Lena Dunham, panic attacks and getting back to feeling human: part 2 of a diary of antidepressant withdrawal

Our Community Correspondent Emma Goodlad @goodlademma shares part two of her diary of reducing her antidepressants

After a tough start, day 2 was a bit better, but I was exhausted. I struggled to get up to get the dog out in the morning, and again I was incredibly thankful that my friend’s Mum took the dog out while she was walking her own dog in the morning.  I managed to get myself home at around midday and flopped onto the couch. And there I stayed for the remainder of the day, doing nothing other than that which I absolutely had to do – i.e eat, go to the loo and let the dog out.

I binged on Girls box sets – I got through about two series but took very little in. I did notice the episodes where Lena Dunham’s character experiences a relapse in her OCD. It pushed me over the edge and I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed even more when Adam Driver came to her aid to help and look after her. I sobbed because, despite our conditions being different, I could relate to some of the experiences she was having – avoiding people, telling people everything was fine, hiding the odd things you do to help you cope, lying in bed feeling panicked about all the things you should be doing but aren’t.

I sobbed because someone came to her rescue, and I was on my own with my husband away for the weekend, but knew he would come to my rescue should I need it. Day two ended badly – with my first panic attack in months.  It was awful, I sobbed and couldn’t stop, I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, like I was outside my own body watching it happen, disconnected from the world and completely out of control. So I took control the only way I could think of at that moment in time – I took a picture of my awful sobbing face at about 1am and posted it on Instagram to show people what I was going through, that life isn’t lived through a filter, that we can post photos that show real life.

I eventually had a fitful sleep and woke up the next morning feeling exhausted, drained and wondering why on earth I was putting myself through this. I was a zombie, and wandered around the house in a daze feeling numb and still disconnected.  All I wanted was to no longer feel like my depression was back and I wanted my husband home, by my side to hug me and mop up some of the tears. My husband did come to my rescue – he told a white lie and had said he’d be home in the afternoon, he arrived home at 10am, after getting up early to get back to look after me and be with me for the day. I cried. It was exactly what I needed then and there, to be surprised with a kind and loving gesture, to remind me that I am loved.

The following week passed with little symptoms and I felt gradually more like myself again, I smiled and laughed and felt a bit more ‘human’.

Read part one of Emma’s diary here. Watch this space for the next installment. 


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