Mental health is something I have always openly discussed on my blog and a few months ago I shared my experience with the contraceptive pill – linked here. So today I will be doing the same but with antidepressants!
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 14 but because I was under 18 I was refused any medication (which was super shitty). Antidepressants are not licensed to treat depression for anyone under the age of 16 and are not clinically tested on anyone under 18, so they are very cautious when prescribing you.
So from the age of 14-16 I was referred to CAMHS for CBT, which is a mental health service in the UK for under 18’s. I had CBT focusing on self harm and depression. I am beyond grateful for the work the team done for me but this wasn’t a service that helped me. Next I attended group therapy for anxiety and I cannot preach enough about how amazing it is. Finally I went to Off the Record which is an independent company for people from the age of 11-25, it is completely free and the staff there are so so incredible. I had counselling here focusing on sexual abuse and I am so grateful for how much they helped me. So if you are in England and didn’t get on with CAMHS, try OTR.
As soon as my 18th birthday came around (2016) I was back at the doctors and finally got prescribed citalopram, which is an antidepressant (SSRI) that works by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain.
The first month of being on citalopram is definitely the worst. There are a lot of articles about suicidal and self harm tendencies during the first month of medication. I will link one here. It is so horrendous but I promise once the first month is over it gets better. Whilst being on this I am much more tired than normal and I have experienced some very crazy and vivid dreams and I have spoken to a friend who is also on Citalopram and she experiences weird dreams and sleeping patterns too. I have noticed if I skip a few days of meds I will become extremely dizzy too.
Overall, I do think Citalopram has helped me significantly but note that all of these opinions are my own and in no way am I very educated, this is all words from experience. I would love to know your opinions below.
If you made it this far then I applaud you haha!