I’ve been on anti depressants for almost 3 months for anxiety.
When I was a child I suffered with depression, panic attacks and anxiety – I pulled my hair out constantly from ages 8 – 12, I would cut myself and occasionally would binge eat and then vomit it back up (omg the burning was awful).
I had counseling but never medication and eventually learned how to cope and not let depression and anxiety get me.
3 years ago, when my dad experienced his fast decline into dementia and I had to step up and be there for him – I experienced a new level of anxiety OI felt so alone and all the stress of being a mum of small children and the overwhelming pressure of my Dads declining health and mental health really weighed on me – panic attacks were a constant battle on and off over those years, at night when I was sleeping I would wake up in a panicked fright hallucinating slow, booming voices and strange objects that ballooned into my frame of vision.
Later, I’d sit up at night to guard against what felt inevitable: our house burning down, a murderer crawling in a window.
Imperceptible rejections could propel week-long crying jags, gentle self-harmings returned (digging my nails into my palms, slamming my head into the side of the shower, pulling out small clumps of hair, purposefully digging the razor into my leg till I bled) it all felt better than living inside my brain. One thought became eight thoughts became an endless, tangled river of possibilities, inadequacies, shortcomings, failures. In bad times, I would go weeks without eating a real meal, feeding myself on the crumbs of my dramas and the odd croissant.
Despite this, I believed myself to be generally fine. I did has a few sessions of therapy through age concern, things got better for a while and then slowly things declined again, every time Dad was sick I would freak out. Like MAJOR.
I stopped being able to sleep for more than a few fitful hours at a time, or eat without wanting to vomit.
Friends left me and other friends and family stepped up. It was a true angel of a nurse practitioner who finally suggested — after thyroid and dietary and allergy tests — that I might consider medication.
Today almost 3months on from my first tablet, I have no regrets. I feel more in control, I don’t feel jaded or un naturally “happy” I still worry and have had one panic attack since I have been on Citalopram.
I always wanted to be strong and never rely on Medication but for me this time being strong meant asking for help and trying medication. My thoughts are so much clearer and my emotions are more evened out.
I just want to share my story and say to you, if you are struggling, ask for help – you won’t regret it xx