vitamins for the brain

Why do I call them Vitamins for The Brain?

Something I have never really spoken or written about is my medication.

While talking to someone recently I became aware that I have never rally talked about how I came to be on the medication.

So I wanted to briefly describe how I was put onto it, how it works and what it actually feels like.

I had previously been prescribed medication for general anxiety but since I didn’t really understand the condition I remember that I didn’t take the medication with any seriousness either. This was back in the early 2000’s

The type of medication used to treat my condition is known as an SSRI

For years I went to the same doctor and he told me that I was fine, that I had a wife and lovely children – what did I have to be worrying about. I think once or twice he even mentioned that I should lose a stone or two and things would be a lot better.

From that you can see why I didn’t really get what was really wrong with me.

It wasn’t till much later on, after 2010 that I again visited a totally different doctor and she really did take her time to explain to me what was going on. She went into the whole thing in great detail and explained about the medication – what they were – how they worked etc.

I will always remember we talked about the stigma of taking medication for a mental illness and this was her take on it:

“This type of medication was simply vitamins for the brain”

That has always stuck with me – because essentially that is exactly what they are.

When I went to the doctor this time – I was put through the whole process of talking to a psychiatrist and phycologist. I think at that time there was a thought that I may have suffered from a variant of Bipolar syndrome.

When talking to the psychiatrist – she told me out straight that I wasn’t Bipolar but that I did have an extremely bad case of General Anxiety Syndrome. She prescribed me the same drug but also prescribed Xanax to be taken three times during the day.

I still did not think that it was the done thing to talk about the medication side of things so I didn’t really tell too many people – and I must admit it did feel like a dirty little secret. Obviously, my thoughts on that particular point did change.

If I did tell someone about the medication, I remember being told to be careful of the Xanax – they were addictive.

At that time in my life I was finding work extremely stressful and would have found myself counting down to finishing time. The worst times were in the morning and before lunchtime – so that’s when I took my 2 Xanax tablets. After lunch I always found that things started to look a little brighter and my mood began to lighten – so I never took the third tablet, as it wasn’t necessary.

It’s funny that I remember having a conversation with a guy in a networking group I was in and he mentioned that “his friend” was having a few issues with his mental health and what should he do about it. I guess that was the very first time that I outed myself to someone outside my direct family. I told him of my condition and the vitamins for the brain also. That conversation took place outside the Knightsbrook Hotel Golf Club in Trim.

From that point onwards I saw a benefit to others by me talking about my mental health.

Back to the medication though….

When I first took the SSRI tablets I was almost unable to take my head off the pillow the next morning, I had such a bad headache, it felt like the worst handover ever combined with a migraine.

I called work and told them I couldn’t come in – although I could hardly move I still felt very anxious about not going in, what would the repercussions be??

It took about two weeks for the heavy head feeling to go. These tablets are not really a mood stabilizer as such but they do actively keep my mood balanced rather than being low in the morning and high in the afternoon.

As for the Xanax they became only necessary in very stressful circumstances. I ended up that I was more than likely not using my months supply to removed them from my prescription.

Since the original prescription I have probably changed the type of tablet I was taking maybe three or four times.

My dosage has also been upped a few times but this is all part of the process of keeping on top of things.

I have now become very regimented about taking my tablets.

If I don’t take my tablets for any given day I wake up in the middle of the night very dazed and can only describe it as having a VERY heavy head. As soon as I take the tablets the sensation goes quite quickly.

I hope that by sharing this story that it might help someone open up about their issues or realise that taking medication for mental health issue is perfectly acceptable and not anything to be ashamed of –

Afterall they are just vitamins for the brain!


For My Story – just click here



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February 2021
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