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Sertraline and me, pt.2.

So, here I am again. It’s been a month after my last update - (It is now the last day of June). I have started my increased dose of sertraline, but not without hesitation. Again, I had heard stories of how upping the dosage can lead to unwanted side effects. I was due to increase my dose to 100mg during a holiday, but I decided to carry on with 50mg while I was there. These negative effects were not going to stop me from having the nicest time I had had in a while.

And a nice time it was for the most part, until the odd cloud of anxiety and depression loomed here and there. This cloud can only be described as a grey whirlwind that swirls in my mind and takes away who I am. This was a bittersweet experience, however. Whilst it maybe took away what could have been more enjoyable moments of the holiday, it reaffirmed to me that upping my dose from 50mg to 100mg was the right thing to do. It was clear that my troubles still existed.

So, the day I got back from the holiday, I started my increased dose. With less hesitation than the day I first took 50mg, I started another journey… Except, it didn’t feel like a new journey. In fact, it felt exactly the same as the old one. Not much changed initially. It didn’t feel like upping my dose did much at all. As I look at my prescription now, I count 1, 2, 3… 12. Twelve days have passed since I came back from holiday and started my increased dose.

As I look back through the past twelve days, I question whether I have noticed any changes.

About five or so days into this new dose, I recall having an interrupted sleep. Usually, I sleep incredibly well. In fact, I usually sleep too well. These interrupted sleeps have been relatively frequent. It feels as though I am somewhere between being awake and being unconscious. Almost as though I could open my eyes and be present, whilst I am half dreaming and resting my brain. Apart from that, I have not experienced any other negative side effects.

Now onto the good news.

I don’t recall a time in the past two years in which I have been less troubled by my anxiety and depression than I have these past two weeks. I have been hunting for a new part time job since moving to a new town, which means having interviews and being ‘judged’ - for want of a better word. In the past, these situations have led me to sweat, shake and lose myself and my thoughts. I once resorted to drinking alcohol before an interview to calm my nerves. However, whilst I was still somewhat nervous for these interviews, I remained in a positive and calm headspace.

I have also been able to truly enjoy a few things and step out of my comfort zone confidently. For example, my girlfriend and I recently acquired two paddleboards. We aren’t very experienced but we went down to the harbour, got a licence from the harbour master and paddled away on the water. I remember feeling remarkably calm and confident compared to my usual reclusive self.

As I come to the end of this update, you should know that I will be writing the final part of this trilogy in a month's time at the end of June. We will see how my journey progresses. All signs are pointing in the right direction, however, I am very aware that it is early days. I’m cautious to deem myself cured of my mental health issues. But nevertheless, I have had a positive and freeing couple of weeks.

Times like this can come for anyone that experiences depression and anxiety, whether they are taking medication for it or not. If you are someone that experiences these things, then I want you to know that bad times do pass and good times do come. The title of George Harrison’s debut album is true; ‘All Things Must Pass’.


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