So after years of depression, an actual contradiction to my personality, which is generally full of life and positive…I decide to try medication. Hmmm, I often think if it is genetic, environmental, or a combination of both. Probably the latter, family issues and a mother that suffered terribly with debilitating depression. I actually remember as a child visiting her in a psychiatric unit and being distracted by strange noises of the other patients,women dancing around and cackling type sounds…yes helpful to her, I am sure.
Back in the 80s it seems that all psychiatric conditions were lumped together and drugged up with very little talking therapy.
I swore I would never end up in a place like that,but feeling sad and helpless as a child. My mum, when ‘herself’ and not zombified standing against the radiator, was a wonderful mother, loving and funny and very maternal. I am guessing it effected me when she was not emotionally available to me, and I felt on my own.
Anyway unfortunately due to the terrible mental health care we had and still do, she took her own life ,58 tablets, given to her easily by her doctor…….the same doctor that was aware of her attempted suicides and depression. This affected me badly, but I numbed it off to cope, and to deal with my ‘father’….said loosely.
Anyhow I never dealt with my anorexia, depression or anxiety..oh and intrusive thoughts….I only found out what these were just over a year ago.This is obviously surprising to me, as I am just so intelligent…hahaha. I thought it was very normal to think that anyone that got off at my bus stop was going to kill or rape me….or that everyone like me thought that a nuclear war was going to happen in the next day or so…..or get actual heart palpitations and panic at the news of animal cruelty and let it affect the whole of my day..constantly thinking of it…and not forgetting that everyone hates me and is staring at me in the street because I am an alien….
I decided to try drugs…..first one..Prozac! Yes this was fantastic….I was running around manic, singing,full of energy, racing ideas, love for everyone,everything was amazing,colourful, whizzy…wow that pigeon is sooo amazing..look look at it eating…wow. ahem….I would then come down like a tonnes of bricks..so depressed and sad, everything was blacker then black. Yes well Prozac seemed to give me bipolar…hurrah, I could be interesting and fucked up and cool and….errr no not really. My house mate grabbed them and chucked them down the loo. I was ill for a few days from withdrawals and then got over it. NEXT!
Seroxat,,hurrah!!! All this made me was suicidal and paranoid. Now everyone in the street wanted to kill me and I wanted to kill myself. Needless to say, I ditched them too. A couple of years later there was a warning about these and various news items about how these tablets can make certain people suicidal etc etc…lovely. NEXT PLEASE!
I waited a few years for the next ones…desperate for help, the doc gave me Sertraline. It was wonderful, I had no sadness, no depression, nothing….and that’s just it….nothing. I had no joy, no laughter, no feelings. Nothing moved me..not music(which I love), not the beauty of nature, not sex, not money etc etc. I wouldn’t have cared if a plane was falling out of the sky, hurtling towards me…I would have probably thought…’oh ok,’ I ditched those too. NEXT.. after 7 years. I was understandably put off.
Early this year I was very bad, due to stress from various things. I was suffering extremely badly from intrusive thought, panic,depression, anxiety….however I still retained my sense of humour for some reason…still I was bad. I found a wonderful MH site with some supportive people (you know who you are). I was recommended,gently, to try a different medication.
Venlafaxine is the med I am on now, been on it for 6 months ish. I tentatively started it, the doctor advising me that it would be helpful to my issues. At first on a low dose and now on 225mg. The side effects were awful. Insomnia for 4 weeks,jaw clenching,restless legs, no appetite (haha me,no appetite..the anorexia loved that!) sickness, no libido,anxiety,skin so itchy I wanted to rip it off..and various other wonderful effects.
I persevered and after about 6 weeks they started to work. I felt like I was me again….been a lonnngggg time. I no longer had intrusive thought, well they certainly were no where near as bad. My depression lifted and I started to think about recovery for my ED. I had motivation, energy and a renewed positive outlook. I also did not ‘feel’ medicated.
It is not without the downsides though. If I miss a dose, I feel withdrawn and ‘weird’. I don’t sleep well. I still get itchy skin. The worst one of all is terrible short term memory loss and not being able to articulate myself like I used to..in conversations. ME:’what’s that thing that you use to cook in??’ SOMEONE ELSE: ‘An oven.’ ME;’Oh yes, thanks’
Also I get in the car, sit there and forget where I am going. I brush my teeth and then after go upstairs to brush my teeth! I have to ring my phone daily, and I wish I could ‘ring’ various other objects!! haha.
Anyway I am sticking to these. I feel creative and positive..slightly manic at times, but that is part of who I am I guess.