When I left the hospital last week they gave me a nice little gift bag. This is what was inside:
Only two of these boxes contain my "happy pills"...antidepressants, the rest is for my BIH and one is to stabilize my shaky blood sugar. I take eleven and a half pills a day, most of them in the morning. When I am taking supplements ( these are VERY expensive in SA ) I can take up 10 pills in the morning alone- little B was always in awe of how I would be able swallow them all at once. Actually this would amaze everyone. I only take painkillers as a last resort...like say, when I'm blind. So those really don't factor into the equation.
The antidepressants I take are 50mg of Citalopram (brand name Celexa or Cipramil) and 25mg Amitriptyline - I take those for the headaches so I am not on a antidepressant dose. When I first started taking antidepressants in America I started on 20mg of Lexapro. The side effects of going on to antidepressants were really weird: a strong burning sensation on my face, neck, arms and chest, manic talking (just about ANYTHING would tumble out of my mouth), serious disassociation and really weird fevers!. Those are just the unusual side effects...I had all the usual side effects as well.
The long term side effects have been a little more unnerving. Both my long term and short term memory have taken a knock. In some cases with my long term memory it has been for the best, making some awful childhood memories seem more misty lessening their conscious impact on me. But for my short term memory it's another thing. I can't remember appointments, instructions or where I put things. I forget dates for assignments or what I even need to look at to remind me of assignment dates. Studying is a nightmare as I forget something as soon as I read it and I have trouble recalling something I have read a hundred times. This is not good as my exams start end of next month. The physical side effects, or those that are visible are weight gain ( I had to give away most of the fabulous clothes I bought in London), fatigue, thirst and sweating like a freakin' pig.
Then there is the emotional side of things. I still struggle with physical side of depression but I have no way of expressing any emotion because antidepressants have turned me into an emotionless, cold icicle. The only emotion I feel now days is anger and that's mostly when I am around my Dad. I can't cry, during the blue moon that I do cry it's only a couple of tears but I feel nothing. I don't feel happiness, sadness, contentedness, motivation just nothing, I just don't care. This has really perplexed and in many cases, hurt the people who knew me before my breakdown. They don't understand what has happened they can't accept that I have changed so a lot of those relationships have now grown apart and some have fallen by the wayside.
I am interested to know what meds some of you are on and what the positives and the negatives are...it's different for everyone so should be really interesting to compare.
Tomorrow I have the dreaded task of going into animal welfare and volunteering. I am looking forward to caring for the animals, also nervous as it can be really heartbreaking. But I am not looking forward to interacting with the "delightful social club" that are the other volunteers. They are really a miserable bunch of people and I don't want to spend even two minutes in their company but since they did save Milo's life I'm going to grin and bear it.