Mental Health Mondays: It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

Before I jump into this article, I wanted to tell you guys a little bit about the title. I started this blog to explore my life as an Australian army wife, and for me that meant exploring all aspects of my life. My mental health has always been a big part of my life, but in the past few months I have been working hard to focus on it. There are a few reasons for this – some being army wife related, and some not – but I just wanted to create a better balance in my life. Being an army wife can be incredibly stressful and demanding.

So I have decided to start featuring Mental Health Mondays on my blog! This means that one day a week I will be updating you on my mental health, sharing my self-care techniques, or just sharing my experience with mental health.

At the time that this post is being published, I’ve been taking my new anti-depressant for four days. While that’s definitely too early to begin seeing any benefits, it sure is enough time to make good friends with the side effects.

The first symptom I experienced was nausea, which came on as soon as I took my first pill. This was a side effect I had when I first started taking zoloft, so I was kind of expecting this as my new medication is in the same class of drug (SSRI if anyone is wondering). I kind of felt the same way when extreme and inescapable tiredness hit me on the first day, and I woke up on the couch in the afternoon, drooling on myself and covered in nap time sweat half an hour before work.

I discussed these symptoms with my doctor and we decided it would be better for me to take my meds at night, so that I would be sleeping through these side effects. I can honestly say I am surprised at how well that managed my nausea, and although I am still feeling quite tired and lethargic (which has pretty much become a basic state for me), I am no longer falling asleep in the middle of the day.

Some not so fun symptoms that have emerged in the past few days are a constant headache, and dizziness. The headache is not so bad, it’s mostly just a low ache with a feeling of pressure inside my head, but it’s still not an experience I would recommend to anyone. The dizziness, on the other hand, is the kind of thing that I experience in my nightmares.

Have you ever had that feeling when you’re really drunk, and when you move your head or your body your brain moves just a second later? Like it takes a while for your brain to get the message that you have moved and send it to your eyes? Like the whole world is moving one second slower than you are?

That’s what this dizziness is like. And it happens when I stand up, sit down, walk, move, turn my head, pick something up, or even when I am just sitting still. It kind of feels like my head is fuzzy and that everything I see is hazy. I am really hoping that this goes away soon. Not only is it making my day to day life a little challenging, but if it keeps happening then it means I will have to try yet another medication.

I’ve also been experiencing extreme hot flashes in the past few days, where I feel like I am on fire and the heat is so unbearable that I just might die. However, living in Darwin it’s hard to tell whether this is actually something to do with my medication or just the weather being awful.

I’ll have to keep an eye on all of these things for the next few weeks until I see my doctor again, and in the meantime I will be focusing on tracking my mental health and my symptoms so hopefully I can continue on this path towards better mental health. For me the most important thing to remember is that all of these bad feelings and bad experiences are only temporary hiccups on a longer journey that is going to make me feel so much better.

Thanks so much for reading! Did you enjoy this post? Do you have any questions about my mental health? Leave me some comments or tell me about your own mental health journey down below!

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