Health & Wellbeing, Musings of sorts

Life on the cray cray pills

August 9, 2015

Some people may say ‘don’t tell anyone that you are on antidepressants‘ but living my life as an #oversharer I need to let it out. Because the MORE I do, the more NORMAL it becomes. I have realised that I am going to be someone that needs extra support in my life at times and this is okay. Since opening up this conversation about mental health on my blog SO many people I know have come and let me know that they have sought help for their problems as well.

I also want to point out that there is a HUGE disparity between me and many people out there doing life REALLY tough.

I have a loving and supportive husband, a home, good health care, and enough money to live on. (Some are not so lucky.) I digress from the point of this post, which is to compare life before and after antidepressants. Last Wednesday afternoon I went to my GP to have a physical and mental health check. I have been super run down this month, (no surprise there) and have been dealing with a sore throat. (My GP is lovely by the way, and if I was giving her a mark in one of my reports, she would get an A+.) She is up to speed totally about mental health. Knowledgeable, kind and compassionate. She even directed me to online e-help services where I can monitor my mood, (a big tick there for advising me on low cost interventions).

We started this journey together after I had an anxious knot in my stomach that would not leave, that could not be attributed to anything. I describe it as a ‘bad news’ feeling that came and stayed. (This was different to the anxiety I experienced when I was working as a social worker – basically I started to feel trauma because I was around it all day  long.)

My mum has depression so I got onto it quick smart when my usual meditation, counselling and exercise didn’t work.

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It took me a few goes to get the help I needed.

I first got turned away from receiving a mental health care plan because the GP was ‘too busy’. I then went to a random GP who discovered that I work in mental health and he ACTUALLY asked me ‘have you googled what you would like me to prescribe?’

FAAK. I wish I was joking.

Anyway, I finally got there in the end.

This is what me and my A+ GP chatted about.

Good points about the medication 👍

  • terrible anxious knot in stomach gone
  • I am more flexible about things
  • I do not get anxious anymore
  • I feel more relaxed
  • I notice I am happier more often
  • I am not so negative
  • I am not so planned about everything in life and feel a bit more ‘go with the flow.’

Shitty points about the medication  👎

  • I am 5 kilos heavier (despite doing more training than ever)
  • I do not feel like sexy time as much as I did before (although The Ginger Hunk and I have had between us tonsillitis (twice), a spider bite where I could not walk and dislocated knee and surgery – so this can all be attributable as well.)
  • I don’t like taking a pill each day
  • I don’t feel that I experience extreme happiness or sadness (I live life a bit more in the middle.)

The way I understand it, is that antidepressants work like an antibiotic for your brain to make new pathways. It is recommended that a ‘course’ is for twelve months. That brings me until January. So, the decision we made together on Wednesday is I am willing to forgo the downsides for the benefits until the new year.

One thing is for sure though, life is better without the darkness.

Have you sought help for an issue? 

What has it been like?

Ashleigh XXX

#If this post has brought up anything for you please start by going to see your GP. 

#You might notice that I have not mentioned the type of medication I am on because they all work differently for everyone.  I have done my head in googling medication before – and I advise not to do it! 

#If you don’t have an A+ GP, then you can start by checking out  Beyondblue

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  • Wendy

    After struggling with PND I have been on SSRI’s for awhile now and while I am on the lowest dose my hubby can notice when I don’t take them. I figure if they help me be a nicer person then why wouldn’t I take them – I call them my happy pills rather than cray cray pills – I totally get what you mean about life in the middle – I liken it to smoothing out the rollercoaster somewhat. Good on you for speaking up about it and would be interested to hear more about the online tools.
    🙂

    p.s. Found you via a funny comment on Mrs Woog’s blog today 🙂

    • Moodgym was the one that was suggested but I will admit I did not look at it yet. I agree I am only on a teeny tiny dose but they make a HUGE difference. Mrs Woog + Meerkats = Instant MOOD LIFT. Thanks for finding me and saying hello <3

  • Good on you for speaking up about this Ashleigh! This kind of stuff affects so many people but many don’t want to talk about it which only makes it worse.

  • I’ve been on them for most of the last 16 years – now I know life doesn’t have to be like that why stop taking them?!

    • It doesn’t …. But I guess I managed well before with meditation and mindfulness… So I hope I can go back to that. Having said that I wouldn’t wait so long to go back on them again should I experience the same symptoms.

  • Sounds like you found an awesome GP :). I’ve had my time with anti-d’s, they can be really helpful, especially when combined with other therapies and you’ve got a good plan with your Dr.
    (P.S. looking forward to meeting you at Problogger!!).