May 13, 2024

It's not boredom, just existential dread

I decided to go cold turkey on my anxiety pills, pregabalin, and I've got a symptom I wasn't expecting.

It wasn't planned; I simply ran out of my last dose and chose not to buy more. Since then, I've been experiencing withdrawal symptoms like increased depression, anxiety, irritability, trouble focusing, and difficulty sleeping.

I knew I would have withdrawal symptoms, but I wasn't expecting something. I've been feeling a deep sense of dread and fear, even fearing to leave my house. Just the other day, I froze for ten minutes at the entrance of my apartment building, overwhelmed by a voice in my head telling me to go back inside—back to safety. I only moved when I remembered the security camera monitored by a neighbor, which made me feel ashamed. I rushed through the door and managed a walk around the block before returning to the protection of my apartment. This was a new and unsettling experience for me. It's been a week now, and I'm hoping for improvement.

Today, I also halved my dose of Pristiq. The last time I stopped it abruptly, the withdrawal was intense—full of brain "zaps," which are exactly what they sound like: electrical shocks in the body that seem to come from the brain. By tapering down, I hope to avoid the worst of it. My goal is to be free from these meds while maintaining my sanity.

I'm rooting for myself.

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