The on-call psychiatrist says it’s not the meds
telling me I should walk the tracks at night. Should I hide the bottle
of floor cleaner? The on-call psychiatrist doesn’t listen.
Says this antidepressant is well-tolerated. Only
my gut, with its desire for detergent, 
believes me. He continues to increase the dose.
What a helpful side effect.
Depressed? Take this antidepressant – it may
unhinge you further. I lose my appetite
for the first time. Skip dinner for a month.
I leave my psychiatrist of 9 years.
Withdraw from the antidepressant while on a waiting list.
My psychologist says I am making big life changes.
My GP says I need to have a specific goal in mind
for my psychologist. My psychologist says
we can just talk and not have a goal. We need to put you
on something says my new psychiatrist.
I’m already on an antipsychotic – isn’t that enough?
How about Valium 3 times a week?
I’ve built up a tolerance to benzos.
How about an extra antipsychotic?
Take back your prescription, swallow your own dose.
Don't test my patience. Listen to your patients.

I reduce the antidepressant slowly over months.
My anxiety has increased. I’m having a sleep study-
can’t breathe at night. Can you interpret my dreams, Mr Technician? Or do you still see traces of SSRI?

The aim of this project is to share lived experiences of mental health via poetry. Therefore, some of the content may potentially trigger some readers. If you require mental health support or assistance, a list of free confidential 24/7 support lines can be found here. You are not alone in your journey.