Two Months On Anti-Depressants

by - 13:24

In November I made the courageous decision to finally go to the doctors and ask to be put on anti-depressants. Being the anxious/overly paranoid person that I am I spent a lot of time beforehand researching people's personal experiences when starting anti-depressants and even though it's such a huge and scary thing to do, I was kind of shocked at the little information there was. This is why I am writing this post. I want to talk through my personal experience on starting medication, everything that I've experienced over the last few months and how I feel now.

*Disclaimer*
 I do have to state before starting this post that everyone is different. It is medication and everyone's experiences and reactions are different. My story may not turn out to be your story and vice versa so please keep that in mind. Also, I am fully aware that not everyone agrees with anti-depressants (or any medical drug for that matter) and that's completely fine, each to their own, but I strongly believe that a lot of stigma towards mental health and medication is caused by a lack of knowledge. This is my personal choice because I need the help, if you don't understand that then I would appreciate your silence on the matter. Thank you.


THE DOCTORS APPOINTMENT

Choosing to start anti-depressants is a difficult decision. As someone with anxiety, seeing the doctor about anything can be daunting, but I'm lucky that I found my current doctor a few years ago. I've been seeing my doctor about my mental health issues for years now - she knows me very well and to be honest she's the only doctor I've ever seen who's actually made me feel comfortable and relaxed. I knew that talking to her about it would be, not easy but, less challenging. During the appointment I explained to her that I would like to think about the option of being put onto medication. It wasn't that my depression and anxiety had gotten worse, but rather that I hadn't made any sort of progress in a few months and I needed something to help me along in the meantime.

Over the last few years I have worked endlessly to better my mental health and slowly it has started to work, but I haven't really made too much progress recently. I felt my entire life come to a halt and no matter how hard I tried, nothing was getting better. Anti-depressants have never been about 'curing' me, they are a way to pull me through the days when I need it most. My doctor fully understood everything that I was saying to her and agreed to start me on 50mg of Sertraline once a day.

MONTH ONE

The first month, I really didn't feel much of a change. Anti-depressants usually take 4-6 weeks to kick in so this really wasn't a surprise to me. I did however experience quite a few side-effects (which is normal). The morning after I took my first tablet, I woke up with a headache. Waking up with a headache isn't unusual for me since I get them quite often, but this one just would not go away. It continued to get worse throughout the day and by the time I went to bed, I could feel it in my entire face. It was pounding. I also had these side-effects:

- Feeling sick
- Loss of appetite
- Restlessness/unable to sleep
- Lack of energy
- Loss of sex drive

All of the effects I experienced subsided after a short while, although at the time they were rather unpleasant to deal with. After a week or so, I began to get back to my normal self, but failed to see any sort of change or improvement from the medication. I mentioned this at my next doctors visit, she agreed to prescribe me another months worth of Sertraline and if nothing had improved by the next visit then we could talk about either upping the dose or switching to a different anti-depressant.

MONTH TWO

After another couple of weeks on the medication I finally started to notice a difference. Gradually I started becoming more productive, upbeat and social. I still had down days, but I was happy with the fact that I was having more good days than bad. I managed to drag myself out of bed more than twice a week which for me is a vast improvement!

I slowly got over the fear of taking medication and got used to it. Since I had started seeing a positive change, I wasn't scared of it anymore. I decided to mention that just because it can be nerve-racking up until you start seeing a change, I want anyone who is thinking about anti-depressants or has just started them to know that it's normal to be a little apprehensive about it but remember that if this doesn't work out, something else will.

NOW

Now, as I'm writing this, I'm feeling positive about the future. I still have bad days/weeks where I have more panic attacks than usual or I feel like I physically can't motivate myself, but that's okay. As I've said, anti-depressants are not a cure for my mental illnesses. It takes a lot more work and effort than that to really see a change, but I am happy with the outcome of taking anti-depressants. I, myself, and those around me have recognised a change in me and I intend to keep that change going. Someday I hope I can have that positive change without the anti-depressants, but for now I'm sticking with them.

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Thank you so much for reading! I really hope I got my points across but if there's anything you're unsure about then please feel free to ask me questions in the comments or message me on social media. Check out my other posts and remember to sign up to my email subscription to make sure that you don't miss a post! Thank you.

You can find all of my social media links here:
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Caitlin x

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4 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. It's good to hear that the negatives of taking Sertraline have worn off. I was on 100mg for a long time and it truly did help, but you're right in that it isn't a cure. Saying that though, antidepressants definitely help you get to where you want to be xx This was such a wonderful read and I'm super pleased that it's affected you in a good way! x Thank you for sharing this with the world x

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  3. It takes time for anti-depressants to work and it's really hard to get through the initial side effects, BUT I've been on citalopram for a while now and it has really helped me get where I want to be. Good luck! xx

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  4. I'm glad that the initial side effects are starting to wear off, I'm glad that you seemed help and I hope you continue to get better! x

    Han | lifewithhan.blog

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