Antidepressant Withdrawal

I knew it was coming, that it wouldn’t be plain sailing. Despite people thinking, and treating me like I am an idiot I went into cold turkey with my eyes wide open expecting the worse but hoping that it wouldn’t be that bad.

And in all honesty it has gone a lot better than I expected…but the last few days have given me a big reminder that the battle is a long way from over.

As everyone knows – because I have had so much expert opinion sent my way… it is not advisable to just give up antidepressants and I am not advocating it for anyone, but it was something that I needed to do and in the main I am feeling a lot better mentally as a result.

There are some symptoms of Antidepressant Withdrawal that I am dealing with, so thought it would be a good chance to share with you how things are.

The following comes from webmd.com the full article can be found here

Symptoms of Antidepressant Withdrawal

Symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal depend on the specific medication you have been taking. Studies have not revealed factors that predict the chances of developing antidepressant discontinuation symptoms – including how long someone has been taking an antidepressant – although some research has found that discontinuation symptoms may be more likely in people who have had a more complete initial response to their antidepressant.

Symptoms most often occur within three days of stopping the antidepressant. They are usually mild and go away within about two weeks. Symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nightmares
  • Tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

Currently the biggest issue for me is the Electric shock sensations which is irritating to say the least, as someone who has had a fucked up sleep pattern for years the trouble sleeping is a pain in the arse but one that I am used to but 2 out of 16 symptoms is pretty good and I will take it!

According to the article these should last for a few weeks from stopping the medication so as we approach week 2 of “cold moose” I am hoping they will soon disappear.

I have not had a single “dark” thought since coming off the medication..

The mood swings are not an issue, but what I am finding is that I am getting pretty frustrated with people lately, the cause for this seems to be that my bullshit detector has returned! I am thinking so much more clearly in regards to the attitude of people towards me and this is leading me to frustration. A crossroad if you will between giving people the benefit of the doubt or simply walking away from them, however I have spent the past few years accepting shit because I felt that was what I was entitled to…

Wouldn’t it be lovely if people were honest all the time instead of this game playing, bullshitting, say what I think you want to hear, selfish, need you when it suits me, talk to you when it suits me attitude so many people seem to be afflicted with…and breath

I can tell I am on the right track when people get offended, rightly or wrongly, by what I say and I couldn’t care less. I am actually sick of apologising all the time just for a quiet life. Do I ever get an apology when they are in the wrong? Of course not..

I want to surround myself with more positive people, people who want to bring the best out of me again. I would rather have 2 friends who pick up the phone, or knock on my door than have 100s of people who are passengers on the moose train. I have been very lucky this year to have already seen around 20 people in real life, not just connecting via social media.

Sadly some of them have moved on without me and as much as I miss a certain person I will not be reaching out to them, dropping me was their choice and I respect them for that, even though I don’t agree and if you are reading this (and 100% they know who they are) I hope you are well.

So with that in over…. I do have some good news

Operation Fat Bastard is a go..

I have rejoined the gym and cannot wait to get my winter coat off! Getting out the flat and back into the swing of the treadmill and yoga was one of the things I wanted to achieve for 2014 – so that’s one tick on the “to do” list

All in all I can’t complain too much, I am ready for the fight and feel like coming of the meds has thus far been a success. I am not naive enough to think the storm has passed and the black clouds will not try returning but I am confident that the future is looking positive because I am back in control.

Like it or not the Garry that I used to be is becoming more and more vocal and breaking though the barriers that depression had put in front of him…

 

 

Quick Update

I am still here, still struggling to write and still dealing with more shit than I can currently handle – as always most of it self inflicted but moose is still fighting and just about clinging on.

Things have been improving in terms of how I am viewing myself, I am starting to get my confidence back again, helped by actually having a sex life again! yep moose has found his game again and rutting season is in full flow…

Hard enough (pun intended) to believe that one person finds me attractive but even better is when its a few people

BUT even better than having a few admirers is when they actually come over and visit! So besides being worn out by “moose meating” (I LOVE this phrase, thanks Mary for coining it) and an attack of the deadly man flu I do feel fairly positive again.

So much so that I am actually driving myself mad by a lack of activity! I have no plans currently, all the things I wanted to do have had to be held back until September/October time in terms of courses. Financially I am fucked and cant afford to implement any of my other goals until I get rid of this huge debt I am paying off – for someone who has such bad credit how the hell these companies keep giving me loans I do not know! but 3 out of 5 are paid off and slowly but surely I am getting the others down… I would say I am currently on the bread line but I cant afford bread… Money and Moose is not a good mix at the moment but I am proud that I have managed to clear nearly £800 of debt since the turn of the year although the struggle feels never ending!

I have had some amazing moments of clarity the last few days and can start to see a bright future, once I get this fucking debt cleared! I am very grateful to a few people who I wont name who have kindly donated via this blog to help me out – you have no idea how much this has meant to me. The friendships I have made since I started writing have been wonderful and I am honoured to have you in my life as friends and “mooseketeers”

My down moments are actually horrendous at present BUT with each one comes a new strength and peace of mind as I can process all the issues that are holding me back. Stepping back and being able to look at things as an outsider is a real positive and one that came from this blog.

At some stage who knows I may even take the advice I hand out to people and use it for myself! but I am taking Janes advice and working on a list of things I want to do and although I am two months behind schedule this year I am already doing things this year that I havent done for a long long time.

I want to get more involved with charities this year and get myself back out there again, these four walls in my home are starting to depress the hell out of me, once this poxy weather improves I intend to make the most of the sunshine again. I have places I want to visit, friends far away that I want to annoy in person and dare I say it…find a new Miss Moose.

Today is the first day in a long time that I have felt able to actually sit here and write a post,  this is a good sign because I have missed blogging! It has helped me so much, made me grow as a person and I want thedepressedmoose to be more famoose than ever! I am starting to realise that the only person who is hurt by my hiding away is me!

The penny is dropping again that I DO have a lot to offer and now I want to strike while the iron is hot.

It also helped seeing my face on Mind’s facebook page! who doesnt love a bit of fame now and again!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

 

what has also been fun is people actually interacting with me via my facebook page! I need to pay more attention to it and get people talking- after all its how I have turned many of you from readers to friends! drop by the page, like it and say hi! find it here

so much for a quick update! but was good to feel the writing bug come back again!

so tell me, how are you REALLY doing?

500…

followed-blog-500-1x

 

500 followers of this blog is quite an achievement and I am extremely proud that so many of you want to read my moaning, depressing stories :D

I hope (okay I KNOW), that I have helped some people with my experiences and I am so grateful to all the new friends that have come into my life as a result of this blog. People from all over the world, even some in my home town of London have become firm friends and without this blog I would never have met them.

So thank you for putting up with me, supporting me and reading my story without judging me. There has only been one person who has “trolled” me in the whole period of this blog so I know I am fortunate to have so many good visitors to this site. Keep the comments coming I enjoy reading them, and wish I got more to be honest.

It is heartwarming to be at the end of such support and long may it continue. The more people (especially men) we can get talking about depression the less stigma we will face and we can continue to educate the ignorant…

Thank you!

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Shin Splints, Shits and Success

another medal for moosey

another medal for moosey

 

I can now hang up my running vest, consign the running shoes to the bin and retire gracefully from the running malarkey that has consumed my life for the past few weeks.

Or can I?

Either way I signed up for the Bupa 10k run in October in one of my hyper moods and today I achieved my only target which was to finish the race!

Struggling with shin splints I had to make 2 emergency IBS related toilet stops and a visit to St John’s Ambulance for some pain killers, which made a big difference to my finishing time, but the time taken was irrelevant what mattered was that I finished! There were around 12000 runners and I finished in the top 10000!

buparesult

I also raised over £500 for Mind which I know they will be so appreciative off so a massive thank you to those who kindly sponsored me, especially as I know that money is very tight for a lot of people. The support some of you show me is nothing short of inspiring and I am very humbled by the words of encouragement and praise that people shower on me!

Onward and upwards to the next challenge, I fancy a sky dive next time around. At least that will only hurt when I hit the ground as opposed to every step but who knows this running bug may drive me on to something more next year…

If you wish to sponsor me you can still do so via http://www.justgiving.com/garrywilliams

As for me, I am going to allow myself to feel incredible pride at another achievement Moosey has done since having depression. See you at the start line next year?

SuperMoose

I did it!! I did it!

I completed my 5k superhero run(walk) today!

Despite the stresses of the last week I actually got myself up and out the door at the crack of a sparrows fart and headed to Regents Park to meet my running buddy Gary – a fellow wordpress blogger who writes here

We arrived early eager to get our hands on the superhero costumes and changed into possibly the most unlikely superhero duo since Del Boy and Rodney!

the streets of London were safe for another day!

the streets of London were safe for another day!

There was a mass warm up for the 1700+ superheros and the first song that was used was….

so whilst everyone was dancing around the field Gary and I continued our pre run ritual of a cigarette and left them too it. It was hard enough coping with the poxy moose head smacking me in the nose every time I moved around.

At the start line I took off like a bullet from a gun (in my head at least!) and within 1k the pain kicked in like someone was running alongside me with scissors but I carried on moaning my way round the course until finally the finish line was in sight and I raised my arms wearily aloft as I crossed it in a new personal best time of 36 minutes!

After hitting the floor and finally being able to take off the moose head I was able to fully recognise what I had achieved. Five Km doesnt seem a big distance to lots of people but for me it is a huge goal I reached and hopefully next weeks 10 Km run in London wont seem so daunting now – depending on how my knees feel in the morning!

Thank you to wonderful people who have donated money for Mind, a wonderful charity. I even managed to meet the Big Cheese of Mind Paul Farmer today. The Moose did a great job networking.

Moose with his medal!

Moose with his medal!

pizap.com10.89937271876260641367249715750

Losing Weight and Feeling Great

Okay I admit it I was wrong about this whole exercise thing!

I am starting to notice the rewards for my effort in the gym and I’m enjoying my time there. I am getting known by the staff there and starting to interact with more people.

My IBS had been playing up last week so much so that I only went on Monday so when I walked through the doors again yesterday it was nice to be asked by the staff where I had been and how was my training going.

I pushed really hard during my workout yesterday and it was a nice feeling to have the sweat pouring off me knowing I was working the hardest I could physically without causing any damage! I am painfully aware of my limitations but have felt the need to up my game slightly so that I can get maximum reward for effort and I have felt the difference in my mental health as a result of exercising regularly.

It’s more about the fact that I am out of the flat more often than any endorphin’s released through exercise. The level of support I receive from people online also contributes massively to my mental health as it is great to know people are willing you to succeed.

I finally managed to wake up early enough to attend a yoga class at gym today.

Early enough, in fact, to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill BEFORE the class!

I am hoping having a good ole stretch of muscles will ease the pain in my knees and am proud to report that I did not fart and did not follow through despite being in some father “interesting” positions.

The downwards facing dog has been rechristened “the dead moose” but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the class and will be attending on a regular basis all being well! I am so proud of myself for trying something like this which is completely out of my comfort zone – but one complaint I have is about the amount of mirrors! I look like a beached whale, so much so in the suggestions box I posted the following

“can we get the mirrors from the funfair that change your body shape!”

not sure its gonna happen LOL but one can try.

I am also pleased to report that I was actually told today “your losing weight!”

The fact is I have now lost 1 stone (14 lbs) but to have someone else acknowledge it felt great! It certainly inspires me and gives me added encouragement to know that people are noticing the changes in my body.

 

Besides this I am feeling confident enough to pose for some photos and we all know I love a semi naked moose photo or 4!

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I get bored easily and that is never good when there is a camera around :D

Gym Meet The Moose, Moose Meet Exercise

Having signed up for the gym on Monday I have completed 4 sessions this week so far. I woke up early again this morning and was in the gym by 9.10!

That’s almost 3 hours earlier than I would normally wake up so progress is being made! In fact most of this week I have been waking up early and actually doing something positive with my days.

Although £30 a month membership is quite a big chunk of my benefits (especially once the new changes come into effect) I am pretty sure the positives of being active, socialising and actually leaving home with outweigh the downside of more financial struggle. I will probably make the money back by not eating so much shit as I try to get myself back into shape!

Funny how people are so obsessed with having a six pack when I should be shouting about my 26 pack I currently have! surely seeing as 26 is much higher mine is more impressive?

The photo below shows just how far I have to go in order to get to the gym so I would appreciate a round of applause for making the effort just to get there! Bare in mind I am usually knackered by the time I get there :-)

Follow Black Line for walk to Gym

Follow Black Line for walk to Gym

Okay so maybe I can’t use the excuse that it is too far to go! But the plan is to take Lilybet to nursery and then hit the gym on the way home for an hour or more (knees permitting!)

They say exercise is good for depression but from my point of view it doesn’t help YET!

Allow me to explain

My knees are fucked! so far 7 minutes is the amount of time it takes before the pain gets really bad on the treadmill but I soldier on…

7 FUCKING MINUTES!! im only 34 for the love of God! I should be able to not suffer pain after 7 minutes WALKING on a treadmill! – This makes me depressed

I cannot do the things that I used to find easy! – This makes me depressed

I’m the fat guy at the Gym – This makes me really depressed

I am terribly conscious of the state of my body even worse because of the fact that I was a footballer once upon a time! now I look like a football. Seeing the posers strutting through the gym does my head in! “Hey look at me” walking around and not on any machines just strutting lol

And yet I am going to enjoy this little experiment of going to the gym and trying to get healthy! The great bonus is that I can count how many calories I have lost and reward myself with a Big Mac!

Moose getting ready to hit the treadmill!

Moose getting ready to hit the treadmill!

 

I spend too much time worrying about the here and now and not the bigger picture. Obviously deep down I know that I cannot walk straight back into a gym after 8 years and do the things I used to be able to! But that is not how my brain and depression work.

“You can’t do it you’re a failure!”

“Give up the pain is too much”

and many other phrases my mind uses to try and get me back home and under the duvet!

Trying to work through it all brings its own rewards though and the knowledge that for the past 3 days I have been on the treadmill for an hour at a time makes the pain worthwhile!

Just over 5k in an hour! a good start for a fat moose

Just over 5k in an hour! a good start for a fat moose

 

so although at the moment exercise is not great for my depression the future looks promising once I give myself time to see the results of the work I put in. Then I can deal with my body issues and feel pride in the effort I am making.

This is assuming I can stick to this once the bad cycles makes its inevitable appearance! Things are much easier to do when your feeling up.

That two minute walk from home to the gym could be the best little walk I have made in years!

And as always, if I can do this then so can YOU! meet me at the treadmill! I’m the guy with St John’s Ambulance men on standby.

The other good thing about the location of my gym is that we are in The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) land so if I am wearing shorts and the IBS kicks in and I have an accident I can simply say that my fake tan has smeared down my legs :D

 

MARvelous aCHievements (March)

Right here we go! time to stop focusing on the negatives and start banging our own drums and trumpets!

In my infinite wisdom I have declared March to be the month to celebrate our MARvelous aCHievements (see what I did there? genius I tells ya!!)

Time to focus on anything we have achieved in the past – there is nothing too small that we can celebrate. The small things soon snowball into something bigger, yet without that first small success nothing would have happened!

So who is with me on this? lets all talk about our wonderful successes and kick negativity into touch for a while!

To get the ball rolling let me refer you to this time last year…

March 2012 was the month that I was ready to end it all! Window was opened and my feet were on the sill ready to jump.

This post here will remind you of my darkest hour My Point of no return

and now look at me 12 months on

  • I write a blog aimed at helping others
  • I have self published 3 books that have sales in 3 figures
  • People come to me looking for support and guidance
  • over 40 thousand people have read my blog!
  • I have made more new friends this past 12 months than at any time in my life!

thats five things to celebrate and feel proud about! I bet you can come up with some for yourself as well!

how about sharing them on twitter with us all using #MooseMarch and lets have some fun with feeling good about ourselves for a change!

 

 

2013 Targets

I am setting myself some targets this year as I found that having something to aim for really does make a difference in combating depression.

Some are more achievable than others but you gotta reach for the stars to get where you want to be at times.

So in no particular order here they come

  1. Sell 365 books. 

    Sounds a lot doesn’t it but that’s only one a day isn’t it. I will bug you all repeatedly until you buy my books just to shut me up

  2. Have only one chin and lose 2 stone.

    I am stuck on 16 stone and ideally want to get down to 12/13 stone so need to start shifting the pounds. This year I intend to be more active especially as I am doing the 10k run in May to raise money for MIND.

  3. Pay it Forward

    I want to help more people this year. I have had a lot of support from people and this year I will be aiming to help even more people beat depression.

  4. Publish more books

    Ideally I want to start on my romance novel again as it has been months since I touched it. Also have an A-Z of depression book idea that needs to take shape.

  5. Stop smoking

    So far this year I have gone down from 40 a day to 10 which is a good start. Soon I hope to have given up completely imagine how much money I will save which can help me with number 6

  6. Get more tattoos

    I want to get the words to “Abide with me” tattooed on me as it is a hymn that means a lot to me personally, then I want to get a godfather tattoo done (image of Vito Corleone with the words “I will make him an offer he can’t refuse”) and a couple more would be lovely :D

  7. Go out more

    After having such a good time on New Years Eve I am determined to make sure that I go out once a month at least, not just out in terms of drinking but out in terms of seeing sights and spending quality time with Sheryl

  8. Visit relatives more

    I have a couple of relatives that I am particularly close to who are in their 80s and I don’t see them often enough, although I talk to them on the phone at least once a week I want to go and see them more especially the ones on their own.

  9. Smile

    Easy enough isn’t it? well we all know that it is easier said than done but at least if I am smiling (naturally) it means I am on the right track and doing well

  10. Not stress if I don’t reach these targets!

    The hardest one of the 10 but also the one with the most reward. The main thing is having targets to begin with, this time last year my only target was staying alive! and no I don’t mean in the Bee Gee sense of the word :D

 

so there we have it, a whole set of things to strive for in 2013 and whether I meet one or all of these targets I can promise you all that I will be trying my very best to complete the set!

What are your aims for this year?