At the beginning of the year, illness and I found myself in a state that I never thought would affect me; I was suffering from depression, pharmacy as well as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Now after nearly six months of beginning my treatment (http://www.lappthebrand.com/2017/02/22/what-really-happens-when-you-start-taking-antidepressants/), I’ve recently started to reflect on both my current mental state, and the changes it has made to my life.
First things first, I’m still on Citalopram. It was decided in April that my doctor did not need to see me for monthly check ins, and now just get a repeat prescription every month, so much easier than trying to book appointments. My side effects have nearly all decreased, or disappeared altogether, my sleep is back on track, memory is getting better, and whilst I’m still finding it hard to concentrate, it is a lot easier to bring myself to focus. I have also realised that my drinking capabilities have severely decreased, to the point where sometimes I can get tipsy from one glass of wine. At least it gives me more money for clothes…
My day to day anxiety has been one of the biggest changes. I have had zero panic attacks, an absolute miracle, and have no issues when undertaking long, complicated train journeys alone, something that previously would have had me worrying all day before hand. On the flip side, I seem to have anxiety around my actual medication; I feel like I can’t go out without it, I constantly check to see when my next prescription is due, I’m still taking it at night, but find myself irritable before I am due to take it, as I am genuinely scared of forgetting, to the point where I did actually miss a dose a few days back, and was upset with myself, even though the longevity of the chemicals in your body means it pretty much had no effect on me.
What am I finding tough though? Trying to get back to the old me, if the old me even exists. I went through 2016 bottling my emotions up, getting to the point where I couldn’t control them, however now, I’m finding it hard to understand whether my reactions and feelings are the correct ones. Sometimes the littlest thing makes me feel like exploding, yet on the other hand, I get really excited about pretty general things. I’m finding it immensely difficult working out how to feel again, I’ve been reassured that this is normal, but it often ends in me feeling very confused about how old Lauren would have felt.
I’ve also started to realise possible triggers/enhancers of my depression. A lot of soul searching and general thoughts about ‘settling down’ and having children of my own has led me to question my very strained relationship with my Dad. The part of me that yearned for his affection has matured into a very angry side that detests the fact slamming doors makes her anxiety heighten because it reminds her the past. I recently bumped into my ex’s friend, which led to my ex contacting me. Despite being over him, and in a fantastic, healthy relationship, I’ve realised that I bare emotional scars from the two years I was with him, things that I should have sorted, but instead ignored.
Last week however, I received some terrible news that has left me trying to figure myself, and life out. After a routine smear test, my Mum was informed that she is going to have to undergo procedures because her results show a high chance that her cells have become, or are well on their way to becoming, cancerous, and honestly ,it has really hit me hard. Since then, I have been very down, constantly working out plans for each possible scenario, and finding it very hard to control my emotions. Whilst all these are 100% normal reactions, suffering and trying to beat depression has led to me trying to figure out how to cope when massive situations happen, and picking apart myself and my behaviours to try and teach myself how I should be coping.
If we remove my mum’s health, I’m a much happier, more outgoing and fun loving person, yet I am now also fully aware that I am constantly at risk of this dark cloud coming back to drown me. I’m scared about what will happen when I return for a medication review, and if my GP decides to take me off medication, but I’ve decided that I am going to leave those thoughts until the time comes. For the time being, I’m just bobbing along, trying to hold on to hope and keep myself afloat, and that is totally okay for a person still healing.
Written by Lauren Priest