Changing my Medication – Week 5

It’s been a full week taking Sertraline, 50mg, a day. My anxiety is still very high and the intrusive thoughts that rule my life haven’t gone either.

I have noticed that I’m not as sleepy as I once was. Although I do still take naps they are not as long as they used to be or as frequent. Maybe this is the change in motivation that I’ve been looking for to start losing weight again.

On Monday I had something of a disastrous appointment with my psychologist in which only one of the three people that were meant to turn up did. It didn’t help my anxiety and nothing was achieved of it. A complete waste of time.

The sunshine has also given me something of a mental boost. I’m going to use that as much as I can in the hopes of getting things done as well as making me feel better.

We are still on the early days of this new programme however I’m going to keep hopeful.

I won’t update you now for a while. I want to see how things go, but as soon as the meds have settled I’ll post about them again.

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On The Radio Air Ways

Yesterday I was invited to join the cast of BBC Radio 5 Live Drive to talk about obsessive compulsive disorder. It was my first time ever on the Radio so my nerves were high and I think I rambled a little as a result.

The sports station was covering the topic due to a short film (link below) on a woman, Gemma, that uses body building to cope with her condition. There is also a video with Colson Smith (link below), who I’m sure you remember from a previous post. He talks about how he hopes his character on ‘Coronation Street’ will help others.

During the 20 minute talk we hear from several OCD suffers, along with my fellow guest Skye Bagshaw, as well as leading Professor on the subject, Prof. Paul Salkovskis.

Even for me I found the testimonies very emotional as well as enlightening. Two individuals also mentioned how they named the intrusive thoughts which helped them recognise them as not their own desires or wants. Something I might try myself.

I do recommend a wee listen to the show and if you would be so kind as to give me feed back on it I would love that.

For the broadcast the talk start at 2:35:45.

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Changing my Medication – Week 4

Sertraline. The name of the new drug in my life. It has taken over Prozac and it’s nice to know that the pills are so much smaller too.

That’s important because it makes it easier to swallow.

For the first week of taking them I was told to only take half a pill. It was hardly noticeable, like taking a bite out a tic tac.

As with all new meds at the very beginning I felt nothing. A few days in I started to get the feelings. It wasn’t the main purpose of the drug but one of the many possible side options.

Oh, by the way if you ever read the possible side effects of your medication you are sure for a laugh. This one, under ‘rare’, the possibility of a 4 hour erection just makes me chuckle. Also, ouch!

Most of the week I have been exhausted. My feet have been sore, as if I have ran a marathon, and on one occasion I even passed out as soon as I got home from work.

I will add that I have not done anything I wouldn’t usually do so this is the drug.

While I am waiting for the meds to actually do what it is meant to do I’ve noticed my anxiety levels spike. My OCD behaviour is stupidly annoying which only adds to my panic.

I’m convinced that random people in the street have noticed me do my rituals. One man even asked if I was alright right.

Why do I still feel embarrassed telling people it is my mental illness playing up?

I’ve started on the full pill now so I’ll inform you on how that goes shortly.

I’m trying to remain optimistic. I really do believe it helps.

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Changing my Medication – Week 3

So far I have been decreasing my level of medication to zero. This is so that the old stuff can slowly get out of my system without being too much of a shock and to make sure it doesn’t conflict with the new stuff I’ll start taking soon.

The last week I was without any meds for the first time in years. As I mentioned in my last post intrusive thoughts were creeping in making me more anxious and now that there was nothing to inhibit them they were coming quick and hard.

I was doubting myself more than usual. Putting items in front of the doors at night just in case someone was to come in uninvited. I was weepy, although that could have been combined with the fact I was also physically sick and home alone for the weekend. And to top it off I just wanted to sleep all day.

My sense of accomplishment disappeared, not doing anything but sleep. It made me feel worthless.

I did what I could to fight the thoughts and continue going on. It’s worked at keeping the bad thoughts at bay.

Needless to say I have survived the week.

Tonight I start on the new drug. I’m terrified. I don’t know how my body and mind is going to react. I’m scared of losing my thoughts and/or control of myself. And I don’t know if it is going to work at all.

Doubt and fear are my old friends.

There is only one way to find out how this will end. I’m lucky that my current doctor is really good and has promised to check in on me regular. If things go bad fast I’m sure we can fix them together.

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Changing my Medication – Week 2

This post comes a little later than I’d like but for good reason which I’ll explain as I go on.

To update you on my journey so far I have been reducing my current meds, Prozac, until I am off them completely. After which I will start on a new drug. Over the last week I have gone down to only 1 pill, 20mg, a day from the previous week of 2 pills, 40mg, a day.

So you are wondering how have I been feeling with this change and if it has had any major impact. Well yes it has and I could feel better.

You thought I was gonna say no, didn’t you?

The first few days my anxiety levels were stupid high. I was having attacks during my sleep where my dreams seemed so real that I believed them to be true. My body then became weak. I’m sure that was the result of the increased anxiety, lack of sleep as well as a reduced desire to eat.

After the initial few days of that I was able to push my way through and get on with things as normal. Well as normal as can be.

What I have noticed is that my intrusive thoughts have been creeping in stronger again. My OCD behaviours and depression have started to grab me when they can. All of which is making me feel like a complete failure on life.

At the moment I am off Prozac all together. The results I’ll tell you about next week. What I will share with you now is that the last 4 days have been very hard. Emotionally and physically (I ended up with a bad stomach bug that has knocked me useless).

Anyway onwards and upwards. Until next time.

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Racism and Me

I wanted to share my experience with you as a minority member in the UK in hopes that it would give you an idea as to why change is important.

Before I begin I would like to add that racism is not just the view that other races are inferior to white skins. It can be found in any place where the majority population looks down on the minority.

Growing up I didn’t really know that I wasn’t same as everyone else. As a child you don’t see the world like that. I grew up in a white area and our family was the only coloured skin people within it.

The first time I had seen racist hate was when a brick was thrown through our living room window and my mother told us to hide behind the sofa. She turned the lights off while she called the police and I remember hiding in fear. I must have been about 6 or 7 at the time.

As time has gone on I have become used to people shouting ‘go home Paki’ from their car windows or looking at me like I’m about to steal some thing from their shops. It hurts every time to the point I go home in tears.

This has played on my mental health encouraging my depression and paranoia that people are watching me. It’s doesn’t help that my OCD also gives them something to look at when I try to perform my rituals.

In light of all the terror attacks my anxiety is always higher when I visit the city.

‘Report suspicious behaviour,’ the announcements call out.

What’s more suspicious that a tall Asian man pacing and talking to himself as he tries to calm down.

I would like to say that’s the end of it but within the LGBT community being a different race also has it’s barriers. I can be seen as a novelty or something unworthy to be with.

Within my own ethnic group the shade of my skin ( which is darker than desired) puts me on a lower pecking order. Light skin = higher cast. Higher cast = more suitable for marriage.

It is sad how minority groups segregate themselves further.

The way in which I have reacted to this over the years are as follows;
1. Avoidance of certain situations
2. Taking to bleaching my skin with creams
3. Not dating to avoid being let down
And 4. Shutting out the world as I go about my day to day tasks.

All of these only fuel my mental health, separating me from others and even though I know it, it’s hard to shake away from the safety it offers.

I hope my story has inspired others to share theirs and to let people know that you are not alone even if you may feel like it.

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Changing My Medication – week 1

After spending the last 6 or so years on Prozac it was decided, with my agreement, that is was time to change. The effects of the drug were not as strong as they once were and with more than 1 overdose in the last few years on them it looked like a good idea to try something different.

Last week my GP came up with a plan on how we should start the change and suggested a new drug that I should move on to, ( I still can’t pronounce the name if it yet).

The plan works with a gradual decrease of the old drug and then increase of the new one. It’s advisable not to just switch meds nor is it a good idea to have two types at the same time. This is because the body will not cope with the stress and is known to react badly.

Today marks the end of the first week. I previously was on 60mg of Prozac and for the last 7 days I have gone down to 40mg. At first I didn’t notice any difference but as time went on that soon changed.

Today I have spent most of my time in bed feeling depressed and tired. My mood has been generally lower with my OCD playing on my mind more than I’d like. As I write this all I want to do it cry and go to sleep. Paranoia has crept in as intrusive thoughts, doubts that things are not right. I’m starting to worry if I have made the right choice. I’m going to keep on course to see how this turns out. I hope for the best and my GP has given me Valium should I need to calm down. So far I haven’t taken it.

Next week I will give you an update on how I get on. Until then peace, love and joy.

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