Good to hear Radio Five Live’s Afternoon Edition broadcasting a long item about coming off anti-depressants. In fact, I can’t ever remember hearing or reading anything about the subject in the media. My GP asks me about the subject when I have my regular appointments and I rely on her judgement and advice. I am and I am not looking to the day when I finally stop taking them myself.

My question is always the same: how will I know if I am better? The anti-depressants certainly do their job but to what degree? Am I taking them for nothing? Will I stop taking them quickly or gradually? What on earth will happen, if anything at all?

As I expected, different people had different experiences. Some had horrendous physical side-effects, others found they simply couldn’t cope at all and returned to their seriously depressed states and quickly, too. But amongst the gloom, there were happy stories too, of people who were feeling fine and dandy without the drugs. I’m more confused than ever.

I am not sure that I could cope without the assistance of anti-depressants. I didn’t really know quite how ill I had become until I was prescribed drugs but there is also a paradox at work here, which only your average depressive will truly understand. The state of depression becomes familiar, almost comforting. You don’t like where you are, but for most of the time you at least know where you are. You can almost hang on to it like a comfort blanket, fearing that stepping into a different world would be even worse. That almost reads like wallowing in a pool of self-pity and almost enjoying the experience and in some ways that’s true. Complicated? You should be me!

Even an hour on prime time radio was not enough other than to skate over the subject, but it was welcome for all that. No other broadcasting organisation would ever have put aside so much air time as the BBC did today.

I’m not sure if it helped me or not. I’m guessing it did because it’s something I don’t much think about, something I don’t want to think about because each time I meet with my GP, the stress builds that my anti-depressants might be taken away.

I know I am stronger with the stronger dose than I was last Christmas whilst working for the bullies and Mickey Mouse managers at Tesco Dot Com, showing absolutely no sympathy or understanding. I’ll never forget the way they treated me and I’ll never forgive them, either. It was an object lesson on treating someone with a serious mental health problem with utter contempt and it’s something I’ll carry around with me for the rest of my life. When I was down, they basically ignored me and somehow I drew on strength I didn’t know I had to pull through. I wasn’t well enough to stand up to them last year but thanks to my medicine those kind of people will never to beat me down again.

So, to give up or not to give up? It’s not to give up for the foreseeable future and quite possibly the unforeseeable future too.

Most of all, thanks to Radio Five Live for even raising the subject. As Tesco always says, “every little helps”, except that in Tesco’s case they don’t really mean it.