How to…

…recover from a nervous breakdown.

So recently I wrote a blog about how to recover from a mental/emotional breakdown/meltdown. A rather whimsical, lighthearted post born from me having a bit of a panic attack about moving house by myself (without the help or presence of the man I’d actually bought the house with).

Well while all that advice still stands, recently I did have a proper and rather spectacular nervous breakdown. Like a laughing hysterically whilst sobbing uncontrollably, chewing on my own hands, someone please take me to hospital, panic attack. It happened whilst I was driving around the centre of Swansea – I’m actually sure that the newly implemented one way system has this effect on most motorists, therefore my first tip to anybody who suspects they might be about to suffer a nervous breakdown – don’t go to Swansea for a while.

Now during my subsequent conversations with people I’ve discovered that this has happened to quite a few people I know (not in Swansea – that misfortune falls only to me), and therefore seems likely that it has happened or will happen to a good many other people during their lifetimes. So, in the spirit of sharing, helping and healing I’ve decided to share (in probably a few blog posts) my experiences and efforts towards complete (or at least functional) mental recovery, in the hope that they might help someone else – or at least reassure anybody suffering from similar problems that they are not suffering alone. Let’s get together people!

Healing Effort No. 1: Medication

A divisive topic. I have suffered from minor mental health issues since I was a teenager so the subject of anti-depressants has been brought to my attention before and I have always vehemently rejected any suggestions towards medical assistance – but this time it was different. I’ve been going to therapies and counselling on and off since I started suffering from these sorts of issues and it’s always temporarily fixed the problem – the operative word here being temporarily. I have recently found a type of therapy I believe to be extremely beneficial to me, but quite clearly I currently need a bit of extra help getting my chemical imbalances back under control. So I went to see my doctor who listened to what I’d been going through and put me on Citalopram.

I still have my reservations about it; I don’t want to feel artificially good, I want to feel genuinely good; I don’t want to be popping pills forever, I want to be a healthy, happy, non-medicated individual and I am scared that now I’m on them I won’t ever be able to come off anti-depressants. However, my doctor has assured me that this is not the case, Citalopram doesn’t make you feel high, it just stops you from feeling low. Plus I very genuinely want to get better – it’s not easy, so any help I can get is welcome. I’ve only been taking them for around five days now and the dosage is very low (it will be increased after two weeks, just so I can get used to the medication gradually) so I’m yet to start seeing the effects – but I’ll keep you posted. One thing that is happening is that I feel quite nauseated, this has caused a decreased appetite, but I think this is as much to do with depression as anti-depressants and quite frankly I’m seeing it as a bonus – I was planning on loosing an ity bit of weight for the ol’ wedding anyway and one must take the good with the bad!

I’m also on Propanolol, which is a beta blocker. I feel somewhat like an unfulfilled 1950s housewife popping these bad boys three times a day but when you wake up shaking what else you gonna do? I’m staying away from pinnies and Mad Men for a while just incase the association gets a bit much.

Medicated help isn’t what I wanted but perhaps it’s what I need, so if anyone else is considering this route I would firstly, definitely NOT research it on the internet, and secondly go and see a councillor or therapist and then thirdly talk to your doctor about it. If you’ve got a headache you can take a pain-killer, if you’ve got a cough you can take cough medicine, if you’ve got depression you can take anti-depressants – ultimately it’s a good choice to have.

Next week I’m going to go into non-medical healing processes. Two words; Kitten Therapy…

Kitten Therapy, How to get over a nervous breakdown

To read any of my other “How to’s” (not all of them are on such a somber topic!) click here. 

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