As of a few days ago, I’m down to one tablet of clonazepam a day. When I started taking it in 2011, it was 4 per day.
Coming off meds is kind of like taking the training wheels off your bike, or a cast off a newly mended bone; take it easy for a bit, and don’t operate heavy machinery!
Like saturated fat, Nintendo consoles, and children born into royal families, meds often get a bad name, but personally, I’ve found clonazepam and risperidone very effective in combating my OCD. Not as a cure, mind you. Just as a crutch to take the edge off the panic attacks while I train myself to defuse them. Again, like a cast on a broken bone. And once you’re better, a cast comes off.
The trick is to ease off slowly, otherwise you can slip backwards and lose all your progress. Discontinuing them cold turkey can be like taking the handbrake off halfway up a hill before you’ve actually started your car. (A hill with a lava lake of doom at the bottom, wheels greased with KY jelly, and fifty bricks of lead in the boot)
I’m currently in the process of very gradually weaning myself off meds, because as helpful as they are, (Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to go to University or leave home when I did) I don’t want to be dependent on them for the rest of my life. Hopefully, the next few months at this lower dose will go well. I must say, I’ve been feeling pretty good so far, though that might have something to do with having fantabulous friends, a job I love, and zoning out to my heroin Amano Tsukiko (typo, or intentional? It’s a missed ‘er e!) and ASMR with these new speakers I just got for my 26th birthday. (Halfway to 52, baby!)
On a serious note, the last time my brain wasn’t filtered by medication, I was 18 years old, and the year was 2007. It’s kind of hard to remember what it feels like. Obviously, I remember the fear being absolutely crippling, hence why the meds were necessary, but the raw sensation of real life, uncoloured by anxiety or medication, is an experience as foreign to me now as puberty.
I look forward to rediscovering that feeling.