Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My Trip With Clinical Depression

Over the last 10 years I've endured all sorts of different medication for depression, but I have also seen how the NHS has changed in this country when dealing with someone whose depressed. Not long ago I had to go back to see my doctor, tears rolling down my face as I told him how I could hear voices in my head, my partner was talking about ending our relationship, the desire to kill myself was at an all-time high and I didn't have the energy in me to even get out of bed. It was serious and I needed to speak to someone about it as clearly I was not well at all.

Going back 10 years I went to see my doctor after my mom was very sure I was suffering with depression (something she suffers with and many family members on her side also did too so not exactly rocket science that I could also be in trouble) but back then depression wasn't really taken all that seriously by doctors. For a long time I was just bounced between different anti-depressants after having bad reactions. The one I remember is being on the college bus which stopped at the two colleges in the town and the first stop was my college. I took my anti-depressant after having breakfast as I was told it was best to take it after eating so I did just that and hopped onto my bus. I didn't get off at my stop and I found the driver trying to wake me up telling me this was the last stop. I realised I was at the wrong college and had to run all the way back to my college, missing part of my first class. The head of Media Studies knew I was on anti-depressants anyway so when I told them what had happened they seemed fairly cool with the fact I had missed the first half of a double lesson.

I soon started to detest the fact I was on these pills and how I never felt any better. With the doctors being not very supportive I weaned myself off them and carried on life trying to be normal without the anti-depressants making me feel sluggish. Sadly it didn't work very well as you can probably tell.

During my pregnancy the midwife and the doctors knew about my family history and my own history of depression so were very wary that I may suffer it again after giving birth. A few months in I was in my doctor's office telling him how I felt like I was a cow locked up and couldn't go anywhere without my son glued to me (I was breastfeeding and probably could have done more in the way of expressing) and even had thoughts of suicide. I was asked to do a survey which asked me on a scale of one to ten about certain things like suicide (one being never thought of it and ten being have self-harmed), getting out of bed (one being okay and ten being barely have energy) and so on and so forth.

These days they won't give you a repeat prescription for anti-depressants unless they know all is okay and you aren't going to go totally off the handle. For a long time I had to go back once a month to see my doctor, chat for a bit and then pick up my pills, then finally this changed to every three months. I've done the survey a few times during this period and shown some improvement.

Suddenly it all went downhill and now they have pushed me up from 20mg to 40mg. I've also been recommended to see a specialist doctor in the hope to find out what exactly is wrong with me and if anything else can be done other than just throw pills towards me.

At the moment the high dose seems to be working. I've had a few days where I've randomly fallen asleep as I just felt like someone stuck a sedative in me or something, but I do feel less aggressive, less depressed and no longer hearing so much noise in my head. The downside is I've become even more forgetful than usual to the point it's very noticeable. Hopefully over time this will wear off. Wish me luck on my journey with coping with Clinical Depression!

If you suffer from any form of depression then see your GP and they can help find what is best for you. Don't be scared in admitting you may have depression, the only way to fix it is to get help and admitting you need help makes makes you a strong person. It's not easy to take those first steps but it'll do you the world of good.
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