Mental Health Diaries | 6 weeks on Anti-Depressants

30 March 2019

If you are new to the blog or my life on social media, you may not know that I have been suffering with depression. I was finally diagnosed in December, despite knowing I haven't felt my normal self for so many years. I'd been rejected from the doctors, told to smile by those around me and a counsellor even told me to try being positive in order to improve my depression. I've been through so many ups and downs throughout my childhood in terms of mental health and FINALLY found a solution that has benefited me in the most amazing ways possible. I wrote my first mental health diary post a couple of weeks ago if you want to read these in order (read that here) but if you just want to join now, I'm going to be discussing the effects of anti-depressants on my mental/emotion/physical health over the past six months of being on them.

The Taboo

Starting medication is always viewed as negative - family members and the media always seem to neglect anti-depressants, or only view them as the last resort. In some cases, including my own, it usually is the last resort because doctors and counsellors usually sway you to make other decisions first before beginning medication. However, after trying all these methods that did nothing more than make me more depressed, deflated and helpless, I knew that this had to be the next step for my own wellbeing. Don't get me wrong, I know SO many people that have managed to recuperate from methods such a CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) and yoga/meditating/exercise, so I'm so saying these are all useless. I just knew that they weren't helping me whatsoever - I've tried them all so many times over suffering with my illness over the past 5 years and nothing ever worked.

The Side Effects

Anyway, I began taking Sertraline daily since the beginning of February. My doctor told me that 6 weeks is usually the period where the medication hits its peak, essentially where it starts settling in to your bodily system and you usually notice a difference (if it's working for you). I'm currently on the smallest dosage they give, which I'm content with, as I knew it was appropriate due to the millions of side effects I'd researched. My lovely doctor had warned me to look up the side effects and check them out before I officially began; I searched the web thoroughly and was more than happy to go ahead. I also know a number of people in my life that I'm super close to and who were on the tablets too, which was another great way of researching how the medication had affected those around me.

To be honest, I regard myself super lucky with the side effects I've encountered. Nothing has been extremely inconvenient, painful or disruptive to my everyday life. The only three symptoms I received in the first two weeks of taking sertraline were: low sex drive, vivid dreams and light-headedness. Although I'm not a doctor, I feel like I also suffered a little with 'emotional bluntness', which I read about online and described how I felt perfectly (but I'm not going to self-diagnose!!). Anyway, the thing that seriously made me worry prior to the side effects were the dreams. I've suffered with lack of sleep for well over a year now and I didn't want anything else to negatively contribute to my dire sleeping pattern. However, the sertraline has calmed my anxiety HUGELY, alongside boosting my dopamine and serotonin levels; thus, I was able to sleep inexpressibly better than before. I have not felt more like myself since starting these tablets - my life has improved in a matter of one month and I'm absolutely thrilled.

The Result

Prior to starting my medication, my mental health was at its worst and I was diagnosed with depression. I honestly cannot remember the last time I felt genuinely happy - possibly when I was about 11/12 years old - but since then I have definitely struggled with a variety of mental health issues. Persistence has been my key to getting the results I needed to help support my mental wellbeing - I tried doctor after doctor, method after method, to try and get my happiness back. The only way that has worked for me has been antidepressants and I cannot be more grateful for them. Do not worry, I won't be relying on them for my entire life. Those close to me were worried about the addictive effect of antidepressants but I can assure you that the regular check ups with my doctor, and the thorough appointments I have with her, she will know exactly when it's fine for me to become independent again. This journey has been great so far and all I want to do is let others know that poor mental health is only temporary - you can change the way you feel and there are so many options to try to get your life back on track. I'm always a message, DM or phonecall away (no matter if you are a stranger, follower, friend or relative of mine).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and you're all doing well.

Lots of love

1 comment

  1. You’re such an inspiration, bloody love you x
    P.s it’s Jade Shannon from YouTube & insta again😂


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