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Appreciating my medication. Friday November 29, 2013

When I saw that moodscope were looking for contributions, I decided it's my time to speak up. There have been so many days when my daily e mail from moodscope has picked me up and given me the inspiration I needed to muddle through my day.

Now I've finally made it to a brighter place, I want to share and hopefully help others in the same way.

I want to talk about medication.

My problem has been post natal depression, I am very sensitive to hormonal changes and the process of pregnancy and childbirth really emphasised that.

After my daughter was born, it was really tough for me to admit to not coping but I knew it wasn't just about me anymore, so I took the medication, grudgingly. The moment I felt better, I considered myself cured and stopped the pills.

More recently, I had my son. I knew the signs of PND, I was expecting it, but I was still mad about it. I was started back on the same pills, the same dose but this time I was somehow wiser, I was more honest with myself, more honest with the GP, and instead of resenting the medication, this time I appreciated it. Being honest led to the dose being doubled, and wow - I can honestly say I feel like a new person. I'm not talking about someone who walks around on cloud 9 all day, I'm talking about being the old me, the me that can function, the me that doesn't feel completely overwhelmed by the thought of putting a load of washing in the machine.

If I had a physical, visible problem I know that I never would have had a problem taking the required medication. Yet somehow because I felt like a failure needing medication to be 'normal me', I resented it.

It might not seem the perfect solution in the beginning, but to feel happy and balanced is not something I will take for granted again.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 8:57am

I take (begrudgingly) medication. I am trying to come off them. My stbx made things worse. The one thing I want to be is happy and stop the negative thoughts

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 9:02am

Great post Adele. I did write a really long comment, but this blasted site swallowed it instead of publishing it. 2nd time this week - grrrrr. Do write more, Adele - we are stronger when we band together and support each other.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 9:05am

I have been on Prozac for around 15 years.Without going into my life story,a combination of genes,past experiences and current circumstances had created a set of brain wiring that went way beyond talk therapy.The G.P who initially prescribed it was also a homeopath(I take no other prescribed medicines)but she was delighted at the results of the drug for me and other patients.It amuses me that friends who are struggling will be horrified if I suggest anti-depressants,but cheerfully rattle off a list of statins,beta blockers.thyroid pills etc.that also cause nasty them- nasty side- effects.My lovely Vitamin P helps me cope,and stops my hands and feet turning blue in the cold.What's not to like?

Julia Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 9:37am

I agree. My Dr told me there is more harm in eating nitrates from cured meat than taking anti depressants.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 9:40am

Thank you for this post, Adele. It has inspired me to speak up to my doctor that my current meds are doing nothing for me and that I want other ones. This sentence did it: "I'm not talking about someone who walks around on cloud 9 all day, I'm talking about being the old me, the me that can function, the me that doesn't feel completely overwhelmed by the thought of putting a load of washing in the machine." I just want to be the old me again, the old me that can function and doesn't feel overwhelmed about putting the laundry on or going shopping or even just making a meal. Thank you.

Julia Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 9:46am

That's so true what you say Mary. About us banding together and supporting each other.How annoying for you losing your comment. This often happens to me in France when I post so now I know to save my comment before I click on "publish" when I am there. It hasn't happened here yet touch wood.

AnnieF Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 9:55am

Good morning everyone and thank you for your post, Adele. My first diagnosis of depression came over forty years ago but a friend recently passed me Tim Cantopher's Depressive Illness: The curse of the strong and there, at the end of paragraph one, chapter one it says about depression "It is a physical illness". It has always affected me physically so these are magical words which mean that it's not because I'm weak-willed and weak-minded. He goes on to say that mood is controlled by the limbic system so I'm reading up and learning more.
I, and other sensitive people I know, am aware when I meet other people with depression.
So, depression as a physical, visible symptom of a wonky limbic system. Quite a mind-changer.
I'll share what I find but, in the meantime, will keep taking the tablets.
With love.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 10:10am

Such a good post Adele and really strikes a chord with me. After a long time of taking various anti-depressants on and off, the last batch caused v frequent high and low moods and ended up with me becoming very ill. Psychiatrist then recommended a new, safer med for high moods but lifting the low moods and I was very wary about taking it, not just because of past experience but because I knew I would prob be on them longer term. So glad I started to take them because 6 months later, my mood has stabilised much more and like you, I feel more able to cope and more back to normal. No meds are a cure all but they can help and like some comments above, people don't bat an eyelid taking pills for physical problems, why should it be any different for mental health?

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 10:17am

Hear hear. Good blog. Resonant comments.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 10:52am

Well done. You're an inspiration. Thank goodness for your frankness

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 11:19am

You are lucky PND is now recognised. When my 3rd son was born 51 years ago I felt awful - should have been so happy - led to years of ups and downs - ricoched on the child as well. Anon France

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 11:24am

I had the worst cramps ever. Also I had major epression. My doctor told me that taking hormones was the ONLY way to stop the cramps which I was hospitalized for several times and that they would help my mood. I didvt want o take any more pills though. My naturopath said no you don't need to take those pills. They are not specifically designef or your exact hormone levels made me a tincture with several different herbs. I took 5ml each day. The tincture signals to the part of the body teskinsuvje fior hormone production that it's time to balance them-by the body's own mechanism. The next period I had no cramps at all and also my mood was better. Also taking omega six w evening primrose 3x per day helped balance my mood. Naturally. I am also taking B6 and zinc bc they promote the absorption of seretonin the feel good neurotransmitter. You don't have to take hormones if you don't want to.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 11:31am

You're so right-being balanced and happy is the gateway to everything! So what if we've to take a tablet or two to make it happen-it's sooooo much better than the alternative!!!

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 12:16pm

Can people that have responded so far with positive news about meds please state which meds they are on. Like one 'anonymous' I was on meds but started to get overactive periods feeling highs flowed by crashing to a low. I came off citalopram to see if this would help, but after about 3 months became depressed again. Now very low and trying CBT rather than meds, but it is not working. Don't know if I should start citalopram again or try something new. My GP is going to meet with me again next week to see if I should continue to try Anyone have any advice?

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 12:22pm

The first doctor who ever prescribed anti-depressants for me described them as being like the crampons mountaineers use - you still have to do the climbing to get out of the dark valley, but the medication gives you a little extra grip. I've been on and off medication for the past ten years (currently off) and I've had a love hate relationship with it. Love that it lifts the painful weight of depression, hate that I lose touch with my authentic self; love that it pulls me up out of the depths of despair, hate that it flattens my mood at the top too; love that it keeps me going, hate that I need help to keep going. But most of all I've learned, medication or not, I still have to do the climbing day by day!

Julia Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 12:53pm

I have a love hate with anti depressants too or at least with the ones I have taken in the past namely Prozac and Citalopram. Many years ago, the lowest dose of Prozac "worked " for two weeks then stopped working unaccountably. Citalopram which I took a couple of years ago was amazing for about 6 months. I was the happiest I had ever been for about 30 years. I started on 20mg and after a while it stopped working so I increased the dose (on the Dr's advice) to 40mg and it worked for a while but suddenly stopped one afternoon. I remember that feeling knowing I no longer felt happy, in a split second. About a year ago I went back to my Dr to ask for some more and he said I needed a boost and started me on 40mg. I stupidly told a so called friend that I was taking them again and she said some very negative things about anti depressants which clearly must have had an effect on me because the 40mg never kicked in and I didn't feel any better so came off them. I was devastated. I tried Prozac later but they did nothing for me; in fact I thought they might be fake imported Prozac or a placebo, so negligible were the effects. Again on the minimum dose though. Why can't the drug companies produce ad anti depressant which actually works for everyone? We are all told that we each react differently to drugs so surely an anti depressant can be tailor made to suit us? They get it right with cancer and hypertension etc drugs, why not anti depressants? But I am cheered to hear that many of you have been and are helped by them long term. I just need to find the right one for me I guess but I worry the trial and error will mess with my brain..

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 1:24pm

Great post...and very apt for today. After 20 years of struggling, muddling and fumbling along through manic mood changes and horrible depressive episodes which have had me screaming at my kids like some demented monster, I finally went to the doctor today and got some Anti-Depressants. Took my very first one one hour ago. Feel a bit numb and deflated about taking them, but I know it's the right thing. Thank for your post. The bit about the washing is so very very true.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 1:26pm

Yes I love this metaphor of the drugs being the crampons & still having to do the climbing. I also hate that I need help to keep going. After nearly 30 years of depression without help, drugs & a little counselling are life savers for me at the moment. But I must keep on climbing. Good luck to everyone.

Neil Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 2:14pm

Hi Adele,

Excellent post. Being a man so I cannot really relate to PND but I have fought depression and mental health issue most of my life. When I was younger I would be put on medications and then I would be taken off of them or ask "when I would be taken off" but about 23 years ago after an episode I told my doctor I wanted to stay on meds. He put me on Prozac and Orap and they really worked for me for a long time. But after a the last few years of major stress at work and at home and using to much alcohol I had and bad episode and needed to be hospitalized and my medication where all changed. I am currently on Ciprelex in the morning and at night I take serequel to help me sleep and resperidone to help with my thoughts. I am finishing up a 15 week Mental health Day Treatment program and plan to return to work the first of Feb. So yes in my opinion meds are important. Your posting was excellent and good timing.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 3:28pm

I was on proxac for 5 years and dont feel it made any difference. Felt dr didnt help much. One day new dr so we together decided to change drug. She sent me on waiting list to mental health nurse. This nurse after lots of questionsbi answered said I was not answering them properly then asked to see my fingers. Upon inspection said he saw no evidence of the blood tests I said I did-im diabetic and do 4-6 tests a day - and that he would know cause he deals with people who do drugs, there fore im a liar and wasting his time and he sent me away! !! As you can imagine I was upset. So my gp said after all that she'd do the drug change. She took me off prozac for 10 days gradually then went on to setraline 150 now. What I do know from that break is that certain physical pains came back and the setraline got rid of it. So good for that. But im not sure about other effects. I have learnt it is meant to help with anxiety too....but ive had to work hard on that with other things like EFT CBT....councelling...and still working at

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 7:27pm

I'm so glad you spoke up Adele, and so refreshing to read a post in the first person.
I agree meds have an important role and accepting that I have to take them for ever has taken me 25years of experience having Bipolar Disorder. CBT, Mindfulness and endless self management play a big role in keeping on track though too.
Good luck to everyone and thanks again Adele.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 10:22pm

I found this post really resonated with me. I hated taking the medication, I hated the side effects and I hated having to take it at all, I suspect I came off it too soon as I was desperate to be rid of it, but wow did it make a difference. It makes me wish I had known how it would make me feel sooner, I might not have given up the first time and I could have been this mentally healthier me a long time ago! Thank you for sharing.

Julia Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 2:09pm

I felt like this when the Citalopram worked on me for 6 months. I wished I'd tried it years and years ago as I had suffered for so many years before taking the plunge and trying it. I wondered why all depressives were not on an anti depressant if they made you feel that good. But then as I explained earlier, they stopped working for whatever reason and it was then I sort of thought..Ah, that's why there are still depressed people around. Anti depressants do not always work. I assume you are back on them and continuing to feel great. Great stuff! I just need to find the right one for me. At least that's what I think.

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