After taking this medicine for almost three years, I stopped taking it. It is not an antidepressant. It is a sedative.
I had tried to stop taking sedative few months ago, before I restart taking antidepressant. I was trying to arrange lifestyle that helps me with falling asleep without sedative. However, I couldn’t complete the list of things I meant to do, then I started to figure out that my depression was getting worse and restarted taking antidepressant. So my first challenge to stop sedative was failed.
There was not urgent reason to stop sedative. I just wanted to move one step forward. Now I look back, and I can say that I may have wanted to stop it because I felt that improvement of my depression has stuck and I forced myself to create another fake sign of improvement. So that’s not surprising that it was failed.
Honestly, I was more worried about stoping sedative than antidepressant. For antidepressant, my doctor monitored me long enough before I stopped antidepressant, and every time my medication decreases, I wasn’t expecting that. But I could halve antidepressant, and I could stop antidepressant. I felt some wired sensation for about a week after I stopped taking it, but it was somehow expected. I knew that it is common symptom, so I could just slow down my life a bit, and I handled it.
But, for sedative, I was afraid to stop taking it, as my depression is strongly related to sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep was trigger of two major episode of my depression, so, in a way, I felt that I would be fine if I can sleep enough to keep my mood.
The sedative has been what made me feel that I can sleep every night. The sedative has been how I end each day and how I start the next day after decent amount of sleep. As far as I can spend the whole day with some activity, I could feel I was okay.
If you think lifestyle is the foundation to cure depression, antidepressant was what targeted the apparent symptom and sedative was what supported the foundation. So I was more worried about losing the support for the basis.
When I was more depressed, this sedative was a way to peacefully finish each day. Basically, all the moment I was awake was depressed time, so that’s when I waited the end of the day. As I could end each day, I could survive until the next day, and start the next day knowing that this depressing day would end thanks to this sedative.
Thanks to my psychiatrist, the sedative I was taking, called Lunesta, is less habit-forming, and I feel that by myself. I am not saying I am taking best sleep ever. I am not falling asleep as quickly as with the sedative. But I could sleep at decent time without the sedative.
In addition to overcoming above-stated emotional attachment to the medicine, I have another reason to feel optimistic. I have stopped antidepressant before, while I started again, but I haven’t stopped sedative since this episode of depression has started. Now I stopped taking sedative. These are only two medicines I am taking.
I know how it feels like to stop taking antidepressant, and I know that I can stop taking antidepressant by following certain process. Now I know how it feels like to stop taking sedative, and it seems fine so far. Therefore, I can stop all the medication sometime in a future!
I know the reality is not such logical and simple. But it gives me a bit more hope for this life with depression. I often feel that this fight against depression will never end. But, by making these small progresses and finding a way to believe them, I can sustain some hope in my mind. My way may be a bit more complicated or too logical, but it sounds like mine. How about yours? I guess there are some ways for anybody, and I hope you can find one for you soon.