Saturday, 23 June 2012

Samantha vs Samantha-on-Zoloft

A song for every emotion, right? Well this is how I feel.

Stage whisper: "I am on medication...!" I know, right? Shocking. But seriously, I am not ashamed to admit it. Like someone who is diabetic needs insulin to function better, I too need Zoloft to deal with my OCD & anxiety. But many people are ashamed. And people who should be on medication resist it - for numerous reasons, the biggest, I believe, being the stigma attached and the "crazy person" label that comes with it.

I went on Zoloft in March last year after a bout of suicidal thoughts and behaviours linked to my thanatophobia and my recent (at the time) OCD diagnosis. My head is not a fun place to be. Not by any stretch of the imagination. When my psychologist suggested I go see a psychiatrist, I knew what was coming. What is a psychiatrist if not a psychologist with a prescription pad, right? But even when the psychologist handed me the script, I looked at his outstretched hand with disdain. His hand hovered before he registered that I was not going to make any motion towards accepting his prescription. So he put it on the desk beside me. And when I left, he had to practically wrestle it into my hand. What followed was not pretty and I owe a few people a great debt of gratitude for how they rallied around me. I was not well.

The thing that frightens me now is, I am still not well. I leave for England in 71 sleeps and I decided a while ago I don't want to be on medication on my holiday. So I've been gradually weaning myself off the tablets. And it's been going fine. My withdrawals are beginning to subside and I'm able to go longer and longer between tablets. But I have regressed. I've been feeling it slowly happen over a period of time but I have been trying to deal with it - to ignore my paranoia, to self soothe and to control my anger. But tonight was a major slap in the face for me.

I'm back to being anxious and paranoid. My team lost at football tonight. It's your fault. They aren't happy that they lost. And now they all hate me. Even more than they already did. We let in seven goals. Because you suck and you let your team down. But we did get two goals. Yeah, no thanks to you!

I'm back to being angry and temperamental. I actually had the ref pull me out of the game to have a stern word to me because I was mouthing off. And your team was ashamed to know you! I am not a "mouthing off" kind of girl. But that's the thing, you see. I am. Samantha is a "mouthing off", angry, snarky, acidic, paranoid girl. Samantha-on-Zoloft is not. The paranoia, I could deal with (sort of) because that's all internal. But having no control over my behaviour and finding myself yelling at opponents and the ref is horrible. When a girl blatantly and deliberately fouled me outside of the ref's view, a small voice piped up, "Just hit her! Just punch her square in the jaw!" But I am not a hitting person! I've never hit anybody in my life! But again, I guess Samantha is. It's Samantha-on-Zoloft who is not a hitting person. Samantha tonight had to fight very, very hard not to obey that small voice.

I'm finding it hard to verbalise my feelings right now and explain why I am unhappy about this. You see, I don't have a problem with being on medication. I think my problem lies in the fact that I need it, or I feel I need it, to be a better person. I have heard people say the nicest things about me lately. I'm actually in awe and humbled by how highly people seem to think of me. But now, and it very well could be the paranoia talking, I feel like all these people like Samantha-on-Zoloft, not Samantha. Who I am, in essence, is not good enough. So who am I really? When you need medication as a diabetic, nobody judges you but when your symptoms manifest to the point you feel the need to apologise to your team for your behaviour (and I did) then you feel somehow less than perfect. But I suppose, considering how anxious, paranoid and irrationally angry I am lately, I should give the public what it wants. Or who it wants.

The other danger I find myself in is being so tired. I don't mean like, I need a nap. I mean I am drained of  all emotion, will and drive. It's the same feeling that preceded my suicidal episode last year. And I made a promise to those who helped me that I would do everything they asked me to do to get better... and stay... here... alive. And part of that was admitting when I feel like this. And I guess, this is me admitting that I do. So Samantha - anxious, paranoid and irrationally angry Samantha - should submit to Samantha-on-Zoloft. And you know how there is a song for every emotion and situation? (Or maybe that's just me...) but the song (slightly adjusted) comes to you courtesy of Eminem.
"I've created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to
see {Samantha} no more they want {Samantha-on-Zoloft}
I'm chopped liver.
Well if you want {Samantha-on-Zoloft}, then this is what I'll give ya."
Or at least, I should. Right?

Miss SAMawdsley xx


  • Are you or have you been on medication for a mental health issue?
  • How did it make you feel? What about if/when you came off it?
  • What do you think of people who need a tablet a day to function?

Please remember that Samantha wrote this, not Samantha-on-Zoloft.
It's probably irrational, unbalanced and warped but it's not attention-seeking, I promise.
But please be gentle as I have blogged my own truth - and that takes courage, right?
Please don't make me turn comments off.


  1. I just want to say I didn't know you were on the medication and I've always liked you. You were just as lovely before that as you are now. On medication, I have a non-mental health condition which I take but I'm going to look into going off it soon and that's quite scary for me

    1. Why have you decided to off the medication, if you don't mind me asking. Is it like my reasoning, to test who you are without it? Or is it doing damage to your body? Knowing you're going to be on tablets forever can be an exhausting prospect. xx

    2. I haven't really decided, it's just my doctor recommended I see if I can get off them. So I'm going to a specialist because I got told to. I guess like any medication the thing under the most strain its my liver, but I don't drink much so I manage it. Who knows in 50 years. I'm concerned about feeling less alert when I'm off them.

  2. oh dear me....Sassy,'re a raging mass of contradictions. It's medication you need to function as an even tempered, rational, logical human being. You write about people who should be on meds, but refuse due to stigma, yadda, yadda and yet here you are making the very same mistakes simply because deep down inside you can't stand the fact that that you're stigmatised by having to rely on chemical help for a brain which has become imbalanced in it's chemical functions. That's IMbalanced, not UNbalanced. There's a difference. Grammaticists would argue, but believe me it's true.
    Long story short sweetie, I've taken Zoloft for depression for 17 years. Sometimes up to 200mg/day. Currently I'm taking 100mg/day,b ut I know fromtime to time in life, pressures mount and my brain chemistry is permanently out of kilter through no fault of my just is.don't fear reality, just accept what is because regardless of what your pride tells you, your brain chemistry is just like mine and millions of others. Screwed. Take your meds, be happier in your life and get over this mindless belief that you're some sort of nutjob. You're not.

    1. That's very, very good advice, Anonymous. Thank you. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet. I'm not ashamed of being on mdication, as such. I am really am not. I think I just tried to see medication as the plaster cast that held my fractured mind in place until it set and eventually it is cut away to reveal my perfectly mended mind. I guess it doesn't work like that, huh? xx

  3. Anonymous here above said it perfectly.

    I just wanted to talk about football; some games becames really frustrating even if you were to seventh heaven a couple of seconds before the match. A bad loss is never due to a single player (just see what Inter and Chelsea have done in Barcelona playing 10 vs 11).
    I have seen players punching the referees for silly things (misplacement of the wall) and not apologising to anyone but blaming others instead. So you were brave to say the team you were sorry, well done, indeed.

    The small evil voice... that's hard to manage. Before my PTSD I received 2 yellow card in 8 year of football... after that I stumbled in a couple of fight even during friendly games. But instead of punching people in the jaws, I wait the right moment to give the perfect hard tackle (aiming the ball, mostly, I swear...) and you know, such things are like gasoline spilling on fire. We must try to keep the heat down :^)

  4. i was on meds for depression once, and when I went off it had nothing to do with shame. I went off because I didn't like the way it felt...or rather didn't feel. The total lack of emotion was worse than the depression. I probably could have talked to the dr and changed dosages, but I didn't. Luckily I did stay with the therepy and learned to deal without the meds