Friday, February 26, 2010

In Need of an Agony Aunt?

Well, the past few weeks have been a bit stressful.  I mentioned in my blog last week that I had the winter blues. I had been fighting melancholy for quite some time, probably since my brother's death 18 months ago. Couple that with a change of job, scaling down my business, etc, etc. (see my bio entries for more info).

The end of last week was bad, emotionally speaking. I have been mourning my brother more lately. Even more than in the first year (after the initial shock of his death).

Maybe this mourning is because my Mom seems to be getting a bit better. Her grief has been so deep, so perhaps I have tried to be strong for her.

Besides phone calls with my parents, I haven't had anyone really to share my grief with. I had the initial support of my friends, but after a month or two, I sounded like a broken record and they were changing the subject as quickly as possible.

This is all understandable. It is hard to hear and support people through the grieving process, especially if you don't know the deceased. And none of my friends knew my brother.

When I was in my early twenties, about a year after settling in the UK, I slipped into a depression and had to be medicated for about a year. I hated being medicated, but it was better than the alternative. Back then, I had trouble getting out of bed and had gained considerable weight.

Sixteen years later, I could see the signs of another oncoming depression. I fought it tooth and nail. I was taking 5-HTP for the past 6-8 months. It's a natural supplement that and it is supposed to be a precursor to serotonin.

I had an appointment with my doctor set for the 1st of March. I had decided that I could wait until then. I would discuss going back on anti-depressants with him then. I couldn't face getting to the point that I was at last time. It was like being in a deep deep dark hole with no way out.

On Monday, I got out of bed and almost got back in again. I was so down that I couldn't face going into work. My sighs were deep and full. I went in anyway, on autopilot. I decided an hour into work that I needed to go to the Walk-In Clinic and get some antidepressants. Stat.

I left work at noon and went to Walk-In. Thankfully, the doctor at the clinic was understanding. He gave me a prescription for Cipralex (generic name is Escitalopram). He said it was faster acting.

I'm not feeling better yet. Antidepressants usually take 2-3 weeks to normalise a person, and up to 8. Side effects have varied from insomnia to hot flashes to feeling like I've got an air balloon in my head. But I can get out of bed.

I'm hopeful. And still moving to Belize, dammit!

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