Why I stopped using antidepressants after 12 years — and went back on them again

Picture this — floating lazily on a canal boat in Amsterdam on a beautiful summer day with my teenage children, on our way to the Van Gogh museum. We’d been cycling around the Vondelpark in the sun, and would later see a Banksy exhibition. A perfect day. Except I was pulsing with anxiety, and trying to hide it from my kids.

orse than anxiety — actual dread, waves of it breaking over me like an electric current. There was no external reason — I’m not an anxious person and hadn’t experienced existential anxiety before. Yet I was having to breathe deeply just to stop myself from actually freaking out. Maybe it was menopause — I’d recently undergone surgery to remove my ovaries after a cancer scare, which had turned out to be a false alarm. Wasn’t anxiety a symptom of menopause?


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