Saturday, 10 January 2015

What It's Like To Switch Antidepressants


I have had depression for nearing 6 years now and for the most part its been controlled by antidepressants. Unfortunately in december the drug I was on, citalopram, just stopped working, my moods crashed I was in a state of either crying, sleeping or wanting to harm myself. After one lucky escape from harming, which could have been very serious, I sought help from my GP. He agreed to change my medication to sertraline, this post today is about that transition. These are only my experiences, I don't pretend to know anything about medicine etc.

The biggest problem with changing my antidepressants was that because of my other medication I’d have be weened off citalopram on a weekly basis from 40 to 0. This also meant I'd have to run on 0mg for a week before I could start Sertraline. Lucky me, week off landed right on christmas week! It was so tough as I’ve had less and less to rely on to bring my mood up and I’ve times of being really down when I felt like the most disgusting human in the world, I harmed on the odd occasion too. But I got through.

For me the hardest part was explaining why I was down, I honestly still don't know. I am so lucky to have amazing friends, some of whom have unfortunately been through depression, they reminded me that its all chemical and it isn't my fault. I spoke to my Mam and Nana on an almost daily basis, even when I didn't have much to say. But most of all I had the unending love of my boyfriend who would sit with me when I cried, took me on dates and days out to make me happy, sit through hours of crap TV with me and constantly reassure me that everything was going to be ok.


I managed to make it through Christmas on nothing because of the wonderful people in my life, they were there when I needed them and gave me space when they knew I needed that too. I was never forced to be happy because "it's Christmas!"

 I started Sertraline at 50mg two days before new years eve and jesus christ are they were strong. The most common side effects were nausea, dizziness and confusion and that doesnt even begin to describe how I felt, on new years eve I felt drunk without touching a drop. My head felt like I was constantly surrounded by thick fog, I couldn't function or focus at all. Sometimes it was like I’ve downed a bottle of vodka. My mood gradually improved though. Because of how severe the side effects were I was advised to stay at 50 mg and I might be moved up to 100mg next week, giving me two weeks on the lowest dose.

Thankfully the side effects have all but gone away now, I still get them a little bit but its better than it was. I'm feeling a bit more stable now and hopeful that everything will be ok.

I want to thank the blogging community for all the support I have received recently, you are all stars.

9 comments :

  1. I'm on setraline 50mg to help my insomnia and anxiety. For me they're just used as a placebo to deal with every day life and it works. God I remember the side affects well, I felt so ill. In August I ran out of them for a week and I felt like hell, not emotionally but physically because like you said they are strong!

    Good luck on them I hope they start making you feel better soon. Sounds like you have a wonderful network around you for supporting you over Christmas. Xxx

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    1. They are just so strong, I was out of it for the first week. I'm glad they work for you. You are part of that support network!

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  2. I tried Sertaline for a while and I found it made me worse so I was taken off of them and put onto Mirtazapine (30mg) which works better mentally but has made me feel very fatigued and achey.
    Good luck on them and I hope they start to make you feel better soon. xxx

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  3. I've been on and off antidepressants since I was 14 (16/17 years ago) and sertraline is the only one which ever properly worked for me. Hope it does for you too

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    1. I'm so glad it works but sorry that you've had to take them for so long. Depression is a bitch.

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  4. I've only just started Sertaline for anxiety, and I'm taking 25g I think (half a tab a day). I haven't noticed any change yet other than feeling more tired in the evenings. Hopefully it will work well for us both! x

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    1. Oh I wish they'd only given me that dosage! I honestly think 50 was too much but I'm glad I started them

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  5. Changing medications can be so difficult. I hope the 100mg doesn't have terrible side effects for you!

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