Who Should Prescribe Anti-Depressants?
I have always hated taking tablets unless I really, really have to. Unfortunately, for all the years I avoided taking even an aspirin to treat a headache, my injuries led me to the necessity of taking a lot of various forms of medication in order to cope with the pain. I swear that most days you could have picked me up and rattled me like a maraca!
Once my PTSD had been diagnosed I was quickly put onto an anti-depressant called Seroxat by my then treating psychiatrist. At the time this was a fairly new drug to have entered the market and I don’t think that the side effects were properly known. As we are all different I appreciate that Seroxat may be the right anti-depressant for some and I agree that with the state I was in some form of medication was necessary. However for me , Seroxat turned out to be a worse enemy to me than the depression. Perhaps it reacted badly with the cocktail of other drugs I was being prescribed though, from reading up on other peoples experiences of it, I am not so sure.
My mood swings varied wildly, I sometimes hallucinated and imagined things that were not there. My behaviour was erratic and unexplainable, I was verbally abusive and began thinking of all the ways I could end my life. To shut out the jumble of thoughts that I could not seem to control I began to drink…heavily…which just exacerbated the problem.
While I was behaving totally out of character, the real me, the real Pam, felt like a deeply buried voice within me that no-one could hear. From inside myself I would watch and listen with horror as the automaton that was my body and voice continued down this path. Luckily my family came to realise that there was more wrong with me than just the PTSD so sought a second opinion on my behalf.
This led me to Dr Cantopher who realised what my symptoms were, was pretty damming in his opinion of Seroxat and immediately took me off it. He had to put me onto a new type as I was not well enough to come off anti-depressants altogether, but he knew what the potential side effects might be and monitored my progress on them. “We are going to treat these as you would a plaster cast on a broken leg”, he advised, “we’ll keep you on them while your mind heals and when mended we’ll wean you off them”. This course of action, while it was years before I could be weaned off, proved extremely beneficial in my case though, like many bad leg breaks, my healed limbic system will always be a little weaker than before.