July Update – Antidepressants (part 1)

Once I realised I’d begun to spiral I made an appointment with my Dr with the intention of asking for an anti depressant, focus medication and anything, just any substance that would quiet the anxiety which had become ever so pervasive.

The day arrived and I dragged myself to the surgery commanding my brain to make sure I said the right words. The time in the waiting room appeared to drag and I grew more and more apprehensive, worrying that I’d lose my nerve to ask for the help that I sought. Without much preamble, once I was settled in the Dr’s office,  I said “My anxiety has been really bad lately and I need help”.

As expected, he outlined the various options available to me. He offered counselling which was a long term approach and would require going onto a waiting list till I could be allocated an NHS counsellor. And then he suggested medication. Although medication was what I came to the room to seek I was initially hesitant. I still wasn’t sure whether I was bad enough. I explains to him that my sleep was continually disrupted by the forever turning gears of my mind, that I had lost the ability to concentrate, that I’d gained a stone in a matter of weeks and that I had begun to pull at my hair as a coping mechanism. I said these things to convince him that my case was acute enough but I think, at least in part, as a method of self-assurance that what I was doing was the right thing.

He warned me that the effects I desired wouldn’t be immediate and then recited a non-insignificant list of possible side-effects including things like depression and elevated anxiety. I gulped a little when I heard those and doubt began to creep into my mind. But I needed a fighting chance in my studies. I didn’t, at the time, have the state of mind to absorb and retain new information and so I decided to take the chance. I pressed forward with the SSRI choice and he explained that the mood-related effects were generally shorter lived and that I would probably feel the positive effects after a month or so. We completed an anxiety assessment, he told me to expect some digestive issues and I left minutes later with my prescription in hand.

I was broke so had to wait a couple of days to pick up the medication. My attempts to study were almost in vain I spent much of the time ruminating pensively, deliberating over my decision.


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