A blog about me being able to take medication for my mental health illness, for the FIRST TIME EVER!
I can still remember the first time I tried taking a medication called clomipramine for my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I was aged eighteen years old, at college and in the first year of my A-levels.
You see, back then I felt dirty whenever going to the toilet(the act of urinating). They wanted to me to take it to lessen my symptoms they said. Here I was then, this reasonably intelligent guy but hardly anybody else knew the suffering that I was going through deep inside. Even though my parents knew a bit as well as some of my tutors, I felt embarrassed and deeply ashamed at my suffering. I still have this vivid memory of being in my A-level Sociology class and this aforementioned drug just knocking me out(not literally), I’d never felt drowsiness like that before. I wasn’t even taking a large dose of it so it was decided I would have to come off it, for the sake of not wanting to ruin my studies,i.e. being tired all of the time. I thus never experienced the benefits back then of being on OCD meds!
You ask any Psychiatrist and they will tell you that OCD is best tackled through a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(talking therapy) and medication. The latter is trying to target the depleted serotonin levels in the brain that are said exist in people who suffer with mental health issues.
I have always felt that I have been trying to get better with my OCD with one hand tied behind my back because medication has never been an option for me. After the intense drowsiness issues, I then got an illness called prostatitis which as a consequence inflamed all my pelvic floor muscles. This meant then that every time I took mental health medication they then stung my abdomen area greatly, enough for me not to be able to take them anymore.
As the years went by various semi-attempts at CBT didn’t help and all the time I felt frustrated at not being able to take any OCD medication to potentially help me. This issue arose again when I was seeing this new Psychiatrist guy a few years ago. Think of the most patronising and unfriendliest doctor you have ever met, then times it by ten for this guy.
Unless I was willing to take the meds then this doctor was not willing to treat me or to refer me for more CBT(which I desperately needed). He thought me being resistant to the drugs was a symptom of my OCD, refused to believe me that it was more of a physical pain issue. Even members of my immediate family questioned me for not taking the meds. I felt like the boy who cried wolf who nobody would believe.
OCD is an horrendous condition to suffer from because it can ruin lives. It has made me feel like a prisoner in my own home and at times I feel enslaved to my phobias and rituals. Therefore, if there was a chance something might alleviate my suffering in the form of tablets then why the hell would I not want to take it if I could, ANYBODY WOULD?? It felt utterly soul destroying that people did not believe me that my body could not cope taking OCD meds.
Fast forward a few years and now my physical aches and pains are not quite as bad as they once were. With this in mind, when I saw a new Psychiatrist guy at the end of last year I agreed that I would try the OCD meds once again, even if they made me too unwell to carry on taking them. I did not want to appear resistant to him in any shape or form. I have seen this new doc about six or seven times now and he is the nicest, most polite and most understanding Psychiatrist that I have ever seen. He wanted me to try a tablet called Aripiprazole and within a few days on it as I suspected, it stung my ribs and pelvic floor muscles terribly so I had to stop taking it.
When I told the new Psychiatrist that I couldn’t take the tablets, I was fearful of an ensuing argument with him but my worries were misplaced. He came up with the great idea that why don’t I try it in medicine form. He also suggested at the same time that I try another medication in medicine form called fluoxetine(Prozac). Therefore, the aripiprazole would try and calm my anxieties down a bit and this latter med would be used to target the OCD specifically, i.e my serotonin levels. I was willing to try this idea and I’m pleased to say I’ve been on both for about three months now……pain free too!
I just wanted to do a blog about mental health medication I guess seeing as this topic was in the headlines recent;y. I reckon I am slightly better regarding my OCD and anxieties due to taking the meds I listed here. I do feel a little bit calmer but I have had no major breakthrough with the OCD as of yet. In fairness to myself though, a few weeks ago I touched something very contaminated that needed mending and I put this down to the meds taking the edge off my anxieties. Nevertheless, I am still scared of the things that I have been scared of for the past six to seven years. It is unrealistic to expect anything else without having the CBT yet I know.
It just feels soooooooooo good to be able to take the mental health medication for the first time ever in my life. I feel like going up to those people who doubted my honesty years ago about taking the tablets and sticking two fingers up at them. I had no moral objection in the past about taking mental health medication, they just used to make me too ill….end of!
Therefore, as the weeks go on and I increase their dose and the CBT starts again with this much nicer new mental health team, ONLY then will I know the full value in taking these mental health medications. It is looking promising though, the light at the end of the tunnel has finally appeared for me at long last!