It has been almost two months since my last blog post, and at the moment I can’t make any promises that I will be writing regularly over the coming months. I have tried to write about this a few times, but every time I have given up. Today a number of factors have come together to mean that I feel ready to write about what has been going on in my life over the past few months, and why I am having so much trouble posting regularly.
At the beginning of this year, the clinical psychologist I was visiting decided that my depression and anxiety weren’t getting better, and that we needed some more help. So my GP did some research, called in a few favours, and wrote me a referral to a psychiatrist in Melbourne. We waited with baited breaths, and then had a little cheer when we heard that the psychiatrist had accepted to take me on as a patient. Then we just had to wait until I came back to Melbourne, so that I could see this new psychiatrist and hopefully start making some progress.
A few days before my fourth year of medicine started, I had my first appointment with my Psychiatrist. It was intense and slightly overwhelming, but it made me feel so, so good. I was diagnosed with having severe anxiety and depression, and having someone so important state my diagnosis to me gave me an amazing sense of validation for just how terrible I had been feeling. It also felt amazing to come to an understanding that how I had been feeling wasn’t normal; that I was genuinely sick, and more importantly, that I would be able to get better.
It has been a hard three months since that first diagnosis. We have gradually changed all of my medications, and we are still in the process of getting my medications right. I am having to get weekly blood tests to monitor the levels of one of the drugs, and I am constantly on the watch for potential side effects. So far things have been going well, and I haven’t had any side effects from my new medications. I did discover that the reason I have put on so much weight over the past year was because one of the medications I was on is notorious for causing weight gain. But we have reduced the levels of that drug, and I have stopped putting on weight, and even started losing it!
Things are so, so much better than they were three months ago, but I am still struggling every single day. I am constantly tired, and seem to be regularly on the verge of tears, but I am getting better, slowly but surely. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I know that I am going to get better one day. I just find it hard sometimes, because I know that I am doing everything I can to get to the end of the tunnel as fast as I can, but it is still going to be a slow process. There is no quick fix for mental health problems – it takes time, perseverance and hard work. But I know I am going to get there, thanks to the amazing people I have supporting me. But I have been overwhelmed with university work, and so haven’t been able to find the inspiration to blog. I am hoping that as things continue to improve I will be able to post more, and that this blog will become everything that I had hoped it would be. I see good things in the future!