I feel like I could write so much more on this topic, but I don’t want to pour my heart out right now. However, I want to say a little something about the subject as there seems to be a lot of mental health posts going around, and I want to share a small part of my story.
A few months ago, I learnt that there is a huge difference between saying ‘I’m depressed’ and ‘I have depression’. Telling my friends and family about my diagnosis was really hard, especially as people like my mum blamed themselves. My friends treated me like I was a ticking time bomb, like I could break down any minute. It’s taken me four months to be able to accept that I have a his particular mental illness, on top of the anxiety I’ve been dealing with for 5 years. Hand on heart, I’ve known I’ve had depression for a long time, but it took three months of fortnightly GP appointments and a further four months of medication to be where I am today.
Medication-wise, I take propranolol to help ease the effects of panic attacks. Propranolol slows my heart rate and reduces my breathing rate which actually makes it harder for me to get worked up enough to hyperventilate. I take 40mg up to three times a day, depending on how I feel. I take Sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, to treat my depression. I’m currently on 50mg but was supposed to up my dose to 100mg two months ago. I just can’t bring myself to do it.
When I first started on Sertraline, I was bedridden for 6 days. I had the worst stomach pains I’ve ever had (I genuinely thought I had appendicitis), I was constantly nauseas, I couldn’t eat, and I had to deal with vomiting and insomnia to top it all off. This is why I’m not doubling my dose yet. I’d rather cry everyday than deal with that again. I still get some of these side effects if I take a dose late then taker the next one at normal time.
Mental illness is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to cope with, but my diagnosis of Mixed Anxiety & Depressive Disorder is one step closer to me getting better. Thankfully, since I’ve told somebody about it, I feel much better. It’s easy to keep things bottled up, but it’s so worth getting it sorted. My GP has discussed getting me to see a psychiatrist, and my Dad believes that this would be better than me relying on medication.
Have you ever suffered with mental illness? What have you done to combat the issues you’ve faced?