It’s been a shit week.
A really, really shit week.
Both my physical and mental health have taken a real battering.
Tomorrow I’m off to the Doctors to have some blood tests.
Over the last few months I’ve been experiencing issues with my stomach.
There have been a few occasions where I’ve been hit with the most horrendous indigestion, to the point I can barely breathe and I start shaking. Coupled with this is the bloating and the really uncomfortable stomach cramps.
I had a really bad episode of this last weekend and spent the subsequent days feeling sick and unable to eat without being hit by waves of pain.
I toddled off to the Doctors on Tuesday morning to discuss this with, quite possibly, the most unhelpful Dr I have ever had the displeasure of interacting with. The meeting was so strange I thought Jeremy Beadle (yes, I know he’s passed on) would pop out from behind the curtain at any given moment with a camera in hand. Not exactly the setting you want when you’re going into intimate detail about your digestion issues.
Back in September I weaned myself off my anti-depressant/anxiety medication with the view to trying something else. I’d been on Citalopram for almost 3 years and although during the first 2 years of taking the medication, I’d seen a HUGE improvement with both my low mood and, at times, crippling anxiety, this hadn’t really been the case this year.
Looking back over 2017 I’ve had real periods of extreme anxiety, low mood and lack of motivation. There’s been many a battle played out in my mind and it’s left me feeling tired, angry, sad and fretful.
I’d steeled myself for a real fall out whilst withdrawing from my medication. But nothing happened.
I waited. And I waited. But I felt exactly the same with a low dosage/abstention as I did when I was taking the full dosage.
This left me feeling somewhat positive. I felt that perhaps I could live without medication and could just deal with the waves of anxiety as they came.
It wasn’t to be.
Two weeks ago I was on annual leave from work. We took our son to CBeebies Land for a day of (expensive) fun and then spent the following days doing things around the house and viewing primary schools ahead of him starting full time education next September.
I could feel this free floating feeling of anxiety and negativity whirling round my head. It’s a familiar feeling. I cannot tell you what I’m anxious of, all I can tell you is that I am anxious.
Everything moves at a fast paced when I’m anxious. It’s like I’m setting myself targets to ensure tasks are completed within record breaking timing. This probably makes absolutely zero sense, however, it’s the best way I can describe my feelings.
With all of this in mind, and my mental health taking a further decline whilst I battle with the ailments my physical health has brought, I opened up to the Doctor.
He was dismissive. I felt like I was wasting his precious time. I explained how I felt with regards to my previous medication and he hastily wrote out a prescription for Fluoxetine (commonly known as Prozac) explaining if this didn’t work there’s little else left (this is untrue).
I’m currently 5 days in.
I know those first 5 days of SSRI treatment well.
With Sertraline I felt wretched. Suicidal thoughts, constant dizziness, thumping headaches and nausea.
With Citalopram I felt less wretched. A slight headache, waves of dizziness and a supressed appetite.
With Fluoxetine I feel even less wretched. I’ve experienced on and off headaches, occasional dizziness. And that’s it. No spike in anxiety either, which can only be a good thing.
I’m hopeful Fluoxetine will help get me back on the even keel I’d become acquainted with in 2015. Life felt a lot easier back then, even though I was dealt with a number of challenges along the way.
I’m thinking therapy might be something to consider too. I’m a huge advocate of talking therapies and so much has happened since my last round of therapy in early 2015 that I know I’d benefit from a course of CBT or the like, once again.
I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling stressed all the time. I hate feeling like life is bigger than me. I hate worrying all of the time and trying to pre-empt problems, problems that aren’t even there half the time.
I want to take life as it comes. See the pleasure in things once again. My brain feels heavy at the moment but I know that feeling doesn’t have to be permanent.
We shall see.
We shall see.