Why I’m not ‘brave’ for coming off antidepressants
Liz Smith

I too took psychotropic medications at very high doses for 15 years. As a nurse I completely believed that medication was the answer to my sudden onset of severe depression. I gained over 200lbs and had become a recluse. I finally decided one day that if I did not get off these meds and find out what my baseline was that I would die. My psychiatrist told me that he would not participate in my endeavor to be medication free. On meds I became a diabetic with diabetic neuropathy, was diagnosed with gastropariesis and had to have an intestinal pacemaker put in and my thyroid went rogue on me. I was weighing in at 310lbs and was told that I needed bilateral knee replacements. My family and friends abandoned me and I was barely existing. Now I would never tell anyone to stop medication without the oversight of their physician but for me I decided that I was not going to die this way so I set out on my journey to reduce my meds at a slow rate and began to keep a journal to document my progress and my eating habits. I am happy to tell you that 3 years later I deal with a bipolar disorder without medication which is exhausting but at least I am living life and have lost 200lbs regained a great relationship with my adult children and found out through DNA testing that I am medication resistant. I stay in therapy on a weekly basis and have even picked up my violin again. Medication played a big role in the beginning of my illness as a benefit but somewhere down the road it became a bigger poison than the bipolar. What I truly struggle with now is the stigma of having a mental illness. We are all unique individuals. Please let us treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve in their choices of weather to take medications or not.