Mental Health Support
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My story

So back in February 2017 I had a full on breakdown. I don't and never have suffered with depression just pure anxiety so if you're looking for someone whose had depression and citalopram, this probably isn't the right thread for you. Please may I say, I am writing this to inspire and help others and hopefully people can make some use of my experience as so many others have done before me and I tell you what it helped me tremendously....so here goes;

I left my house for work on the 7 Th February I've got a really stressful job anyway. I froze on the way . I couldn't go. I turned back round. When I got home I was so anxious I couldn't do it . Do anything, I couldn't leave my house. I had had anxiety and health anxietyfor years and years with bouts of full on agoraphobia. I knew this one was different though. I couldnt talk to anyone I couldn't speak to my managers at work. I just stayed in my room an utter wreck convinced I was going to die or just be housebound forever.

That first month I will.never forget. It felt like years. All I could do was watch series of programmes. I couldn't go to the shop. I had to get my family to get me cigarettes. I felt utterly useless. I couldn't get to the doctor's so I had to do phone calls. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I thought I'm ill and I don't know what it is. My friends and family had been telling me for years Adam your health anxiety is all in your head. I thought I had some unknown disease or something that wasn't being picked up on on my numerous trips to a and e . Anyway so in this month my friend was insisting i go on antidepressants. She had been depressed but mine wasn't depression i thought so what would they do.... Still she insisted Adam go to the GP and get citalopram. Having health anxiety I'd read all of the warnings about SSRIs. "Don't take them!!" They make you worse etc. So the last thing I was going to do was try this... Well it got to a stage where I nearly took my life. My job in the balance , no money coming in, debts to pay , not being able to even leave my front door , feeling incredibly unwell. I thought I can't take it. One day when my family were out I wrote a note . Cutting a long story short I didn't do it. I then got on the phone to the GP and got a prescription for citaloram. I was still too petrified to take it . My friend video called me to show I was doing g it . I hid it under my tongue and she congratulated me and said we'll done. I spat it out almost immediately, I felt so guilty lying to my best friend. Anyway the next day I lay on my bed and thought the side effects of this can't be any worse than me wanting to actually end it so I did it . I popped half of a 20mg pill. Something the next day felt different . I wonder if it was cos I finally did it or the chemicals helped immediately but I felt some clarity for the first time in a year, just a fleeting moment but still it was nice..... Then....... As id read the first two weeks of me being on these tablets I became a whole lot worse. As some of you know being at rock bottom only to be made worse.... Wasn't fun but at least I knew why there was a reason. I was so grateful.

Anyway as the weeks went by i started getting some clarity back. Some more energy my body didn't feel so weak. My appetite came back. On a side note for years my muscles had wasted away from being In a constant anxious fight or flight state. I started to fill out muscle wise. Just to a thirty year old man body not Arnold Schwarzenegger lol I slowly started to go down my road. Built up the distance.... I.made the shop. Still by the fourth month I was not ready to go back to work just yet. Work were pressing me for a return to work. It got to the point I had to get my union involved as ...although they were wrong , they tried to sack me. The union soon put them straight . I don't like being off sick. I felt bad being g off letting the team down but over time I realised I couldn't have worked , I was very ill. Anyway so it got to the point t of raising my dose I raised to fifteen and then I started to be able to go out and about a bit more the odd five mins to my friend's house here and there. But quite not ready for work. I then upped to 20mg and something changed. I had a work meeting and I got there. It gave me sommuch cconfidence. I then went back to work two weeks later and since august 2017 I have been off for two days with a vomiting bug but nothing else. I now travel to towns outside mine although I can't go too far yet I have my life back. I. CAn go to restaurants pubs and not be itching to get out. My sleep has improved. I've put on some weight which I'm trying to lose but overall I'm a much happier calmer person than I have been for the last seven years.

Some tips:

1. I was very lucky I had a good network of family and friends, although you do find out who your true friends are when you go through this. Ask for help. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed

2. Speak to the GP those with health anxiety and read up online can be forgiven for thinking the healthcare system is the Antichrist but they want to help

3. Try and get therapy if you can to go along with the medication CBT worked for me and many others I know.

4. Take one day at a time. These kind of meds take a long long time to get in the system and work. They actually make you feel worse at first so bear with it but always talk to your GP and get their advice if you are having symptoms. As some you have to be cautious about.

5. Try and talk to work , explain your situation. Mental health is covered under the disability act so you're well protected and they can't just get rid of you.

6. Be grateful. This is an odd one but this has been one of the main things that got me through. It changed me into a man rather than a boy. Just ten things a day I say even the fact I have shelter and food and water. It really grounds you.

7. Trust your gut. Some people meds may be no good for. Others they help so much. Go with the advice you're given and believe you can get better and will get better.

Lastly none of this is medical advice this is just my story. I was off for a total of six months. I have now been back for 8 months. Good luck to everyone on here

I wouldn't have done it without the tremendous amount of support I got from this site, my friends, family and healthcare professionals

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2 Replies
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I am pleased you managed to overcome your anxiety so well done. Unfortunately many of us don't have a good support network behind us so it's much harder for us. Do you have any advice for that?

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Yes well done and so good to hear your story...Thank you for sharing..I'm really happy for you..

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