If you guys have read previous posts or followed my journey from the beginning then you’ll know I’ve been on anti depressants for quite a big part of my life with not much effect. So at the end of April beginning of May and after a really settled few months, I made a huge but also very stupid decision to just stop my medication and try to manage my depression alone. So this post will just be a quick update post to let you guys know how I’ve been finding these last few months.
You’ll know if you read my first post after a week off my Sertraline, that this was one of the hardest and most painful weeks of my life both mentally and physically, I was ill, anxious, upset, tired, restless and everything in between, if I’m honest there were so many times in that first week that I thought of taking my own life, I couldn’t believe that I had been on these tablets for years and they seemed to have no effect so how could coming off them be having such a massive effect on me? I was so genuinely scared that I would never feel ‘normal’ again and I won’t lie it wasn’t just the first week that was awful, it actually took me nearly two months to start feeling somewhat human and healthy.
Almost 3 months on and am I 100% back to feeling ‘normal’? No I’m not but it’s funny really because I always try to be such a positive person and in my head I had this amazing vision that I’d come off my medication, it’d be really easy and I’d be happier than I’ve ever been.The truth is though early August will mark 3 months of no anti depressants and I’m not in that amazing place, it’s probably been one the lowest and hardest times of my life with so many mood swings it’s unreal, I still have days when I ask myself if going back to my medication would make it all go back to how it was, you know that numb, surreal feeling you have on anti depressants? Now though as I’ve been writing this post and thinking back to my life with medication and my life without it I’ve started too realise that although I’ve struggled and it’s hit me hard, that coming off my medication was a change for the better and sticking it out will only be for the best!
So guys just to end this post I want to apologise if this was a little bit of a negative post but I always promised I’d just be honest no matter what, have you guys recently come off or are thinking about coming off your medication? let me know I’d like to share experiences and thoughts with you all.
‘Are pills really the answer?’
So as you will know from previous posts I’ve been on a variety of anti depressants and beta blockers since I was about 16 to help calm my depression and anxiety symptoms. Over the years I’ve been on so many different medications to try and combat my symptoms with little to no effect that at times I was convinced they were all just a placebo and would never ever feel better.
I’ll always remember when I first built up the courage to tell someone about my feelings and visit my GP, it was the first time in months I’d seen a hint a light at the end of the dark tunnel I now know as depression, anyone who has suffered from any sort of mental health issue will know how hard it is to tell your GP for the first time, all sorts of crazy thoughts run through your mind about how they’ll perceive you. I was so happy after getting it all out but one thing that shocked me more than anything was how quickly my GP prescribed me a bunch of pills, after a quick 15 maybe 20 minute appointment. So very reluctantly I started taking my prescribed pills but now when I think back I’m really shocked at the fact that no other option was offered to me, to help me feel better and how incredibly quick I was told that the pills would pretty much change it all.
So as reluctant as I was I told myself I’d do anything to feel better and anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m one of these people who is perhaps overly careful when it comes to taking medication weather it has been prescribed to me or not, I will spend hours upon hours reading information leaflets and over analysing every possible side effect. I did eventually start my Fluoxetine and because I’d never taken anti depressants before I think I was sort of expecting some sort of mirical happy pill so after nearly a year of persisting with them I was incredibly disappointed when nothing had changed, So I went back the doctors expecting them to hopefully offer me some better forms of support but once again I was just asked a form filled with questions and handed some more pills.
It wasn’t until about 3 years ago after being completely fed up of taking pill after pill that I decided to do my own research into other forms of help and found that I could get loads of different therapies through GP referral. So after waiting lists and fighting to prove I needed the help, I finally started seeing councillors and then eventually moved onto a CBT therapist which I truly believe is the best thing I could’ve ever done, I’m now almost virtually OCD free thanks to that amazing women 😀 After my 12 weeks of CBT I was over the moon at how much it has seemed to help but also upset and angry that I’d spent years on numerous tablets that had little effect on my mood and no sort of emotional support, when if I’d of been offered therapy sooner I may not of needed to go through all the physical and emotional effects the tablets seem to bring with them.
The point to me writing this post isn’t for me to slate the use of medication because I’m really not against using tablets to help with mental health issues because I really do think that I wouldn’t be where I am now without them but I just think that pills shouldn’t be handed out so quickly without any proper support or advice. I’d love to know what you guys think, Have you found medication helpful for you? or Have you found better ways to deal with your depression/anxiety rather than medication?
Life isn’t always perfect it has it’s fair share of ups and downs but it’s the strength that you use to overcome these struggles that determines the life you have! Like so many others who deal with mental health issues or a disability, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs but I truly believe that these struggles have made me a stronger person.
It is so easy when we are faced with problems to just want to give in and just believe that we don’t have the strength to face what life throws at us but it is only when we are facing our hardest battles that we realise how strong we can be!
Ive been privilliged enough in life too meet some amazing people who gave the word strengh a whole new meaning, they have been through some of the most awful struggles and still manage to come out the other side with a smile, these wonderful people have given me the belief that no matter who you are or what you are going through, you are strong enough to deal with it!
So the next time life’s giving you a rough ride weather it’s something small or something you’re really struggling with please just remember you are stronger than you think and you can get through this!
If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know that i’ve suffered from depression since I was about 15, over the last couple of months ive been trying my absoloute hardest to change my life and become happier but over the last week. Ive been ill and my mood has took a turn for the worse!
So I wasn’t really sure weather to do a motivational Monday post as to be honest i’m not feeling all that motivated! So yesterday like I do regualry I was online looking for quotes to cheer me up when I came across the one below, it not only made me realise that it’s perfectly fine not to be ok but it also made me realise that my struggles have gave me so much strength!
Anyone who has ever suffered from depression and even those who havent will know that despite how hard you try, not everyday will be amazingly happy and quotes like the one above have made me realise that having ups and downs in life is normal.
So please remember the next time you’re struggling or having a bad day that things will get better, nothing lasts forever and your struggles will improve. You don’t always have too be strong..it’s ok not too be ok!