5 December 2018

CHOOSING TO GO ON MEDICATION


Having anxiety and struggling with this, panic attacks and a perfectionism disorder is something I've tried so hard to hide in the past. I didn't really know how to or want to talk about it. I feel like there is definitely a stigma still attached to mental health and the only way we are going to break that is by talking about it. I feel like there aren't enough people sharing their experiences with their struggle with mental health and how they are learning to cope with it. There is not enough people to relate to. I know that when I was looking into my options, I wanted to read about real people and how they decided what is best, not a factual NHS website. So, I wanted to share with you why and how I did a complete 180 on my view on going on medication to control my mental health issues.


I'm going to be completely honest - I didn't want to go on medication. Right from the get go I knew medication was something I didn't want to try. It was one of the reasons it took me so long to go and see my doctor and talk to him about what I was struggling with because I was so afraid of being put onto medication. I was willing to try every other way of controlling this. I have known I've suffered from anxiety and this obsession for perfection since my teens but it wasn't until June this year that I actually built up the courage to go and speak to someone about it. I say courage but in reality it was because I couldn't cope trying to manage all of these feelings and thoughts I have on my own. After doing it for eight years alone, I was burned out and drained of all of my energy. I needed help. I was diagnosed with anxiety and a perfectionism disorder with depressive episodes and talked about my options. Medication was mentioned but I was dead set against it - I didn't want to go on medication for a bunch of different reasons but the main one was because I still wanted to be me, I didn't want the medication to change who I was. I'd also read about the side effects and I just wanted to try other alternative methods. So, I was referred for CBT therapy and after my initial assessment was put onto a waiting list. This was back in July and I still haven't heard anything about my therapy referral. The thing with CBT and therapy referrals is that there is a huge waiting list because there are so many people who need help and there just isn't the money to fund it.


Whilst this post is called choosing to go on medication, in reality the reason I chose to go on medication was because at this moment in time, I can't see there being another option for me. My mental health has been getting progressively worse and I've started to be more self destructive than ever before. Last month, I relapsed self harming myself and after being free from that cycle for over six years it was a true low point for me. I can't control the thoughts in my head and how they are making me feel. I was loosing control and it was beginning to impact every part of my life. It was making me feel worthless and like I wanted to just give up. I was having more and more depressive episodes where I couldn't even get out of bed. I was drained mentally and started giving up on myself physically. I wasn't looking after myself and I had isolated myself so much that I felt so alone in it all. I was on the verge of a breakdown and if I'm honest I didn't see how I could get through it. So, right now medication is not only the best option it is my only option. To get my life back. To regain control and start to be myself again because the way I've been living is no way to live at all. It's not a life I would want for anyone.


I went back to my doctor and he prescribed be Sertraline straight away. I'm not going to lie the side effects are not fun. I've mainly been suffering with feeling nauseous, lack of appetite, dizziness, fatigue and heart palpitations. But, a week in and I'm already feeling so much like myself. I feel calmer. At peace. I still have feelings of anxiety but I can manage them so much better than before. I haven't had a major panic attack or felt self destructive in a few days and it is just the most freeing feeling. I feel like anxiety and my perfectionism disorder have kept in a prison for most of my life and I've finally been let free. I feel like I can finally be me. I feel like I can finally live.

Till next time,
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