I thought with the whole me being open and honest saying I’m going by currently, I would write a blog post dedicated to taking medication for mental health. (I really hate the term mental health, but what else can it be called) it is what it is!
Maybe I’ll create my own phrase to make it more aesthetically pleasing lol.
Previously saying it’s taken me years to accept I have anxiety and depression, let alone face it and I’ve tried endless techniques and tricks to try avoid taking medication that was constantly recommended by endless doctors – because in my head I was certain I didn’t want to be dependent on a tablet?! It sounds bad but I was scared in a way to have a tablet control how I was feeling to what was seen as “normal”.
I’ve tried all the herbal remedies you can get to try control my anxiety just that little less than feeling like I’m about to suffocate, but never the less they never worked for me!
I even bought a book and I haven’t read one since high school, still nothing there that seemed to divert my panic!
Enough became enough when I had hit rock bottom which was the rock bottom of all rock bottoms. I knew it was only going to get worse if I didn’t accept the help I was being offered?
So my annual trip to the doctors came about and I was yet again prescribed “sertraline” a tablet to treat anxiety, depression and panic disorders – the phrase “kill two birds with one stone” it treated both of what I was suffering and after hours of googling the side effects, complications and outcomes I decided to give it a go.
Sertraline – it changes the balance of the chemicals in the brain and increase the levels of serotonin.
One won’t hurt will it? So that Saturday evening I took my first one and within an hour I was feeling ridiculously nausea, drowsy and not with it – (common side effect for about two weeks)
It can only get worse before it gets better
That made my mind up, I wasn’t going to continue taking them! No way I told myself, there must be another way surely?! I was screaming inside for a way out of feeling like this.
So another week went by without them and I only continued to spiral down. Another trip to the doctors and we re discussed the medication, being the paranoid person I was I made the doctor reassure me it was only going to get better and it for sure has!
Returning home it got to 9:00pm the agreed time I was going to take them ( better before bed if you don’t want to be drowsy the following day ).
I re started my course of them, a few days went by and I was feeling full of nausea again, blurred vision, pressure in my head and eyes, shaking and I couldn’t eat barely anything without wanting to throw it back up. I couldn’t concentrate or drive my car without being paranoid I was going blind lol – Of course with any medication you get the side effects, I said to myself I am going to see this through and I have!
Obviously every type of medication reacts differently to each individual and I’m sharing my experience to guide somebody else who was stuck in the same place I was!
Usual side effects:
• blurred vision
• loss of appetite
• shaking and so on
Bonus: you can drink alcohol on them but it will make you drowsy (which was the most of my worries when I first got prescribed them years ago, but I rarely ever drink now so it’s irrelevant to me!
Two weeks in I am feeling the most fabulous I have in years, I can’t even explain it because I feel like what I can only assume a “normal” person feels. No anxiety siting in my chest and no low mood dragging me down! Although I do feel kind of numb to the only explanation of I feel emotionless, sort of like the tablet is just blocking how I’m feeling? Which I’m hoping will go in time!
Keeping a diary where I am entering daily my feelings and how it’s making me feel and all I can see is improvement going back through.
So yeah to sum that up, I can only apologies to myself for falsely assuming something wouldn’t make me feel human, just that tad better to do the simplest of activities .
But taking a tablet just to feel that bit better can make a world of difference, when you just want to go out and be free and just go shopping with your friends?! You know there’s nothing more I’ve wanted for years just to go out and be care free.
I went to London yesterday all by myself, it isn’t something big to some people but it felt like a huge relief to go out somewhere out my comfort zone and not panic and burst into tears. It was on my personal achievement list to go out somewhere alone and an hour train journey into the busy streets of the city was the scariest place to start, but I did it and I did it way sooner than expected!
I even had the courage to ask the lady to take some photos of me, never in a million years I’d thought I’d approach a stranger without freaking out thinking they would think I was weird!
I can now go to Tesco alone without thinking everyone is staring at me, yeah I still worry like any other person but I feel that 20% better!
I love sharing my personal experiences with whoever may read my blog posts, because life isn’t a fairytale and people go through difficult situations!
It’s just the start but all I have to keep saying is, it will get better! 🙂
Until next time.