Written on 20.09.20 Coming off Strattera has been a roller-coaster ride. These past 6 months have been the most mentally challenging months of my life and I feel like every step of the way I am being tested and challenged. . .
I started tapering down the dose (as recommended by the Psychiatrist) from 80mg on July 14th 2020 and then halved the dose to 40mg for 4 weeks month then 18mg for 4 weeks and now I am writing this on my 5th day Strattera free.
Although it was the psychiatrist that suggested tapering me off to then try mood stabilisers, I had also had the same idea to taper off and was going to ask her what her thoughts were.
Fear of Coming Off Medication
Although I was scared, the fact that she had suggested this to me before I had even asked her gave me confidence because I felt like it was fate. I had told myself from the beginning that I would follow the Psychiatrists instructions not only so I can experience these medications for myself but also so that I will be able to write about them and my journey through these treatments.
It is so hard to know whether I am getting better or worse. The Strattera, (prescribed to help control ADHD symptoms), worked amazingly for me. It calmed me, it massively helped me to focus, it controlled impulses, removed the craving for alcohol and drugs and improved my life massively.
Side Effects of Strattera
However, of course all medications have their side effects and come at a cost. It was never my intention to be on a medication for my whole life because I felt that in order to gain the benefits of the drug I had to sacrifice a part of myself and my personality.
As I delve further into spirituality and my investigations into different religions, the possibility of god(s) and angels I feel my intuition and senses have heightened.
This, I imagine, is part of growing up. I am no longer a kid with no responsibilities or consequences to worry about, I am a man trying to grow in this tumultuous time whilst trying to truly discover who I am and how to find happiness.
The more I probe, the more I discover and sometimes it all becomes too much and I find myself frequently breaking down in tears.
Each day I feel like I am peeling back a bit more of my skin and revealing my true self (Removing Your Three Masks). I can’t be sure whether it is due to withdrawing from Strattera, or if it is a result of the constant meditation, mindfulness, days of silence and self reflection that I have been undertaking. I imagine it is a combination of both.
Aphantasia and Feelings of Isolation
I have always felt so lost and lonely, always surrounded by people but with a feeling of total isolation, and it has only been this year that I started coming across the possible reasons for this.
Memory is always something that has confused me and it was only this year I found out that some people can replay memories in their heads in video format.
This totally blew my mind.
I have no memories which I could count as real. I have memories of situations, and how they made me feel, but very limited photographic memory of these situations.
It may sound stupid but until the beginning of this year I didn’t know that people could actually recall situations like this.
I wrote a couple of posts about Aphantasia which is the inability to use your “third eye” (or other mental senses) and this then sent me down a rabbit hole as people started contacting me to share their experiences with visualisation, mental imagery, memory and other sensory differences.
We are all amazing creatures and it fascinates me to hear all the differences between us.
I know this post has been somewhat convoluted and I actually am posting this nearly a year later as I wrote it and didnt post it at the time.
After being free from Strattera for over a year I have learned a lot. I learned there is no easy way to conquer your brain and that sooner or later, if you really want to heal, you need to spend time totally sober and invest your time and effort into overcoming trauma and a healthy lifestyle. Read Overcoming Addiction: Your Deceptive Brain for more information on addiction recovery.
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