8 April 2016

MENTAL HEALTH UPDATE

(Warning... this might be a lengthy one and does contain my honest account of mental health issues... if you need more professional material or help click here or here or you can email me for a chat if it'll help of course fromlucywithlove@outlook.com).

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{This beautiful little image was taken from Pinterest | Original found here}

It's been a little while since I posted something about mental health. It's something I like to keep talking about in this space, not just because I suffer with my own issues, but just to keep it in the forefront of your mind too because you may need a friend or maybe you know someone else who is suffering and want to try and understand what they are thinking or feeling. Whatever the reasons, I hope you don't mind me discussing it every now and then.

I have now been on my medication (Fluroxetine) since about...November (I think). I have mentioned before that I avoided any kind of medication for years and years through the fear of the side effects, but recently needed to take something, like really needed to take something! I am happy to report I do feel much more human on a daily dose of medication, and thought I would take some time today to explain what they do, as it can be very difficult for people to understand the difference they make.

I will start with these few paragraph's that I wrote back in December last year (but didn't post here in the end)...

'On Friday I woke up wanting to get out of bed for the first time in what has felt like an eternity. I cuddled Joe in the kitchen, before breakfast, and cried happy tears, whilst trying to act out how I have been feeling verses what I felt at that very moment. I told him that right then, at that moment, I felt like I could peer over the tall, black wall that I had been facing for a long time, rather than desperately trying to jump up and down to see over it and failing, miserably. 

You guys certainly know by now that I have my battles with mental health (almost 20 years worth now) and, more recently, it had become hell on Earth again. The worst I have experienced. I went to the doctors and just said to him that I felt mentally exhausted, utterly worn down and like I couldn't function. That every time I get a severe 'low' it gets more and more difficult to face. For the first time ever I asked to go back on medication. That's how I knew I was desperate. 

Last time I was on medication was about this time last year and only for a few short weeks. I came off them because I started to feel a bit disconnected and was concerned about that. Hindsight is fabulous thing - I should have stayed on the low dose and stuck it out. But, here I am again, back on the same tablets and, even though it has only been a few weeks, I am starting to feel the fog lift on the black, suppressing, paralysing mood that comes with depression and anxiety. I feel fortunate that what I am taking kicks in so fast, even though I was told they wouldn't. They did the same last year and I remember the same day occurring: 'fog lifting day' - it is wonderful.

I said to Joe, as I was doing my little act of jumping in the air, trying to see over the wall, that I still feel low, my brain is still struggling, every day things are still overwhelmingly hard to face, but with just a tiny bit of sun peeping through the fog I am able to do so much more and, surely, this is only going to get better?'

So, what does it feel like on medication? Speaking only for the tablets I take, I didn't really feel a great deal of difference, physically speaking. They give me the slight judders and, during the first couple of weeks, occasionally made me feel like I had drunk one to many coffees, but that is really it. I think myself lucky, considering the side-effects list with anti-depressants could win Olympic medals for covering all bases! My biggest worry was weight gain, as I had experienced a large amount on previous tablets (many years back). If I am honest it was the fear of gaining weight that stopped me helping myself, because it is one big old vicious circle of how I look and feel physically verses my mental state. It is a painful combination of emotions sometimes! But Fluroxetine seems to be 'the one' for me and, so far, no weight gain from it...phew!

My advice to anyone thinking about going on something is to bare with it, give it time to get into your system before making any quick judgement and definitely don't decide to just pull yourself off them without seeing a doctor first, as doing that can be equally as dangerous. You may not find the right thing from the get-go and what works for me, may not work for you, even if our symptoms are identical. The side effects will be different for everyone but what I can promise you is that, when you do find the right ones for you, the pros most certainly out-weigh the cons. For me, my deepest, darkest thoughts, fade right into the background when the medication is right. I could increase my dose but, to be honest, I prefer to feel something, even if it is a bit painful sometimes. I like to still face up to things, but what I don't want is crippling fear of life.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel, even on days when you may feel like there isn't. Reach out to people, talk it through, do nice things for yourself, and it will be better.

I hope this has been a bit helpful for someone. I have written a few things on mental health which are linked here by post title: 'Self Image' / 'Where to find help & how to help yourself' / 'Mindfulness' / 'Mental Health Awareness Week' / 'Thoughts on being strong' / 'The mystery of anxiety' / 'Mental health YouTube video'

Get in touch with me if you would like to via Instagram, Twitter or email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com - have a fab day guys xx

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6 comments

  1. I think anyone who can talk so openly and honestly about their mental health with the aim of helping others going through the same thing is a ridiculously wonderful human being.
    I'm so glad that you're feeling the benefit of the meds, that feeling of some normality again is invariably an enormous relief.

    If you need anything that an internet buddy can provide then you know where to find me.

    M x

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    1. You have no idea how much this comment made me well-up, you lovely lady you! You are the best internet buddy! xxx

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  2. Hi Lucy, what a lovely honest post. I can empathise somewhat as I have someone very close to me with bipolar so know a little about the daily struggle. I agree that using medication is a personal decision and there are massive pros & cons to the decision. I'm so glad you're starting to feel better x

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment lovely. Sorry to hear you know someone who is also struggling. It is hard but staying as positive as possible is certainly helpful for me and they are lucky to have someone who is there to support them too xx

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  3. WOW Lucy, this is so well wrote. I sat here feeling so connected to you through all your words. I'm certainly going to be checking out your other posts!

    Hope you are having a good day and if you aren't thats ok <3 xxxx

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    1. Thanks for reading it honey. I felt the same reading your post too! It's nice to connect with people who understand things you are going through xx

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