I remember a time when this blog was full to the brim of posts about depression and anxiety. It was a time in my life where I couldn’t see any way through the haze of emotion and upset and this blog was then my outlet for it all.
Oh how time can change a situation. I may not post so frequently about it these days, but my battle with those two constant visitors is still ongoing.
Saved By Sertraline
It mus be nearing five months now since I took the plunge and sought medical help. I was given what I now call my ‘saviour’ – Sertraline – an anti-anxiety come antidepressant that has literally saved my life.
Before taking this drug I was a mess, I won’t lie. I couldn’t play with my kids, couldn’t muster the energy to do much more than some of the most basic tasks and couldn’t bring myself to step outside of my front door. I was awash with feelings of inadequacy, guilt, self-deprecation and thoughts of my family being better off without me. I felt like a failure with no dreams and aspirations and many times, ending it all seemed like the best choice.
Five months on and things have changed dramatically. Most days life doesn’t seem so bleak any more. I have more energy, more patience and no-longer find myself shouting and being frustrated so much. The arguments with my other half have almost diminished (although we still argue now and then – we’re only human) and I’ve found myself doing nursery runs, nipping to the shops and not caring so much about the eyes that look my way.
It’s been liberating almost. The fog that was a permanent feature has cleared somewhat and thinking is a bit easier. I’ve also noticed that letting go of things, is no longer so difficult.
The Down Side
There are however, side effects to taking Sertraline for depression and anxiety, as there are for every drug you introduce to your body. They vary from person to person and tend to be worse at the beginning, yet they’re still an annoyance.
Since taking Sertraline, I’ve found I’m sweating much, much more than I ever did. Considering sweating is one of the things that makes me anxious, it’s a bit like a double edged sword. The night sweats are the worst – waking up drenched in the middle of the night is far from pleasant but I keep telling myself that it’s a price I’m willing to pay for feeling so much better.
Other side effects I’ve experienced are tremors and shakes in my hands, a dry mouth and incredibly vivid dreams and nightmares. I’ve always been an imaginative dreamer but now it’s almost every night that I wake with a sinking feeling. I once woke startled from a nightmare and burst into tears in-front of the kids because it all felt so real.
Then there is the insomnia, influenced by it all.
So I’m sleep deprived, sweaty and shake needlessly and at the most inappropriate times. In return I have more confidence, I feel stronger and have dreams that I want to fulfil. My children are happier, my eldest is better behaved and it’s put me in the position where I can work in order to give my family the things that they need.
I slip now and then and dive into depression as if it’s an ocean willing me to return. However these times I don’t dive so deep and it’s easier to come up for air.
What are your experiences of antidepressants, Sertraline in particular. Have you had similar side effects and did the drug ultimately help?