural substances, and try and use exercise as a medicine, but I have also made all the common mistakes: alcohol, drugs, isolation, denial.
I am also a visual artist and writer. When I am really down, I find it very difficult to motivate myself to artistic expression, it seems to be that when the depression lifts, I do my best work, poems and abstract painting being my ideal media for self-help. You're lucky to have had a mentor. Many depressed people have to hire a therapist for that inspiration to get better. As for your question of whether the writing will last, I don't think my desire to draw, paint, or write will ever abandon me. It will always be there, whether I choose to ignore it or let it out.
Good luck to you and please keep in touch.