Quote Of The Day 04/04/2020

SATURDAY, 04/04/2020:

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/237705686562840545/

‘I raise my voice not so that i can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.’

– Malala Yousafzai

Quote Of The Day 26/01/2020

SUNDAY, 26/01/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/457326537133898734/

‘Grit and tenacity will take you far in life, but love and forgiveness will carry you to the finish line.’

– Amy M. Le

Hopeless Musing #29

Trampled.

 

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/408560997416764282/

TRAMPLED.

Roses litter the footpath, curling up as if in agony where they’ve been trampled by passers-by. Their petals are brown at the edges, cut and bruised and betrayed, cut loose from the place they once flourished.

Where does the circle of life start and end?

When do these roses find their way back to the ground, to the soil, and give life to something new, if not by being trampled?

Why do we see them as broken and useless, when they are valuable forever?

Quote Of The Day 02/10/2019

WEDNESDAY, 02/10/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/425238389801532461/

‘There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.’

– Leonard Cohen

Quote Of The Day 30/09/2019

MONDAY, 30/09/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/616148792744832368/

‘You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.’

– Pablo Neruda

Quote Of The Day 28/09/2019

SATURDAY, 28/09/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/315603886384825963/?nic=1

‘You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.’

– William Faulkner

Anti-Depressants (What The Doctors Don’t Tell You).

What (the Doctors don’t tell you) to expect when you decide to take Anti-Depressants.

 

FIRSTLY:

The decisions to start taking any kind of anti-depressant medication can be very daunting, especially when you may not know much about the drug your GP is prescribing or recommending. Most of the time, in my experience, you don’t even really make the decision at all – your GP does.

And although Doctors/ GP’s are intelligent and educated people, they don’t always gets it right – much the same as us. Sometimes they forget that there is a human being attached to their diagnosis and treatment plan. It’s for this reason that I recommend always double checking a few things, and even perhaps getting a second or third opinion, before blindly beginning a long-term medication.

 

 

MY PRESCRIPTION STORY:

Visiting The GP.

When I decided to visit my GP on the suspicion that my depression and anxiety was getting worse, this is (step-by-step) what happened:

  • I was asked how long I had felt the way that I did
  • I was asked to explain why or what was making me so sad and stressed
  • I was asked to fill out a generic questionnaire/ mental health assessment survey
  • I was told by my GP that I was most likely suffering from the effects of depression and anxiety
  • A Mental Health Care Plan was organised for me
  • I was prescribed an Anti-Depressant medication and told to take one daily

 

Is that all?

All of these questions, and diagnoses, were completed by my GP within 20 minutes. And a lot of people have the same sorts of stories. So for starters, let me just note a few things here:

  • I was 18 at the time
  • I wasn’t asked about my Mental Health history by this GP at all
  • I wasn’t referred to a Psychiatrist for any kind of evaluation or diagnosis
  • I wasn’t offered a choice of who I wanted to see or asked if I had anyone in mind
  • I wasn’t told I had a choice about whether to take the medication I was prescribed
  • I wasn’t told of any side-effects that I might experience if I did take them

 

But wait! There’s more!

Every GP you see will be different, but just remember that if you have any questions, or doubt what your GP might be saying or prescribing, remember you have every right to ask questions. It is your body, your mind and your life.

You do not have to go into any details with your GP about why you’re feeling the way that you are – they are not a Psychiatrist. You have the right to ask to be referred to a preferred psychologist, or be referred to a psychiatrist.

You are within your rights to not take any medication without seeking a second opinion – this type of medication can sometimes be very hard to come off of, so it’s important you know what you’re getting yourself into. And you should always ask what the side-effects may be.

 

 

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT:

Within an hour of leaving the GP’s office, I had been to a chemist, had my prescription filled, and had taken my first pill, and that was that. Or so I thought.

 

Immediate side-effects…

When I hopped in my car to head home after visiting the chemist and doing a bit of shopping, I realised something was really wrong. I drove halfway up the street before I had to pull over. My head was spinning, my vision was blurry and I felt lethargic, like every muscle in my body was working in slow motion.

I rang my GP straight away and explained my symptoms. I was told this was completely normal, and that I would be okay in a day or so. I managed to get home safely, thank goodness.

But that information may have been better received before I tried to drive home.

 

Research, research, research!

I can not stress the importance of researching your medication enough.

The first night, I went to sleep very early. I woke myself up about 10 times that night grinding my teeth. By the morning, I was exhausted, my head hurt and I felt terrible. So I decided to look up the product information for my new medication, to see what else I might be in for.

It was hard to tell which possible side-effects I might experience, because there were quite literally hundreds of them.

And the GP never told me about a single one of them.

 

Why wasn’t I told?

Beginning a new medication without being warned of the things I might experience, like common side-effects, was really upsetting and confusing.

Not only was I dealing with the issues I had before I began taking the medication, I now had a plethora of other sub-issues to contend with.

At one point, I was even prescribed a higher dosage of the same medication, when I explicitly explained the side-effects I was suffering from to a completely different GP.

 

 

THESE DAYS:

It’s been over seven years since I was first prescribed my Anti-Depressants. I am still taking them, and I do still suffer from a lot of side-effects. I’ve learned to manage most of them, but more importantly, I’ve learned how important it is to question your GP’s opinion if something (no matter how small or how silly you think it seems) doesn’t feel quite right.

Anti-Depressants can be very dangerous medications, so it’s important you ask questions. For me, this medication rules my entire life. When I first started taking my medication, I wasn’t told much, so I thought I’d compile a list of a few things my GP didn’t tell me about:

 

Numbness

My GP didn’t tell me much about the side-effects of my Anti-Depressant. The way they described it, I would take the medication, and I would feel better.

But I didn’t feel better, necessarily. I came to realise that the medication simply numbed my emotions. On the one hand, I wouldn’t feel very depressed. But on the other, I wouldn’t feel very happy, either.

It’s taken a long time to adjust to feeling very… well, bleak. Not too sad, but not too happy. Just existing, some days. Yes, not having overwhelming sadness is good. But not being able to feel joy and excitement can sometimes be hard.

 

Dry Mouth

A very common side-effect of Anti-Depressants is having a constantly dry mouth. And one definitely not worth overlooking. Dry mouth can lead to infections, soreness and a bunch of other oral-related nasties, including bad-breath.

 

Weight Gain

While there are other factors involved in gaining weight – lifestyle, work, levels of activity – since beginning my Anti-Depressants, I’ve gained around 15kg. That might not seem like a lot to some, but weight gain can cause serious self-esteem issues and can make you feel even worse about yourself.

 

Sex-Drive

I would say that I was about average when it came to being sexually active, but as time has gone on, I’ve noticed my disinterest in sex. Which is another thing my GP failed to clue me in on. Sometimes I really have to force myself to have sex, and it’s not a nice feeling.

On the occasions where I do feel like sex, I also have to battle with the fact that it doesn’t feel as good as what it probably does without medication. It can really drop yours (and your partner’s) confidence, and it can be difficult to connect without that intimacy.

The right person will understand, of course, but it can be an incredibly difficult thing to bring up.

 

Withdrawals

This is the biggest challenge I have with my medication these days.

If I go even six hours without taking my medication on time, the withdrawals start. And they’re not pretty. I wind up feeling like a full-blown drug-addict coming down, and I’m not over-exaggerating.

I get headaches, lose concentration, feel dizzy and nauseous and sweat so much people notice the marks under my arms and on my back.

If I go twelve hours without it, my anxiety kicks back in with a vengeance, my heart races and everything around me is suddenly overwhelming  – too loud, too big, too close. The fine balancing act my brain plays on a daily basis is derailed and I become a nervous wreck. Every noise is terrifying.

Twenty-four hours without my medication is agony. The only reason this usually happens is if I forget to get a prescription filled and the chemist is closed for a public holiday, or I forget to pack it if I go somewhere.

It’s horrendous. I get brain-zaps, which are basically described as a feeling as if your head, brain or both have experienced a sudden jolt, shake, vibration, tremor, zap or electric-shock. You can find out more about them here.

Along with the brain-zaps, I start to get so wound up I can’t sleep, can’t talk properly and every muscle in my body is tensed. I don’t eat and I become paranoid. I can’t even begin to explain to you how much pain you experience, having to go through this.

And my GP never told me about any of it.

 

Memory

Even though my GP knew I was studying at university, they still failed to mention that a possible side-effect of my medication would be that my memory could be affected.

I became forgetful, unfocused, lethargic and wasn’t able to remember basic things, like what I did the night before. I couldn’t describe certain things – my mind would go blank. It was an awful feeling, realising my memory was becoming hazy. Even now, I struggle with words, remembering small things and even people’s names.

 

Suicidal Thoughts

Again, you would think that the GP may have mentioned to me that I might get sudden urges to swerve my car into a tree, purposely do dangerous or risky things (like drugs) or think about how utterly pointless existing is on a daily basis. Nope!

Suicidal thoughts are a common side-effect of Anti-Depressant medication, and it’s hard work, reminding your brain every day that you don’t, in fact, want to kill yourself. Especially when you’re getting urges to do just that. Not to mention, it’s pretty disturbing and can feel incredibly invasive.

There have been loads of times where my medication has made me question my own sanity.

 

 

WHAT NEXT?

Every person will experience the effects of their medications slightly differently. You may find that you experience things I haven’t noted here, or perhaps there are things you don’t experience, that I have noted. There’s no right or wrong answer.

Deciding to take Anti-Depressants is a personal journey, and that’s why it’s so important to listen to your body, and ask questions.

Remember to keep an open mind, ask questions, don’t overlook your concerns, and remember that Anti-Depressants aren’t going to fix you. You need to use them in conjunction with therapy, healthy lifestyle habits and in a responsible way.

If you, or someone you know, wants to find out more information, there are plenty of places that you can reach out:

 

Websites:

Headspace

Black Dog Institute

Kids Helpline

MensLine Australia

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

Q Life (LGBTI+ Specific)

 

Phone:

Headspace: 1800 650 890

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978

QLife: 1800 184 527

 

Related Articles:

Why Mental Health & The Workplace Go Hand-In-Hand.

5 Signs You’re in an Abusive Relationship; My Experience & What I Learned.

Mental Illness: Surviving & Thriving

A Beginner’s Guide To Self Love

You Are A Miraculous Work Of Art.

 

 

 

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Quote Of The Day 29/04/2019

MONDAY, 29/04/2019:

Source: https://weheartit.com/entry/329624098?context_query=sun+and+clouds&context_type=search

‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.’

– Woody Allen

You Are A Miraculous Work Of Art.

Stop limiting yourself.
You are a miraculous work of art.
Treat yourself like one.

 

This world is a strange place to be.

 

Strange, but also equally incredible. Strong, but also vulnerable. Patient, but impatiently so.

The world is strange. But also quite miraculous.

 

It’s a miracle in it’s own right that you’re even here.

Conceived; born and alive; breathing the perfect mix of molecules in the atmosphere; with the senses to look, feel, smell and hear; with an evolved enough brain to understand what the symbols written on this electronic device mean, so that you might be able to read this paragraph.

 

It’s a miracle you woke up this morning.

That your body can continue to function reflexively even when you’re unconscious. That while you sleep, your body can drop your blood pressure and body temperature, repair individual cells, forget useless information from the previous day and make sure your heart still beats and your lungs still breathe.

 

It’s a miracle that the Earth is the exact distance from the Sun to be able to sustain life and not destroy it.

Every second, an infinite number of strange, incredible and miraculous things happen around us, and to us, and are us.

 

 

So why do we limit ourselves?

 

Why do we tell ourselves it’s impossible to do certain things>

To be who we truly want to be?

To love who we love?

To want what we want?

 

I’ll tell you.

It’s because from the moment we are born, we are given boundaries, limitations and constraints. Physically, mentally, educationally, emotionally… the list goes on.

Cots and bassinets. Play-pens. Backyards. Hospitals. Houses and Churches. School. Work. Rules. Laws. Money. Speech. Language. Ethnicity. Right down to the ticking time-bomb that is our own mortality: Life-Span.

We grow up in a world that gives us ideals and what structure looks like. A world that gives us someone else’s purpose – go to school, get a job, get married, have children, pay tax… Be pawns in someone else’s game… Most of us spend our entire lives ‘Working for the Man’.

We lose sight of what we want. What we could achieve. What drives us.

 

So what does drive you?

When you think about what truly makes you happy, why should you shy away from it?

You are a miraculous, living, breathing work of art. So treat yourself like one.

This world doesn’t stop for any one, or any thing. We all have the limitation of our own mortality hanging over our heads.

So then, yes, perhaps we do have a time-frame (but even time is a man-made constraint). Perhaps we do have our socioeconomic and environmental factors to consider. Maybe we do have family and friends to think about.

 

But that doesn’t stop the world being a strange and miraculous place.

And if you think that if you quit your job and chase your dreams, that you will drop dead on the spot of Earth that you stand on – you’re wrong.

If you think that walking away from a relationship instantly means you won’t ever find love again – you’re wrong.

If you think that wanting to go back to study in your 50’s is a waste of time – you’re wrong.

If you think that being positive about your circumstances is just wishful thinking – you’re wrong.

 

The world doesn’t work like that.

The world has a strange way of correcting itself, second after second.

If you think the world can sustain infinite miracle every second of the day and night for all of conceivable eternity, factoring in countless millennia of natural selection and genetic mutation, can you really tell me it can’t sustain one person’s change of path?

Are you honestly telling me that you can accept the infinite miracles around you, but you can’t accept yourself?

That you can’t accept that perhaps you do deserve something more?

Are you trying to tell me that you’re happy to accept your fate, and that you can’t quit your job, learn something new, pick up a hobby, leave a relationship, travel the world or carry out any of the endless scenarios in your mind… but the world can and is a living, breathing miracle? No.

 

Your fate isn’t determined.

You’re just stuck in a world of limitations. And once you open your eyes and see the world for what it truly is, you will understand how incredible it is that you are even here in this very moment.

You are literally made of the same molecules, atoms and building blocks that the rest of the world is made of. Every second – nanosecond even – your body creates so many miracles through its day-to-day functions, from blinking, breathing, thinking, seeing and hearing, that it is literally impossible to imagine.

 

 

Stop limiting yourself.

You are a miraculous work of art.

Treat yourself like one.

 

 

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