Sunday, November 01, 2015

Go Drugs!

So, I didn’t wait until I got back to England to start on the antidepressants. I got tired of feeling like shit and decided I must do something about it now. Past experience of depression has led me to believe that my problem is the usual one i.e. lack of serotonin. When I had before I tried everything but going to the doctor. I tried St. John’s Wort, B vitamins and stuff like that, but what really worked was 5-htp (to quote: a metabolic intermediate for the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin, melatonin and tryptophan)  Anyway, I’ve been reading up on various drugs and their effects and from what I read it struck me that the newer SSRIs were pretty good. Also talking to someone who deals with prescribing them helped me come to a decision.

From this person I was talking to I got the name of an antidepressant she thought best for my problem; escitalopram. I wrote this down on a piece of paper and went to see a doctor in Koutsouras. He checked me over and then sorted out a prescription for me. I even got to use my health card and reduce the cost. I got the drug I suggested and Xanax to deal with the worst of the panics. He also lined me up for some blood tests and a heart check which I haven’t been able to get to yet.

On the first day I took half a Xanax, which very quickly started to work on the tight stressed feeling in my chest. In the evening I took 10mg of escitalopram. Now, subsequently, I have heard from people that it doesn’t work for them, or it takes months to work, or you get worse before you get better. Others told me that it kicked in in a few days or, usually, 10 to 14 days. I felt better immediately on the next day. The stressed feeling was coming down and when I had a sleep on my sofa I woke up for the first time in a while without panic attacks. Whether this was still due to the Xanax, or the other drug working, or due to the fact that I felt good about actually doing something, I don’t know. Don’t care much either.

The next day I felt slightly shaky in the morning, as if from too much caffeine, but that quickly passed. While in the local town of Sitia, waiting in a hairdresser’s for someone, I suddenly realised I felt good. I felt calm, confident, no stress, no anxiety or nerves. Later this transformed into a euphoria. Everything looked brighter and I seemed to be seeing my surroundings more. I in fact felt a little manic, a little high. Later I went down a little but not much.

In subsequent days the panic and anxiety left me. I’ve felt a little low on occasions but I think this is more due to some present circumstances than the chemicals in my brain, or maybe I haven’t been on the drug long enough to lose the depression yet. I don’t know. We will see. In the mornings I feel quite sleepy while in bed and often during the day too. When I get up and have some tea I feel a little shaky too, but briefly. Last night was my first 20mg dose so it’ll be interesting to see what occurs. 

Go drugs!     


Subrata Sen said...

Neal, great job recognizing a problem and taking further action when the first steps don't work. Depression itself could have stopped all further progress. But you're stronger than that. Carry on!

Kristin said...

It's been heart wrenching, inspiring, and heartening following your blog. Sometimes admitting more help is needed is far, far stronger than how many miles cam be walked or how much weight a person can lift. Glad to hear you've found some much needed relief!

David said...

SSRI's can be a beautiful thing

Speaking from experience I'd recommend adding "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy". Both it and SSRI's can work well on their own but together they can achieve great things.

You're not alone, there's a lot of us pulling for you chum.

Cannae said...

Really, really pleased to hear something is helping. It's tough to accept that you need help with your head - no-one ever tells me that they are sure they can fix their appendicitis themselves, they just need to be less pathetic.
The way you tell if it's working for you, is seeing if it is working for you. The brain is orders of magnitude too complex to know what it does even before you add external drugs.
But agree it would be a good idea to have a doctor or therapist you can see regularly, you need someone batting on your side.
I mean, you've got us, but we're not exactly reliable...

Thud said...

Small steps but hopefully you are moving into a better future.

Dan G said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better. Go easy!

Anonymous said...

You should get your testosterone levels checked. Depression is often a side effect of low testosterone.

Book Stooge said...

Thank you for sharing what you have in these posts. Sometimes I forget that "authors" are people too and have issues just like me.
Party on dude!