I wanted to write this post for a number of reasons. I know that the topic of medicating a mental health illness can be somewhat controversial, so I wanted to bring my thoughts into the discussion.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for your decision.
I also wanted to write this because I want to let people know what to expect when they take them. I also want to say early on that if you do decide to take them, then good for you. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for your decision.
I am aware that no two experiences are the same but maybe people will be able to relate to how I felt on medication.
When I first experienced depression I was given 25mg of Citalopram. They say that the first two weeks of taking an antidepressant you can feel worse before you feel better. However this drug sent me sky high. I was really hyper and I couldn’t sleep. It was like my mind was racing and I couldn’t slow down. This was awful. After two weeks my doctor took me off the medication and gave me Sertraline.
Sertraline worked really well for me and it massively calmed me down. When I first started taking it I became very sleepy and did sleep more than normal. I was on a 25mg dose to begin with but after a month started to feel bad again so the doctor upped my dose to 50mg. An important point I’d like to raise here is to make sure you get the right dosage. You’ll only know this through trial and error but it is vital you get it right.
My recovery wasn’t all down to taking this drug.
I spent 6 months on Sertraline and although it didn’t cure me, it did make me feel more balanced. I was getting CBT therapy at the time though, so my recovery wasn’t all down to taking this drug. At times I remember feeling like I couldn’t cry, I don’t know whether this was due to Sertraline or not, but I did feel just OK. It didn’t make me happy. If your expectation is to take an antidepressant to feel happy, then this won’t be the case, but it can help you.
I want to point out as well that if you start taking an antidepressant and you don’t think it is working, please speak to your GP, DON’T just stop taking it because it can make you feel worse.
I understand why people don’t agree with taking antidepressants because they feel like it doesn’t deal with the root cause. However I think it’s a good thing to take to get you back on track. If you’re in a difficult situation which is causing you to feel depressed, taking antidepressants until you get through that situation could help you out.
Why are we so against treating a mental illness?
Also if we think about this logically, if we have something physically wrong with us, and we go to the doctor and they give you antibiotics, would we refuse them? I know the antibiotics differ in that they would cure the illness but if medication can help you, then why wouldn’t we take them? And why are we so against treating a mental illness?
I have also recently been taking Propranolol for anxiety. One funny side effect I got from taking this was freezing cold hands and feet. I do feel like Propranolol helped me for the first couple of months, but I found into my third month I started feeling the same again.
I am currently not taking any medication because I feel OK at the minute, but I definitely wouldn’t be adverse to taking something again in the future.
What mental health medication do you take? And how does it help you? Please let me know in the comments below.
Having suffered from anxiety attacks for 6 years now, and have had various forms of cbt, Im at the stage where Im going to ask advice from my GP so I can start getting back to ‘normal’. Ive had masses of stressful things to deal with in the last 6 years but those things are starting to come to an end. Should I bother?
Hi Christine, Sorry to hear you have been suffering. Yes I definitely think you should have a conversation with your GP. Even if they give you something to help you for a short period of time, that might help you? Obviously it’s your decision but it did help me. Good luck x
I’ve been taking 25mg of Sertraline for just over a year now, and in the past I’ve taken 50mg for another year. I definitely agree that antidepressants and anti anxiety medication needs to be balanced with some form of talking therapy – CBT has been one of the best things I’ve ever been through, but the day-to-day functioning required to begin to engage with the therapy was definitely down to the medication.
If there’s one thing I hate it’s those memes saying “antidepressants don’t work, have a walk in the forest instead”. It drives me mad! There’s no shame in taking medication for anything, physical or otherwise!
Also – love this blog 🙂
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Hi, I totally agree with you, they infuriate me and I don’t think those memes help people who don’t know what the best thing to do is. Thanks for opening up about your experience.