A Mental Health Update

Monday, November 06, 2017

I figured it was time to give you guys an update on my mental health, especially as there's quite a few changes happening with me mentally. Mainly just two major things right now, which I have noticed that quite a few of the people I see online are discussing things around these topics (especially with World Mental Health Day being sort-of recent) so I thought I'd share my input on what's going on with me.


I'm about to stop taking my meds

I have been wanting to come off my medication (Citalopram) for a while, but have finally come around to actually deciding on doing it. Currently, I haven't actually started yet, but I have discussed it with my doctor and am very soon to be ready. I've been on this medication ever since I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression about three and a half years ago; things were rough and I honestly was struggling, medication for me at the time (although after being given the script, took me a week to actually go to the pharmacy as I was quite nervous) seemed like it was the only option. I am so thankful that this was an opportunity that I was able to have, and a choice I had easily available.

The thing with coming off my medication is that antidepressants effect your mood, emotions and thoughts; so when you "muck around" with it, there can be some drastic effects. For those of you who don't know, going on and coming off antidepressants and any kind of mood stabilisers is quite tedious as it's very dangerous. You can't just go on and go off them willy nilly, you need to ease yourself by upping or lowering the dosage very slightly over weeks. And because I'm quite petite, I need to be even more careful.

I currently take two pills of my medication per day, so I will have to go down to one and a half for a few weeks, then one for another few and so on. Whilst doing this I need to be "monitored". I have spoken to my boyfriend, my flatmates, some of my friends and some of my workmates about this, so that they know to look out for the warning signs of something going wrong. This may be withdrawing myself socially, not taking care of myself, not enjoying things I usually do and so on.


This brings me onto the second things that is changing, I'm starting to see a therapist.

I went to counselling a couple of times back when I got onto my medication, as I needed a certified professional to diagnose me (anxiety and depression) and give my doctor essentially permission to prescribe me antidepressents. I went a couple of times, felt like I got everything off my chest and at the time didn't feel like I needed to go again.

It hasn't been until the past few months where I felt that just talking things out with my friends and family that I've realised that I need to see a professional again (no offence to the people I talk to, it's just that a professional would probably be better for me, especially as I'm coming off my meds and them being a third party in the situation). I've been recommended a therapist and have been given some positive feedback from a good friend who is very similar to me personality-wise, so I hope there's a click and a connection that I can continue on with the therapist.

As I write this, it's the day before my first therapy session and I am probably 70% excited and 30% nervous. I'm excited because this is a long time coming, and because I feel like I am more freely able to speak about my thoughts and feelings without worrying about what the person I'm talking to is thinking or how saying stuff aloud will effect them. I'm nervous because when I went to counselling I basically poured my heart out on things that have been giving me anxiety for most of my life, and because this is a new therapist and a new practice, I'm going to have to open up and say all those things again; and I don't really want to do that, but I understand I'll have to.

(PS, I just had my first session and I quite enjoyed it - as much as you can with these kind of things!)


I'm thinking of when it comes down to coming off my medication I may do a diary kind of blog post where I write down one thought I have each day as I go through this and collate them into one post; I feel like it'd be interesting for myself to look back on, and you guys may be curious. I obviously wont publish anything that may be triggering for anyone to see, but I think it might turn out fairly interesting?

I am also thinking of doing a blog post similar to this on how I feel after so many months of being off my medication and having been to therapy somewhat regularly. I have had a few friends tell me of their experiences of doing both of these, and it may be a good resource for people who are possibly on the fence of making the call to do these.


Have you done either of these; come off a mood-stabilising medication or go to therapy? How did you find it? I think it's going to be quite a rollercoaster but I have hopes for the future that it's not going to be as scary as I think it'll be.

- Louise x

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