Pinenutcasserole--first, what an interesting username! LOL. I called myself after a song by a band I love, but realized belatedly it fits my appetite. I really am the insatiable one sometimes! :X
I am still on antidepressants and I DON'T want to be. This entire year, I've felt lows as bad as before I was ever on them, which makes me think that they're doing me more ill than good. I know how dangerous it is to quit them cold-turkey--I tried that once in early 2008 and ended up crying in class and having terrible nightmares and just feeling like life wasn't worth it. I actually began to taper off my dosage in October by snapping one of my two pills in half and have felt better since then. I'm going to try and get myself down to one pill. I've been on Zoloft for years now--I tried Cymbalta again at my erstwhile drug therapist's advice, and even though I TOLD her I knew it'd make me a little ball of anger and hatred, she made me try it anyway, and when I was right, she concurred and put me back on the Zoloft. It's the only one that hasn't caused massive weight gain and the only one on which I've been stable. And I know that being stable on an AD is kind of a crapshoot since NO ONE KNOWS HOW THEY WORK, which has ALWAYS bothered me.
The GP who prescribed me them was an idiot. I no longer see him because of how much his happy-go-lucky Rxing screwed me up. I saw dedicated mental health specialists for a couple of years to get me where I am today. I take 200mg of Zoloft a day, or did--I've been at 150mg for 2 months now. Like I said, for many reasons, I want to taper myself off them. I'm hoping when I get more exercise in my regime (walking around a gorgeous city!) and am away from the toxic influence of my parents, I won't NEED them anymore, but I also don't want to rush myself off them. It took you a year and may take me as long or longer--I've been taking them for 6 years, nearly 7 now. :\
I thank you so much for your advice! My relationship with my sister IS a strong one, you're right. I think she's probably the best influence I have in my life currently, although a couple of my long-distance friends are into exercise and when I visited them, I was more into it myself. I really think environment and influence is everything when it comes to lifestyle changes, given my experience and the experiences of others, like yourself.
Oh, your commentary on blunted affect strikes home with me, too. I feel I've become such a disaster on medication. I take a lot of pills for a 24-year-old (singulair, celebrex, zoloft, zyrtec, levothyroxine all daily, Xanax when I need it and naproxen several times a week) and I want so much to whittle that down. My sister takes no prescription drugs now that she's gone to her herbalist and while I'm not sure I'm down with the hippie thing, I'm going to see what he says about me on the 17th. My sister said he's a really good listener and has a Western medical degree in addition to his Eastern studies and will draw on both for a diagnosis. he focuses on lifestyle changes, too.
I don't feel like you've rammed your opinions down my throat at all! You have good suggestions, many of which I've considered myself. Thanks so much for your advice! I'm definitely heartened by your experiences since you were in a very similar place to me at one time. Thanks again.