Sunday, 18 May 2014

My experience of CBT and Anti-Depressants

Recently I opened up to you all about my recent battles with mental health problems, in a post titled My Story. Although really scary for me to write, at the same time it was really liberating, and over the past year I have learnt it really helps people to talk about their problems and to know that someone else out there is going through the same thing as you.

When I was first refferred to a specialist over my illness, and had to sit down and talk to the doctor, I cried, and cried. Sometimes you don't realise how hard it is to talk to someone about all those things that are going on in your head, or to admit to yourself what you have done and what you have thought.
I went to see a psychatrist privately every week (as the NHS waiting list was extremely long) and had a mixture of CBT and Anti-Depressants. At first I was not keen to go on any medication, I had been taking St. John's Wort and we agreed to up my dosage and see how I was. However, through no fault of there own or lack of trying some people just need that extra something. my doctor once told me it is like someone telling you to pull your socks up and sometimes you just phisically can't do it, and you need that little bit of extra help. For me this came in the form of Anti-Depressants, a form of Prozac called Fluoxetine, which I took everyday. The medication had some mild side effects for me, bad dreams and trouble sleeping (but no worse than when I had been before), being tired and a certain detatchment from things. But to me this was much better then what I had been experiencing on my own.

Alongside this I had CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) every week for an hour. This was much much harder than just taking my medication everyday. It was sitting down and talking about your problems, how you think and tackling them head on. In the beginning I would cry, and experience full body sweats (which was rather disgusting). I wouldn't want to admit things and had a hard time trying to change what I thought was right. I would also get very tired, after an hour of CBT I would find myself exhausted and falling asleep on the car journey home. However, in the end, it was CBT that helped me the most. With the help of my doctor I looked at the ways I thought and behaved, what I thought about my self, and stuff I did subconciouly as a result of this. A lot of it was hard to hear, and once it was written out in front of me, as a target, as a task to try and complete or even a mind map of one of my average thought processes I often had a hard time admitting that what I was doing was hurting me, making me sick. Sometimes people don't realise how hard it is to battle with yourself, and the realisation that you are hurting yourself more than you could ever imagine. I certainly admire anyone who has gone through something like this, it's a tough lot to take.

I am now off my medication and no longer attend CBT. I am still working to keep things under control, but things are a lot better now I know what I am looking for, what I am doing, and often I can tell when something is wrong and just to take a step back. I am not going to lie to you, coming off the medication was difficult, and I did feel a drop after a month or so, but now I don't notice anything at all, and I am glad that I no longer have that detachment that I experienced before. If anyone ever wants to ask anything about my treatment, or needs someone to talk to about this kinda thing I would be happy to help or just to listen, and feel free to email me about it any time you need to.


  1. This story touched me so much I have experience very similar things to you, except I have never gone to see anyone about my problems :((

    1. You should try and get some help, I know it is hard, but it is always better in the long run. I am here if you need me H xx

  2. Such a wonderful post...
    Lovely greets Ness

  3. You're so brave for talking about this. Depression and anxiety runs in my family, and I have really bad anxiety. I know how hard it is to deal with and talk about. :)


  4. Wonderful post. ;-)
    Lovely greets Nessa


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