Welcome to the start of my weekly A-Z of Mental Illness. Each week I will be writing about a mental health topic that correlates with a letter of the alphabet. I have a few people doing guest posts along the way as well, just so you don’t have to listen to me drone on every week. I hope that through this alphabet of Mental Illness I will be able to spread a bit more awareness.
A is for antidepressants, or more specifically how many I’ve been on and how they didn’t quite work. First though, a little background information on what the hell and antidepressant is, because contrary to popular belief, they are not quick fix ‘crazy pills’. Sane.org states ‘People with depression and anxiety disorders often have an imbalance in certain natural chemicals in the brain. Antidepressant medications help the brain to restore its usual chemical balance and so reduce symptoms.’
Over the last 11 years I have been on 3 different antidepressant medications. All of these medications fell under the SSRI category. SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor and these medications work by increasing the levels of serotonin produced. Serotonin is a compound found in the central nervous system that is responsible for mood, appetite and sleep.
The first two medications that I was on, Zoloft and Luvox, were not much help at all. Providing no relief to symptoms that I was feeling. While antidepressants are not a cure all, they do help to alleviate some of the symptoms. Without antidepressants a lot of people struggle to even get out of bed in the morning.
I have just recently stopped taking an antidepressant that I had been on for the last 6 years., Prozac. I didn’t intentionally stop it at first. It started off with me running out of prescriptions and being in between GPs. After a few days, I hadn’t really noticed a difference. I asked Devil Papa if he had noticed a difference and he said that he didn’t. It’s clear to me that I do need to be on some sort of medication, Prozac however, had obviously lost it’s effectiveness.
Over the last few weeks I have noticed the side effects that I had over looked, slowly starting to subside. I no longer tap my foot for an eternity while dozing off to sleep, much to the delight of Devil Papa. I don’t get cotton mouth anymore and while still struggling with anger, I have noticed a decrease in my irritability. I have an appointment next week with Mental Health services to look into new medications. I am hopeful about finding something that takes the edge off. I know that it won’t be a cure, but I know that it gives me enough balance so that I can get out of bed in the morning. It makes the tasks that we take for granted, that little be easier to accomplish.