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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Note To Self: Take Medication

I've been on medication for the ol'anxiety disorders for a while. Doesn't bother me one bit to be on medication for the anxiety. I know that lots of people feel uncomfortable taking drugs for mental health problems - or, indeed, for health issues in general - but I ain't one of 'em. Way I figure it: if all it takes each day to keep me mentally healthy is a couple of tablets and the techniques I've been taught, I'll happily take that deal. It's a good one, and it's one that I'm happy is available - there are times when I thought it wouldn't be.

Thing is, I'm a bit sloppy when it comes to taking said tablets. It's fine if I get into the habit of it, but the minute I get out of the habit...

In my past life of writing patronising keep-healthy articles, I often made the point that the best time to give up smoking is when on holiday, because your routine changes dramatically and - as a result - it's easier to drop the habits you'd typically have at home. Good, patronising advice there, McReadie. Now for me, sadly, my recent holidays screwed up my tablet-taking patterns. I got out of the habit of taking my tablets. As a result, I went about a week without taking them - not really through design, just through getting out of the habit.

Let me say it: this a very stupid thing to do. Don't do it. It's stupid.

Thing is, back when things were very bad, I could spot an immediate effect if I stopped taking my tablets. Within about a day, I'd be convinced I was getting very ill because I no longer had tablets to keep the condition under control. An interesting case study of the effect of cognitive processes on the way you feel, that one. There's no way that neglecting to take one tablet could bring about such a dramatic change in my state - the drug would have still been in my system, built up over weeks - but believing that neglecting to take one tablet could bring about a dramatic change, well, now, that will make you feel really shitty. Guaranteed.

Anyway, now that I know that there is no chance that failing to take a tablet will turn me crazy overnight, I don't feel immediately ill if I stop taking the tablets for a little while. As a result, I don't feel any great urgency to start taking them again. It starts off just missing a day, and then I forget the next day, and then by day three I'm just out of the habit and then just a few days after I suddenly realise I've gone a week without taking the ol'Sertraline.

I'll say it again: that's a bad idea.

See, you start to feel a bit rubbish. I guess your serotonin doesn't know whether it's coming or going.

So you start to take the medication again, and tell yourself off for having not taken it in the first place. Trouble is, Sertraline has some side effects for me - nothing major, but just significant enough to be annoying. Dry mouth. Screws up my sleep patterns. Now, these problems faded after I was on it for a long, concentrated spell. But when I stop and start again, hey presto, I get the side effects again for a few days.

This is, of course, all my own fault. It's irresponsible and patently stupid behaviour. So let me state it here: I'm not going to muck about with the medication again. Hold me to it. Now excuse me while I gulp down something to drink in the hope of getting rid of this damn dry mouth, and yawn because I haven't been sleeping properly.


  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger Barbara L. said…

    How are you feeling?

    BTW, if you dare, check out the Spec and Spoilers thread on the Alias site at TWOP. OVer the past few days, people have been discussing the Vaughan rumors and diffrent scenarios as to what may be going on with his character. I haven't seen anything miore spoilerish than what Kristin on E said, so if you stick to the last few pages of the thread, you'll be sfe from learning other thing that you may want to not know.

  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    Ah, serotonin. It's a right bugger sometimes innit. As a migraine sufferer and long-term recreational narcotic user, I can safely say that when it comes to mood swings, loss of sleep and general serotonin depletion symptoms, I. Feel. Your. Pain.

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