Tuesday, 15 January 2013


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.

It wasn't.

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.

Then .......

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

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. You're back, how did the move go?
    I was on antidepressants for a year or so, the first one I tried didn't work, but the second did. I chose to come off them in the end when I felt I had got to a place where I would be able to manage, that was three years ago. I know some people are against medication but I truly feel it helped me.

    1. Move went good! Had this wee post waiting in the wings to tide me over my move. Will post about the move soon

      There really is a stigma against antidepressant, I think they do have a place in the treatment of depression & have come to accept that at this time I need them.

    2. I'm glad to hear the move went well. I've nominated you for a blog award, have a look here and join in if you want.

  2. I take medication and have for years. I probably wouldn't be here if not for medication. I know that many are against it, and it's not for everyone. But I need it. It doesn't mean that I don't do other things to help my depression. But the medication puts me in a place where I CAN do other things. When people take medication for physical ailments, that's looked upon as fine. But there is definitely a stigma about taking medication for mental illnesses. I don't let it stop me.

    1. I also feel I wouldn't be here without medication & that it's not for everyone but the stigma surrounding antidepressants shouldn't be a reason to put you off.

      I am learning not to let it stop me - so what if I rattle first thing in the morning!

  3. I'm on--and have made the choice to remain on as long as I feel the need to be--anti-depressants as well as other mental health medication.

    I have a chronic illness which affects both my physical health as well as my mental health, and well...I hate to admit how many medications I'm on at the moment (not including all the vitamins and supplements I'm taking!)

    I get SO much crap for all my medication. Especially since I'm at college campus where people try to live as alternative as possible and believe in ONLY holistic medicine. Trust me, I've tried that side of life. It didn't work well for me.

    1. Quite righty said! I think it is a personal choice of what treatment plan to follow & I don't think other people have a right to pass comment on my decisions.

      Thanks so much for your comment & hope to hear again from you soon x

  4. I love this open post about depression and medications. It is important that some people are brave enough to share their opinion and experiences!

    1. Thank you - when I write these posts it's important for me to be open as it has taken along time to get to this point!