by - March 13, 2018

After doing some of my own research - which happens often due to not being able to sleep and wanting to know as much about my illness and medications as possible - I had come across an article that mentioned how sertraline (my anti-depressant) could increase the risk of bowel disease. No panic, I was already ill but perhaps this was why I wasn't seeing any improvement? Reading up about some other anti-depressants, I came across amitriptyline which although developed to help with anxiety and depression, it was most commonly used now to treat chronic pain - things like rheumatoid arthritis and also helps people to sleep. It didn't seem to have any negative gastro side effects so I was very interested in this.

I booked into see my main man Pratheep, my good GP in like August 2017 and explained to him the research I'd done and how I felt regarding the not wanting to be alive. He understood that I had clearly looked into this a lot and offered me three options - stay on sertraline but at a higher dose, switch straight on to amitriptyline or to take both and see how I got on after a month. I opted to take both - I wasn't ready to lose my sertraline, as he explained it was working so well for my anxiety that it would be a shame to mess that up.

After a month I'm not really noticing a difference so we decide to up both my sertraline and amitriptyline, it worked wonders, it still is. It helped manage some of my pain so I didn't need to take the liquid morphine or co-dydramol as often - I wouldn't need them for weeks at a time some times!

I feel human again - I laugh, I cry, I'm happy, I'm sad, etc. My mood swings are non-existent and I have no real problem getting out of bed in the morning or getting dressed, and on days I don't get out of bed, I rarely feel guilty about it. That "being a zombie" on meds thing people talk about? I don't get that. The only time I did was when I first started sertraline and my body was getting used to it.

I know not everyone will share the same experience with anti-depressants, or these ones and that I'm very fortunate to have found a Dr who is willing to listen to me and work with m to find solutions. By no means am I cured - I will always have anxiety and depression, but right now, they're in a little box, tucked away. I have probably had two panic attacks since upping my meds... a year ago I was having at least one a week, before that - several a week. I’m really very lucky and I’m always here if you need to talk, know sometimes I can be a bit slow at replying so apologies in advance.

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