If only it was that easy Mary Poppins!
It is a simple fact of life that, for those of us coping with anxiety and certain forms of depression, medication is key. No matter how many therapies we try, how many oils we breathe, how many zen like poses we sit in, we have to take the pills. This is something I really struggle with, I hate taking pills, even my daily vitamins, so to have to accept the fact that to get through the day and “function” I have to take one little white pill, really gets me down. I am convinced that every morning I swallow the damn thing it gets stuck in my throat because I really do not want to take it!
I had to start taking Citalopram because my anxiety levels were getting so bad that no matter how excellent the counselling, it would have had no effect. I needed to “even out”! I had to create a level playing field that would allow all the other things I have been doing to kick in. My reason for not wanting to take any kind of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs for short) was that a few years ago I had a really bad time coming off them. The memories of that time were not good, those I can remember that is, and at times the side effects were very distressing. I did exactly what my GP had told me and followed all the advice but the trauma of coping with a spinning world, walls appearing to collapse and permanent headaches was crippling. So you can imagine when I realised that Propanolol was not enough to help me this time, the anxiety went into overdrive, the over thinking through the roof and I felt like I had wasted all my efforts!
So what do you do? In my case I wrote out a list of questions for my GP, including all my worries about the side effects or the withdrawal issues of any SSRI. But this time I also included a list of questions of what the benefits would be, how would taking an SSRI help me? The GP prescribed Citalopram on a relatively low dosage so that, if required I could increase it if I had to face any difficult situations. She explained all about the possible side effects and what would happen if we decided I could come off the drug. Even after all this reassurance I have to admit that I still could not get it out of my head that I was going backwards taking this drug. Coming out of the surgery with that prescription in my hand, I felt so sad and handing it over to the Chemist felt even worse!
Then I remembered something my sister once said to me that “if it hadn’t been for effective medication” she would not have certain people in her life. An instance came into my head of when my anxiety had got so out control I nearly walked in front of a bus, if I had stepped off that pavement I would have been dead, so it was time to stop thinking, pull myself together and take the damn pills. I decided to focus on it as a bandage that I need to wear to help the healing process, something to smooth out the bumps to help clear my head and allow all my other hard work to start to make sense.
Yes, it may make me sad that I have to take meds but the sadness is outweighed by the benefits I am starting to feel. Still a bit to go but my spoonful of sugar aka progress is helping the medicine go down!
Note : any medication for forms of anxiety or depression should only be taken after consultation with your GP/Doctor.