My Mental Health Journey, Part 2

A month ago, I shared my first post about my mental health journey. I talked about my struggles and how I had spent years telling myself that nothing I was going through was all that bad. That I was over exaggerating. I talked about finally talking to my doctor and getting professional help.

For myself and for anyone who might be where I was or am, I wanted to share my continuing journey.

For a little over a month, I’ve been taking escitalopram (Lexapro). This SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) is generally prescribed to help treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I’m taking it mainly for my GAD. Now, I’m typically one who tries to avoid taking pills. I get concerned about addiction and becoming reliant on anything. I knew that I needed to try something to help with what I felt was a continuously worsening anxiety disorder.

My doctor explained to me that with the low dose he wanted me to try, there was only really a risk of possible weight gain but the next three months would give us a base line of sorts to see if this was a good option for me. So, I started to take the pills. Immediately, I noticed some changes. I was still anxious for the first few days but I found that I was constantly nauseous, had very little appetite, was extremely tired and, at times, weak. Not to mention a few other side effects that I later found were common with this medication. The worst part of it was probably the headache. For almost a full two weeks, I had a non-stop headache and the only way to relieve it was to sleep.

Not good.

Eventually, it seemed like my mind and body were processing the drug better. I was a lot less anxious. I felt better. I felt like I was back in control of my mind again. It seemed like the pill was working. It still seems that way. So much so that when I missed one day this week, I noticed a sudden difference. It was insane how just missing one day made a noticeable difference.

I guess that shows that it works!

So this is where I am. I’m continuing on with my daily dose of escitalopram and I try to journal every day. I write how I’m feeling or note any symptoms I might be experiencing, especially early on. I’m being more open about my mental health and it has been making all of the difference.

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