This blog post (or unpost) is being written on a bus. Although I have 12 embryonic posts in draft at the moment, I’m not inspired to write about any of those topics just now. So instead you’re going to get a stream-of-consciousness, unplanned update on what’s going through my head at the moment. Sorry!
Although I published my last blog post a week ago, I don’t have the excuse I had the last time there was such a hiatus between posts. I haven’t been working on anything else: I just haven’t felt able to write.
Nearly two years ago, I started taking citalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI) to treat my anxiety. I planned to stay on the drug until I had finished my PhD. However, a month ago, although I hadn’t returned to my studies (I still have 13 months to go), I decided to see how I’d cope without citalopram. My GP suggested lowering the dose over a month and then stopping. So I actually took the last tablet five days ago.
I’ve been on HRT for five and a half months, and one reason for coming off citalopram was to see if there were any positive psychological effects of that that I’d been missing thanks to the levelling effects of the SSRI. (I’m keen to increase my estradiol dose anyway, as I’ve effectively been having menopausal symptoms – mainly hot flushes – along with the pubertal stuff for the last couple of months or more, and that’s not much fun.)
* arrives at hospital for speech and language therapy appointment *
* in outpatient waiting area *
I don’t know if the way I’m feeling right now is how I will still be feeling in a couple of weeks (is it the new normal?) or if it’s actually just a reaction to coming off citalopram.
* on the bus home *
(Not a bad session, though I never feel I’ve made much progress, and I still find my voice very dysphoric at times. The therapist is very encouraging, though, and says I am making progress.)
So, anyway, one thing I’ve noticed since coming off the anti-depressant medication is that my head seems to be a lot busier – and not in a particularly good way. It’s as though there are countless thoughts vying for attention and none really getting any for long. With the medication, I may have had a damped-down emotional range (maybe), but I could at least focus to some extent on one thing (even if I had to be a bit single-minded for a while). I just can’t do that at the moment.
And I’m feeling quite low too – a lot of stuff, especially on Twitter, seems to be getting me down at the moment. And then there’s creeping anxiety about all sorts of things that haven’t bothered me for ages, like my general physical health (which was a big issue for me a couple of years ago). At the moment, I’m having to monitor my blood pressure twice a day, and it’s mostly been on the high side so far. The anxiety (or something) is causing my chest to tighten – and that’s on top of the pain in my developing breasts caused by the HRT. And what if the HRT itself is causing the high blood pressure?
It’s all very complicated and it’s just going round and round in my head without resolving. And I don’t really have anyone to talk to about these things, apart from people on (increasingly nasty-seeming) Twitter and my (largely anonymous) readers here.
It’s a lovely sunny day, by the way, but even that is hardly any consolation. And when little things go wrong – like missing out on the chance to play in an amateur orchestra for a weekend because they had my old email address – I get easily upset.
Anyway, this is what happens when I don’t plan a post in advance and can’t be bothered to edit it either. It’s an unpost.
* approaching the bus stop near my flat *