Seroxat. The Crash. Harness the Power.

by therapyjourney

My aim for today (as it has been every day for the past few days) is to have a nice day, without any tears. I have been crying every day. Today I realise I have nothing to be sad about. I have all the tools to change.

I made a start with my research and found out there are four main types of often-used mental health medication. These are antidepressants – to combat depression and anxiety. Secondly antipsychotics which treat psychosis and mania. There are benzodiazepines which treat anxiety. And lastly mood stabilisers are for bipolar disorder.

Looking at the list of symptoms I am not even sure what if any mental health condition I have and I’m not about to perform a self-diagnosis. All I can say is that I recognise some facets of every condition but my symptoms aren’t strongly aligned with any particular one. I guess the only condition that I know I have had in the past, and still feel to this day, sometimes very intensely, is depression.

Before I managed to get very far down my research route (I had been putting it off for some reason), I had a chat with my boyfriend, J, and he was extremely helpful in recommending an antidepressant to me. The drug is Seroxat and it’s an SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) which NICE recommends as SSRIs have fewer side-effects than other antidepressants.

According to the NHS website, Seroxat is used to treat anxiety, depression, panic disorder, OCD and PTSD. However, somewhat startlingly, some people “may find that it intensifies depression and suicidal feelings in the early stages of treatment. These people have an increased risk of self-harm or suicide in the early stages of taking Seroxat”. The tragicomic irony is not lost on me.

On paper, the drug is certainly viable for me. I have heard glowing reviews from J, who is very responsible in matters such as these. I have all but decided I will give Seroxat a go. But here’s the rub. I don’t live in the UK at the moment and so I doubt my GP back home will prescribe a drug to me knowing that I won’t be around for follow-up appointments and monitoring (and she already knows that I live abroad, as my respiratory consultant communicates with her). But it just so happens that in the country where I live, Seroxat is available over the counter.

It makes sense. I will medicate myself, with diligent research and close attention to my mental state, of course. I will err on the side of caution naturally and take slightly less than I think I can get away with. I can’t wait for the experiment to begin!

Something needs to change. I have a problem but I am by no means beyond help. Even day to day my mood is different and I wake up with incredible positivity some days which sometimes sustains for quite long periods. Life’s natural changes also contain healing within them. But I would like a break from what I call The Crash which brings with it so much pain, anger, confusion then remorse. The Crash with its endless, fetid aftermath is repulsive enough for me to resolve that enough is enough.

My new counsellor (!) my boyfriend, told me last night during a pep talk to Harness the Power. When I get the thought that I must control my emotions, it can actually be counterproductive as I end up shutting myself down and denying my feelings which only forces them out later in a violent outburst, like what happened on Robot Day. If I could only acknowledge the power of emotion, and convert it to productive ends.

The other takeaways were enjoy every moment, that’s what life’s for; be true to yourself, be kind to yourself and take consideration for those around you; you’re allowed to do whatever you want!

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