10 things they won’t tell you about antidepressants

I’ve had a long journey with mental health. Been through many ups and downs. I’ve had to try many different interventions, medications, professionals, meditation etc. I’m no professional but I’ve had experiences that have been very real for me. 

But before you read this.. if you ever need medication I suggest you listen to the professionals that are supporting you. Because the benefits of it far outweigh the side effects. Especially if it saves your life. Plus, there are so many different types of meds and everyone responses differently.

Over the past year I have been on medications to help me cope with a depressive episode. It’s been good, it’s been extremely difficult and here’s some things I’ve had to cope with, work through and put up with.. 

1. The headaches, body aches and muscle spasms

Ohhh.. man.. some days I feel like I’m 80 years old. Every bone, muscle, joint aches. There’s so much pain. The headaches are like electricity going through your brain. There’s days I can’t get out of bed because every part of my body feels like knives are stabbing me. 

2. Nightmares. Oh the nightmares. 

Some nights I wake up having panic attacks. Not only do you have scary dreams but they feel as if they are actually happening. Vivid dreams suckkkkkk. I’ve had dreams of being chased, locked in small rooms, buried alive, tortured, bones breaking etc. I could go on.. some weeks I feel like I haven’t slept. 

3. Increased sweating 

EW. This one makes me so embarrassed. Some nights I wake up sweating like crazy. Or if I get the slightest bit warm I start sweating. It’s so awkward! Thank God for make-up setting spray! 

4. Inability to concentrate 

Ok. So. Sorry if we have had a conversation over the past year and I seemed uninterested. I find it so incredibly hard to concentrate. There’s times i can completely blank out and I’ll be a thousand miles away in my thoughts. 

5. Always feeling dehydrated 

If I leave the house without water I legit feel like I’m going to die of dehydration. I need so much water. Especially in the morning.

6. Thoughts and ideas that aren’t normal for you 

This is kinda hard to explain but it’s almost as if there is someone else in your brain telling you to do outrageous things or think crazy thoughts. Right now my brain thinks I need to do adrenaline rush things.. like SkyDrive.. whattttttttttttt?? Sometimes the thoughts are distressing and dangerous but thankfully I have great support that helps me through those difficult days! 

7. Loss of emotions 

Hmmm.. so my emotions have become fairly numb. Although I laugh, smile, cry, get angry. There is this weird loss of actually being able to feel the emotion. It’s there but the feeling has been lost.

8. The hangover feel 

There’s days I feel so nauseated, sick and have no energy. As if I’ve just had a big night. One of my medications has a sedating effect on my body to help me be calm and sleep, But it comes with many side effects. 

9. Increased or decreased appetite 

This is frustrating. Some days I could eat every 2 seconds and theres other days where the thought of food legit makes me vomit. Along with that my weight fluctuates quickly.. grr! 

10. Withdrawal.. 

This is the worst part. Having to go off the medication or change to a new one has there huge consequences. Shaky hands, blurred vision, sickness, brain zaps, tummy upset, sore body, anger, sadness, crying spells.. etcccccc. Agh! So never withdraw without support and medical supervision!

With all that said.. being on medication for crisis or for a life time is so much better than battling every day with depression, anxiety or mental illness. Medication is great to help you cope and move through mental illness. Like I said before I’m not a professional. It’s just my story. 

Never be ashamed of your journey. Speak out when you need to and get healthy support! You’re worth it! 

Breannon 

If you or a loved one need to talk to someone please consider the following organisations, because you’re worth it:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au

http://headspace.org.au

lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide helpline Victoria: 1300651251

Suicide call back service- 1300659467

or visit your local GP

For the people who help, you seriously don’t have to have any answers, don’t be scared, just listen. Help your person find a place they can talk and find helpful tools to assist in their processing

A Letter To You About My Anxiety.

To My Friends,

This letter is to help explain the overwhelming anxiety I feel everyday. Not just about general things but the anxiety I feel all day everyday.  When I make up excuses, bail on plans last minute, struggle to be present because there’s 100 thing in my mind, the panic attacks, trying to meet everyone’s expectations, the sudden crying, the need to be busy all the time but also the overwhelming feeling of wanting to be alone.

I try so hard to hide what’s happening but I know you see it. I know you see the fidgeting, the cracking of my fingers, the inability to hold a conversation for too long, the nervousness in my speaking, shortness of breath. The anxiety I’m talking about is more then the normal worries of life. Its General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/generalized-anxiety-disorder) where you are always excepting a major disaster and can’t stop worrying about family, friends, money, work etc. the worry is often majorly out of proportion and unrealistic.

Your kind words. Your compassion. Your love. It’s beautiful. You are all so kind. But it defiantly doesn’t take away my reality. I want it to go away I try so hard. I pray everyday. I declare truth over my life. I try to focus on the positive. But most of the time I feel waves of anxiety flooding my mind and pulling me under the waters.

Trust me.. If I could make it go away I would of by now. I’m exhausted. I’m over it. It drains my energy every day. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been thrown into the ocean with bricks on my feet. I’m struggling to keep my head above the waves.

You are probably thinking how much you wish I didn’t have to feel like this. Like you wish you could take it away. That’s probably why you are still reading. So thank you! But let me tell you.. Your friendship, your love, your laughter, your care is more then enough for me. You don’t have to help me rationalize my thinking, you don’t have to fix me, and you don’t have to understand. You are my friend not my therapist. You are important to me. I love that you ask questions, I love that you show interest.

I love that you are my friend.

I hope one day you don’t have to see me in all my struggle and I’m sure that day will come. You probably feel the same way. I will continue to find the best ways to help me cope. I will continue to push through. I will continue to be the best me I can be. All I ask is you continue to be my friend. Because that means the world to me.

Much love,

Your stress head of a friend.

Breannon

 

inspired by: http://themighty.com/2015/08/letter-to-people-affected-by-my-anxiety/

Healing In Healthy Community.

“…And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching…”
— Hebrews 10:24-25

Recently I found myself in a really hard place. I couldn’t move past the terror and fear that flooded my mind. I was scared and feeling somewhat on my own. Not because I didn’t have people around me but because I was choosing to isolate myself.

Anyways, about two weeks into my freak out. I prayed God would bring the right people around and within days I had a particular lovely human who committed herself to help me heal. Along with some other amazing, Jesus loving, fearless, beautiful ladies!

Now a month later I am in a much healthier place. I found healing and restoration as I allowed the Christian community to speak into my life. They could see the crap and heartache that was my reality but they also called the gold out of me, they sung the song in my heart that I had forgotten, they pointed me back to my true identity and helped me discover God’s goodness again.

In saying all this, I have realized how important and critical it is for us to have healthy communities around us. To have people who acknowledge your struggles and call you into more. I believe God created us for community and relationship. That we would walk life together, share our hearts and encourage each other in the more.

How beautiful would it be if struggles were normalized. I’ve had so many young people who have come to me with shame, fear and guilt about the issues they are facing. Even though they are such normal issues.

I encourage you to find 3 people in your community who can walk with you in the highs and lows. People who know your dreams, potential, identity and encourage you. That no matter what you are struggling with they still believe the best in you.

So let yourself be open and transparent with trusting people! Never let your issues define you! Share your heart! And let yourself heal in healthy community! It’s so worth speaking out!

Peace Out.
Breannon xx

My Beautiful Relapse

Content warning: This post deals with anxiety and depression and may be triggering for some readers.
So I have relapsed over the past month with anxiety and depression but I’m totally ok with it. I think its been the most beautiful month for a long time. Heres why:

I have learnt how much I have grown and matured since I was a scared, all over the place 18 year old. With this relapse I haven’t let the symptoms over take me and shatter my world, I’ve been able to recognise them and work through them with all the knowledge and therapeutic interventions I have learnt from years of counselling and studying last year.

Yes, I’m taking medication. Its what I needed. That’s also ok. At first I hated myself for it but as I thought and prayed about it I felt a peace I could only dream of. With each day I can notice my body responding to the medication and becoming calm. Is my brain calm? far from it but I’m able to deal with whatever is happening up there.

I’ve found joy in the valley. January was the best. I had awesome, challenging, frustrating moments with God. I feel as if it was a defining month for me. Defining my willingness to fight for myself, my relationship with God and my overall health. I’m defiantly winning this war! It wasn’t as if God was absent or distant, it was these moments when i had decisions to make between Gods best for me or what I wanted. At times I just did what I wanted but God was still there and walking with me. It was different and it was beautiful!

I become ok with the now I’m a stress head and a planner. I need to know and I need to know now. But this month was a lot of being present with the now and learning and growing today. Not trying to just get to the next big thing in my life. I had this issue of always living for the next thing. Camp, going to Geelong, weddings, school seminars, youth, conferences… I thrived off the big things and completely missed the now.. because of that I missed my slow decline, missed my times sitting with God, stressed myself out about what I need to do.. I missed the precious moments of now. I love looking forward to exciting things and can’t wait for them but I’m learning to be ok and content with the now.

I’ve learnt a lot this past month and I’m sure I’ll keep learning about it all. The greatest thing I’ve learnt is to be gentle on myself and not to rush. I think a lot of us rush through life and look back and wonder why. Lets live for the now and appreciate the joys, difficulties, adventure and everything else tomorrow brings.

Love.

Breannon.

If you or a loved one need to talk to someone please consider the following organisations, because you’re worth it:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au

http://headspace.org.au

lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide helpline Victoria: 1300651251

Suicide call back service- 1300659467

or visit your local GP

For the people who help, you seriously don’t have to have any answers, don’t be scared, just listen. Help your person find a place they can talk and find helpful tools to assist in their processing.

Comparison Kills

I’ve been thinking lately about how much I compare my life to those around me. From wanting to look like someone else, have their job, their house, their ‘perfect’ little family,  their super outgoing fun personality.. and I realised this.. I was Killing myself.

I was resenting me

. It wasn’t an overly obvious thing because I’m fairly happy with where my life is at the moment. Of course there is more things I would like to be doing and dreams I want to fulfil but there was this underlying little thing that was chipping away at my happiness.

With all of this I’ve been thinking about how many (if any) people may compare their lives to mine. By what i post on Facebook, instagram or even on here and how much of it is actually authentic to my life. Yes they are real moment with real feelings but they are mostly the highlights of my day and don’t express the struggle it was for me to get up that day, how i put on extra make-up because i looked like crap, the anxiety I had leaving the house, the worry of no money in my bank account for another week (thanks surgery), the loneliness I felt, the frustration..i could go on but I think you get it haha

Heres a photo i posted on Facebook a few months back with the caption “// HAPPIEST DAYS // it’s been awhile since I’ve felt so happy, confident, joyful and loved. Taking the right steps brings freedom. #thisiswhathappinessfeelslike #happydays11209708_10208458001873291_1597873099326877295_n.jpg

I got 88 likes and a bunch of comments about how good I was looking, how proud people were of me etc. Makes you feel pretty great! was this picture an authentic reflection of my life.. hmmm.. yes i was feeling all the things the caption said but i was also deeply hurt, frustrated, annoyed and sad about some things that had happened a month or so earlier. Also, sometime I see some peoples post and I know where they are truly at in their lives and what actually is happening for them.. just like me their post is still true but lacks authenticity.
I have many examples I could post but its just go me thinking how when i scroll through my newsfeed every morning, lunch break and evening (i know.. i have an obsession haha) how careful I need to be to not compare my lowlights to the highlights of other peoples lives.

As I began to think, pray and journal I found myself reading the 10 commandments and the final one says this :
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

I’ve heard these a thousand times and remember doing little activities on the commandments in Sunday school (Thanks Kiri) but to be honest it wasn’t until this week where I understood how important it is to really look at what God was saying to His people in Exodus 20. The beauty of where He has placed you in this life, the areas He leads you into and the ‘Such a time as this’ moments.

I don’t know what else to say but:
LOOK AFETR YOURSELF PEOPLE!
MAKE SURE YOU’RE PROTECTING YOUR HEART
LOOK AT THE BLESSINGS AROUND YOU
LOVE YOURSELF
DONT LET YOURSELF COMPARE!

I’ll tell you what.

This is both extremely scary but also so very exciting.

My FIRST ever real blog.

I don’t know how many people will actually read this. but I’m not doing it for that reason. I’m doing it because I need to.

I need to express

I need to write

I need to tell

I need to be transparent..

Social Anxiety..

It’s my crippling fear. I feel it in the morning. I feel it at night. I feel it walking past people I know or don’t know. I feel it when my phone rings. I feel it in every text message. I feel it writing this. I feel it seeing my therapist. I feel it walking into a room. I feel it on the train. I feel it going to church. I feel it at 3am. I feel it all the time..

I’m not sure if you know the feeling. But let me paint a picture:

“You’re sitting at your desk and there’s a knock at the door.. It takes everything inside of you to turn around and tell the person to come in. They come in and ask you to do something, they leave. You sit there holding the document they dropped off.

“I forgot to ask them how many copies

Do they want it now?

I have to walk past people

What if I do it wrong?

What if someone else wants me to do something”

Its ok.. I can do this.. I think. You get up and walk over to the photocopier. Avoid eye contact. My hands are sweating. My heart is racing. My breathing is rapid.

Your phone rings. Feel the air go in and out of your lungs. It’s ok. Just answer it. Your cheerful tone hides the nervous shaking of your voice. You fumble over your words. You hang up.

“What did they say?

That was a whole lot of information in a 2 minute phone call

I cant remember what they said because I was so stuck in my feelings.”

You make it back to you desk. Papers in hand. 5 hours left.”

Its not because I don’t want to help and do things. I love helping. I love achieving. I love to love people. It’s because I have believed the deepest lie..

I’LL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH..

It ruins our lives

It stops us being who we need to be

It steals from us

It sucks the life out of the world..

When I believe this lie. I realize I’m trying to be perfect. I’m scared of what people are going to think. I’m petrified of doing something wrong. I crippled by the feeling that they might discover that I’m not the perfect person I want them to think I am.. but guess what? They already know!!

It makes me so mad that this one lie takes away so much of my ability. It makes me so sad that so many young and old people believe it. It breaks my heart that we don’t know that we don’t have to do anything or be anything to be good enough. We are just good enough for being who we are created to be.

No job

No relationship

No car

No amount of money

No social status

No job title

No achievement will ever make you feel ‘Good enough’ if you don’t know your worth at the very core.

I don’t exactly have the answers but what I do know is that each day I am able. I am capable. I am powerful. I am loved. And because of that I can face the next situation. I can move past how tired and worn out I am. That’s its actually going to be ok.

My worth isn’t in what I’m doing but who I am. I am a human. I have failures. I don’t have to be perfect. I can make the biggest mistakes and screw up 1000 times and my worth never changes. My identity doesn’t waver.

Anyways. I think that’s enough for now.

Peace my loves!