Thursday, 10 March 2016

Mental Health || sertraline withdrawal & new medication

If you've been following my social media you probably already know I've had a shitty week. I came down with a shitty cold, came off sertraline so had fun withdrawal, and Dobby had to go to a new home. I feel like it's life giving me a kick for being so happy, and bragging about being so happy. I swear this always happens - I'm pootling along doing OK, not great, but OK, then BOOM shit all over my life. Always comes in threes as well...
 I'm not gonna go into exactly why Dobby had to go to a new home, but he is very happy, and my fam will be OK too. It was their dog after all, but with illness it was too much to have a pup. Saying that we would never have let him go anywhere but a loving home, we all love him and miss him. 

As for the sertraline withdrawal... what a fucking barrel of laughs that has been. Yesterday was the first day I felt well enough to venture out. I've thrown up, almost passed out, slept A LOT, not eaten much, suffered migraines, dizziness, confusion, slurred words, constant crying, no concentration. Sometimes it was funny and I'd go into a ridiculous laughing fit and get really giddy. I'd describe it as being drunk sometimes, but also like a bad hangover more of the time, and if you've ever done nos... well it kinda felt like that but not fun and all the time. Not that I'd know...

So a week of horrible withdrawal I feel better today, still have a bit of a cold, and have started new medication. I'm now on 10mg citalopram - anyone have any experience with it? Apparently the side effects are minimal which I'm keeping my fingers crossed for seeing as the first draft of my thesis is due in two weeks... and also the poster presentation. I think I'll manage though - I'm getting there! I wanna say to people who might be considering medication or going to the doctor and aren't sure about it - sometimes side effects and withdrawal may be sucky but it doesn't last long. It can be worth it too - sertraline HAS helped me. Although it made me feel a little numb it wasn't bad, it was much better than how I felt before. Without counselling though it's not enough for me, and if anyone's ever been trying to find a counselling service or sort your shit out... well you'll know how difficult it is! My uni only offer three counselling sessions 'cos they're so swamped, during mine they told me I need long-term counselling which they couldn't offer.

The long-term counselling isn't for depression, or anxiety, which I'm managing to deal with kind of, but to get to the root of the problem. The trauma from an emotionally-abusive relationship and bullying, which I talk about kind of openly. But there is a block at a certain point that I can't get past myself, I guess that's why it's called PTSD, and why I really need the counselling. Apparently CBT is right for PTSD? It's not a time of my life I want to re-visit at all, but it was four long years of growing up which according to my last counsellor I need to "re-own" whatever that means. Not looking forward to that... but I feel it's something I need help with. It's all well and good saying it's in the past and look how great my life is now ('cos it is) but brains are fucking weird and trauma just doesn't work like that. It gets stuck in short-term memory 'cos it can't be processed. And there it stays. Usually because it's too hard to process at the time. When I realised what was happening I just looked ahead to leaving uni. I knew the school wasn't going to help me.  It was numbing hell. 

I got the fresh start I needed at uni but guess fucking what?! Turns out that shit stays with you and niggles with every friendship. And other general self thoughts. It was hard, and still is, and I think I'm all out of words for now.

Fistbump if you made it to the end. Imma just publish this - grammatical errors and all! But this is from the heart people! And apparently with me from the heart = swears a lot more. Got any similar experiences? Share in the comments if you're up to sharing, or send me an email, or tweet me... ya know one of the many internet places we inhabit. 

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