There are a lot of question marks about medication used in the treatment of mental health conditions. I am currently on Sertraline which is an anti depressant and part of the SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) group of medications. What does it mean, and how does it work? I’ll go into that in later blogs.
Like all medications Sertraline comes with a long list of side-effects, some worse than others, and it is this part which raises the question; are they really worth taking?
There is no doubt that the Sertraline has helped me, especially in the early stages, but now I feel that it is actually hindering my recovery. One of the side-effects I have is night terrors, dreams in which I am really anxious to the point where I am paralysed in the dream. I often have massive fights in my dreams; it is where a lot of my rage and anger seems to come out.
What it means is that more often than not, I wake up more tired than when I went to bed, which has a huge bearing on my mood for the rest of the day.
I am tired of the night terrors; the fact that the Sertraline isn’t actually a cure for my anxiety and depression has made me question why I am on them?
A previous attempt to reduce the daily dosage did not go well (I consulted my GP before doing this); I was originally on 200mg and after 30 days I reduced to 150mg; after another 30 days I went down to 100mg and this is when I hit rock bottom, I just couldn’t function. I had the Milton Keynes Marathon coming up and I couldn’t get out of the house, so I went back up to 150mg and this seemed to do the trick.
I am having another go, and last week I reduced my dose to 100mg again; this time I have decided to record my journey as a video diary. I know it doesn’t sound very exciting but as part of the work I am doing I want to see if more natural treatments will work better. There are natural supplements you can take such as St John’s Wort and 5-HTP and I want to see if these are better than the prescription medication.
The alternatives are meant to be better for you and have no side effects, but I am doing some research into this which I will publish along the way.
The problem I have is that I have to get off the prescription drugs before I can take the natural supplements; it is safe to say that I have an addiction to these drugs because I am dependent on them to manage my mental health, and like getting off most addictions it is going to be one hell of a struggle. I guess I have quit smoking and dramatically reduced my alcohol intake, so I should be used to it by now……
Part of my plan is to take these diaries to the NHS as part of my quest to get them to consider other treatments for mental health disorders, rather than relying on medication.
So, here we go…… my first two video diaries.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
IMPORTANT INFO: Always consult your GP if you are thinking of making any changes to your medication.
If you are going to try natural remedies, it is best to seek the advice of a professional therapist to make sure they are right for you, and that you take the correct dosage.
Do not mix prescription drugs and natural remedies without professional advice, because they can interact in a negative way.