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This isn't strictly about citalopram - more of a general subject of anxiety but I have been in this group for ages and feel comfortable posting in here.
I have been on citalopram for 6 months. I can now say I am happier and more myself and I don't have the constant agony of my anxiety. The doubts, the horrible thoughts, the stress, the projection, the anger, the alcohol problem, has all subsided. I still have bad days - sometimes a whole week. But I can actually see the person I used to be. I can be that person. Whether its for a week a day or even an hour I dont care because I had forgotten that person existed. I thought I was a bad person, a mean, selfish, crazy, imperfect, alcoholic. Turns out I'm not. I just lost myself in my mental health afflictions (I have GAD, OCD and depressive epsiodes).
My family and my partner have been so supportive of me. Before I started medication and throughout the awful 6 months of doubt and sickness and depression and stress that going on the meds brought with it. But I recently confided in a friend that I was on anti-depressants and she was absolutely shocked. She simply said "you don't need that you're fine". This is someone who I would consider a very close friend. Someone I have spent a huge amount of time with one on one. It made me go through a thought process of how did I hide this? Do they even know the real me? How bad did things get? Am I really sick? Am I one of those people who takes the easy way out? Could I have gotten better without the meds? I ended up starting to try justify to her why I was on them - how bad I had been. But it felt so pointless. And embarrassing. Its private and I am not an open person. Sometimes when I discuss my anxiety people say comments like "oh yeh I get anxious" or "everyone has anxiety". I feel torn between feeling like I'm trying to make it all about me by saying how bad my situation is, and then feeling like a cop out if I don't try justify why I am on medication. Its really not enjoyable.
I am in therapy fortnightly. I was in therapy for a year before I started the medication. I didn't make this decision lightly. I have just started noticing a lot of judgement lately. When I fill a script at the chemist I feel I am almost dismissed or the person serving me immediately makes judgements about me. I feel like I almost have to say "I have a great job, I am an outstanding member of my family, I am a caring and loving girlfriend, I am smart and successful, I am not a failure".
My therapist agreed that there is a perceived stigma associated with mental health and medication. I wanted to know how everyone else gets treated? How do you justify this in your heads and your hearts? I know those people closest to me understand what I have been through. They have stood by helpless in my breakdowns. They have copped the screaming and abuse and fights. I just dont feel as ok outside of this circle. There is such a push in society/media to talk about mental health issues but I really dont believe it'll work.
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