Sunday, 14 January 2018

ME AND MY HEALTH – A DEPRESSION UPDATE AND CHANGING MEDICATION

Back in November I updated you on my life in general plus then on my diet, CFS and anxiety. (I will link them all below.) I have spent the last two months trying to find the courage to update you on my depression.

I have always been open on here about having depression I just haven’t shared much about it. That is because I find it the hardest thing to open up about and that is because it is the toughest and loneliest of my issues to deal with.

THE BEST VERSION OF KELLY - ME AND MY HEALTH – A DEPRESSION UPDATE AND CHANGING MEDICATION

I also frankly don’t understand my depression. I have suffered on and off for over twenty years and, yet it remains a mystery to me and I feel no better qualified to offer help, support or advice to other sufferers than a non-sufferer would.

I will at some point post about my depression story. For today I will concentrate on how I have been for the past few months.

My depression has always been biological (or chemical), as opposed to situational. In other words, nothing need be wrong in my life for me to suffer, it is simply the result of a chemical imbalance in my brain.

THE BEST VERSION OF KELLY - ME AND MY HEALTH – A DEPRESSION UPDATE AND CHANGING MEDICATION

For the last few months of last year my depression symptoms were present and I believe in this instance this was the result of a few factors. The chemical element was in play as I had been on a new type of ant-depressant for over a year and it had never suited me. Also, situationally I had been under an immense amount of stress for two years. In addition to that I was also trying to manage and come to terms with my CFS, although it had been two years since my diagnosis I was still only just accepting it.

I was also struggling with increased anxiety and I could tell I was going to crack completely if I wasn’t careful, so I asked the doctor to change my medication. (I have zero faith in doctors but that could be a post in itself!)

He explained I would have to stop the old pills (fluoxetine) then have a week with no pills before then starting the new ones (citalopram.) I knew citalopram suited me but also knew they always disrupt my sleep for around six weeks initially. So, I knew I would be worse before I was better, especially with the week of no pills.

The stressful situation seemed to be reaching a conclusion so rather than risk making myself worse during it I battled on. But the situation dragged on and on. In the end I felt no choice but to change the pills.

THE BEST VERSION OF KELLY - ME AND MY HEALTH – A DEPRESSION UPDATE AND CHANGING MEDICATION

Almost immediately after stopping the fluoxetine my anxiety felt improved. This gave me a high and I decided (stupidly) to try to cope with no pills at all. Unlike when I had stopped citalopram I found with fluoxetine I got no nasty withdrawal symptoms and could just stop without weaning myself off them.

After a few weeks my anxiety remained manageable, but my mood was getting lower, so I started the citalopram. As expected my sleep was badly disrupted and this in turn aggravated my CFS and lowered my mood, I find not sleeping so demoralising.

I coped by once a week taking an over the counter sleeping pill and once a week not taking the citalopram. This is all my own trial and error, the doctor shows little if any support, sympathy or advice.
After 8 weeks I was sleeping again, and the stressful situation had been concluded yet my mood was still very low, so I asked if I could double my dose of citalopram.

THE BEST VERSION OF KELLY - ME AND MY HEALTH – A DEPRESSION UPDATE AND CHANGING MEDICATION

That was around 8 weeks ago. My mood has greatly improved however I am still not sleeping unless I miss a citalopram pill or take a sleeping pill. I normally take my anti-depressant medication first thing in the morning as this seems to disrupt my sleep marginally less. The other day I took it at lunch time and only slept for two hours all night. I usually need at least nine hours to function and manage my CFS.

It is frankly a nightmare finding a solution that suits all my conditions! Yet I would always rather have good mood over the rest. As I am not currently working I can rest enough to compensate for the lack of sleep and thereby manage my CFS symptoms to a point. However, I achieve little and that is becoming increasingly frustrating.

I just keep hoping I get used to the pills and my sleep evens out soon. It usually does around this time but that is with the lower dose.

Anyway, not my most upbeat or entertaining post but I truly hope this is relatable and helpful to fellow sufferers and maybe informative to those who either don’t suffer or maybe considering a medication change themselves.

Feel free to get in touch through my social media if I can help further.

Thank you for reading.

Kelly x

Previous Update Posts: CATCHING UP WITH KELLY
                                      CFS UPDATE
                                      ANXIETY UPDATE
                                      DIET UPDATE
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