As mentioned in a previous post, I've taken some steps towards dealing further with my anxiety and depression.
I think it is important to keep writing these particular posts, because I think it's very important that we actually talk about mental illness, rather than brushing it under the cupboard, or locking it away. It shouldn't be a taboo subject to talk about, and people shouldn't be ashamed to say 'Hey, I'm not ok'.
So that's why I'm going to keep you guys updated with my journey. You can see all my ups and downs, the progress I make and what I'm doing to help myself.
I mentioned in that last post, about my appointment to the doctors. Well, I actually woke up the morning of, and decided I didn't need the appointment, that I was feeling fine.
That was all well and good, until my own inner guilt started to eat away at me. I knew I wasn't fine. I knew I needed that appointment. Eventually at some point early-afternoon, late-morning. I had a complete breakdown in the kitchen, in front of my Mum. I felt stupid and ridiculous for cancelling that appointment, because my healing could've started then and there. I was truly gutted.
But, Mum picked me up and helped me book another appointment to see a different Doctor.
Two weeks (yup that's how long it takes here to get a Doctor's appointment) later, I was at the clinic waiting to see the Doc.
We talked about my past with anxiety and depression, what types of treatment I'd had (therapy), and if I'd had any medication - which I hadn't before.
She's recommended me to a therapy clinic, but to be honest, I don't think that's right for me. I'm not someone who likes to dwell upon their feelings, because personally, thinking about stuff actually makes my depression worse.
The Doc gave me a prescription for four weeks on Citalopram. I'd been prescribed this before (when I first went to the Doctors years ago) but had never taken it, preferring the therapy route first.
As I'd tried therapy before, I decided to get straight stuck in to the anti-depressants, to see what kind of effects they'd give me.
Two days later, I picked up my prescription just before work, and decided (stupidly) to start them then and there. Taking one before starting work, bad idea!
They made me very dizzy, and kind of nauseous. Obviously I'm not a quitter, and also very, very stubborn, so carried on and finished my day as usual. All bar feeling a little weird.
I then decided to take the pills at night, rather than in the morning, that way, I would be over the nauseous/sicky side effects before I woke up.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Over the next seven days, I experienced no nausea or sickness. I did feel a little faint and dizzy upon actually getting out of bed, but, after wandering around for a bit; breakfast, brushing teeth etc. I was alright. I personally found the dizziness quite finny, it's not something I regularly suffer with, so was completely surreal.
Over the past few weeks, having gotten through the super dizzy phases, I have noticed changes. Not only changes in my mental stability, but changes in my attitude and even my anxiety!
I'm no where near as stressed in certain situations as before, and I care a lot less about what others think of me. I'm less intimidated by people who intimidated me before, and I definitely think I've come out of my shell a little.
I did have one very strange night about a week and a half ago, my depression used to strike late a night. It felt like it was trying to come back, like those gremlins were trying to open the door to my mind again. But something stopped them.
My last therapist taught me (and this is my favourite thing to do), to imagine the depressing thoughts as something that's 'bad', I pictured blue gremlins. And to imagine the 'good' things (red dragons) as fighting off the bad things, think about them instead. Strangely this night, it wasn't me creating those dragons, it's like they were already there, guarding the drawbridge to my mind.
And I actually managed to sleep.
I wake up at a proper time, usually around six or seven in the morning, and actually get to sleep before eleven in the evening. Sleeping for me was one of the hardest things to do, always has been. I'm on a proper clock and I love it.
I can honestly say I've never felt this brilliant, at least not that I can remember. The last time I was this genuinely happy in absolutely everything, my relationships, my job, my appearance, everything, was probably back in Primary School.
I feel motivated and actually happy, honestly I'm trying not to cry writing this. Happy tears! Don't worry!
I've been motivated by one of my best chums to join Slimming World, which I started on the 22nd of July. So far I've lost five pounds in less than two weeks! I usually only lose around one or two pounds when I try alone, but with this, I've lost nearly half a stone in two weeks, that's amazing to me!
By no means, do I think that everything that works for me, will work for everyone. I know people who can't stomach any form of pills, so the therapy is for them. I think with mental illness it's important to figure out what's right for you. And after trying out a couple of techniques, I've found the one that works for me.
Honestly, right now, I'm happy. Which for me, is a big, big thing to say.
I have a follow-up appointment next Wednesday evening, and I'm hoping that the Doc will think this has given me some positive effects. Obviously I do not want to become reliant on these things, and am slowly learning how to deal with stress and depression but for now...