I recently started another medication. I now take 4 tablets every day.
The funny thing about me & my medication is that when I need it I don't want to take it! Now my mood is going through a bright patch I find myself doing the silly thing of questioning the need to keep taking the meds. So I write this as a reminder of my antidepressant experience.
When my mood was particularly low I struggled with the diagnosis of depression and what mental health meant to me. I didn't want to be on antidepressants cos that would mean admitting I was depressed.
Deciding to take the medication, was the right treatment for me. I know it may not be for everyone. I discussed it with my GP, my psychiatrist, my hubby & good old wikipedia. Wow, I made that sound easy.
Know that, starting medication wasn't easy for me.
Antidepressants take some time to be effective. My doctors said you have to give it at least 4-6 weeks to notice any effect. AND what they failed to mention is that they may not work at all for you.
There are lots of different types of antidepressant meds that can be prescribed, & they work in different ways. So if one class of drug doesn't work they can try another. But this all takes time. Time when you are at a very low point. When you desperately want the medication/something/anything to work.
I tried 3 different medications before I found one that started to help. So after all these months searching for some pharmacological help, what did I do? I stopped taking the meds. I don't need them any more, I'm feeling better. My mental health is looking up.
Crash. I dip again. I end up with anxiety plus back to struggling. Struggling to get dressed, struggling to get myself in a shower, struggling do anything that involves any effort.
I don't tell anyone cos I feel ashamed that I am not following the treatment. How stupid can I be? I go back on them but can't get back to where we were! In the end it is a combination of antidepressants that help lift my mood. Did I take myself off them again when I was feeling better? Yip!
Know that when you have mental health issues - you will do things you know aren't logical but you will do them anyway. Cos at the time the mental illness doesn't care about logic, it wants to keep you in that place, the illness doesn't want any help. But the part of you that pushes past this, will win. At some point.
Side effects - I think I've been lucky. Mine tend to make me drowsy, especially when I start a new regime. I take most of mine at night so I use this side effect to my advantage to try get a full nights sleep - sleep is also a very important part of my treatment! I have put on weight but I am unsure if this was the medication or just my poor eating habits, which I now know are one of my signs that my mental health is dipping.
I learn more about me & my depression as we go along. The more I learn, the more prepared & in control I feel. This helps with my anxiety. I have agreed with my psychiatrist that I will continue my medication for at least 6 months after I feel well. This may sound like ages, but it's nothing if it means I don't dip on the mood roller coaster.
I like that we have a plan. It makes it easier to take the medicine.
Keep taking the medication. Plan any changes with your doctor.
Have you used antidepressants? Any side effects?
Love Mrs Brown xx