Alittle while back I posted about my own mental health issues. This post is short follow-up to that but if you rather not be reading this type of post(and enjoy sticking your head in the sand) this is a warning for you to quit.
Well I thank you for sticking around.
When I was first treated with a major depressive episode back in 2009, my doctor was a source of great support. Being in that desperate a state, I needed support that was understanding and also correctly applied. Part of the assessment was a short Q&A with one question being that asked, ‘do you have thoughts of suicide?’ or something along those lines. My answer was ‘no’ as I didn’t want to kill myself. But what my mind was trying to enforce into me that all was negative and that the only positive way forward could eventually lead me to considering that very dark decision.
I was prescribed 20mg of Citalopram↵ and beta blockers. The doctor warned me that it would take a least a month for me to feel a reaction to the Citalopram. This medication is a SSRI↵ and I believe worked wonders on me but looking back now, I’m glad I was patient and took the medication without fail.
Last week I finished my reduced course of 10mg after experiencing my second major depressive bout in 2013. I am now drug-free for the first time in almost two years and although glad that I am, it’s also a little scary too.
Being mindful of patterns of thought and behaviour allowed me to ask for help much earlier the second time around. I knew without help I’d spiral back to a time where I’d invite the black dog in. It’s far better to ask early than to leave it until you aren’t in a place to make that decision yourself.
That said, being mindful only gets you so far and I’m under no illusion that this may not be the last episode. Depression is a very sneaky condition (with many who suffer without recognising what they have) and life can seem to be treating you OK. It’s a very sensitive balancing act; being mindful and looking for negative patterns of thought while not being caught in a vicious circle of being over-critical of ones actions/thoughts.
Being drug-free feels a little like adventuring back somewhere you once knew well. Feelings are definitely feeling sharper but also liable to more spikes. I’ve also noticed the feeling of being cocooned less with a noticeable return of when adrenaline is in my system (my medication seems to have made a good job of either restricting this or masking its effects).
Future updates on how I’m getting on with my drug-free plan will be going up here but fear not fine reader, these will be very much where and when needed.