This is my website and blog about my long term mental health illness of Anxiety & Depression and my Inflammatory Bowel Disease, in the form of Ulcerative Colitis
I blogged in June about reviewing my anxiety medication, specifically because during the first 4 weeks of coronavirus lockdown I had experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and an insight into how life could be.
I currently take 600mg of Pregabalin, (300mg in the morning and 300mg in the evening) and 100mg of Sertraline in the morning for my anxiety, in the form of generalised anxiety disorder.
I telephoned my doctors surgery to make an appointment to speak to my doctor and was advised that appointments were not available for general medication reviews, but that I could add a note to a repeat prescription request. I therefore, decided to write a letter to my doctor, which I shared with you in my June post.
I posted recently about my anxiety medication and my intention to ask the doctor to review it.
Today I telephoned the Doctors surgery to ask to for a non urgent appointment to discuss my medication. I was advised that, because of Covid-19, the GP was not reviewing medication at present. So having felt somewhat deflated, after plucking up the courage to telephone, I thought I would try writing to them instead.
I know it is difficult, because we are in the coronavirus pandemic and medical staff in particular are extremely busy, but at the same time, we should be able to access medical attention. I didn’t expect an immediate response, but surely we should be able to speak to a doctor at some point?
I was contacted recently by Paul, he has been a Psychology enthusiast his whole life. He noticed I post a lot of content about anxiety, so he wanted to share his new video called “How To Overcome Shyness & Social Anxiety – The Spotlight Effect”
I found it an interesting video, particularly if you suffer with social anxiety or low self esteem.
Here is Paul’s video from his channel: Psychology Theory
I am struggling with my anxiety as usual. During the first 3- 4 weeks on lock down for coronavirus, my wife and I screened ourselves. I found that not being allowed to go out and not having any appointments to go to, resulted in my anxiety easing significantly and I was happy pottering around at home and working part time at home on my computer. Now some 12 weeks later I find my generalised anxiety back to where it was prior to lock-down and having seen how I can be during those first three weeks, I want to be more like that.
Each year Martin Lewis and Money Savings Expert produce an incredibly helpful booklet especially for mental health sufferers with money advice and debt advice. They key message from Martin Lewis is that all debt problems are solvable and this Mental Health and Debt Guide can be a valuable guide to sorting out debt problems. Debt worries can be overwhelming and debt recovery letters very intimidating and contribute greatly to anxiety and depression illnesses. But on your own or with the help of a carer or friend, using this guide; you can tackle the problem and resolve the crisis.
My wife and I have been screening for the past 6 weeks, during coronavirus, because my wife is medically vulnerable, and I suspect on the border of highly vulnerable. The last 6 weeks have been the best. I don’t have to go out, everyone is working remotely, we have no fixed appointments or commitments. I don’t have to go to the shops, I can’t ride my bike or walk the dog. I am not allowed out!!!
During my initial assessment for CBT, which was a 45 minute telephone interview. I identified that I consumed a lot of caffeine. My therapist pointed out that caffeine was considered to exacerbate my anxiety problems. Whilst I knew I was drinking quite a lot of tea with the occasional coffee, I did not appreciate how many cups of caffeinated tea and coffee I was drinking and had not taken into account the amount of caffeine there was in the Pepsi Max I was drinking each evening.
It has been sometime since my last blog post. I still struggle with and have been working on my anxiety and depression.
About 12 months ago I went to my GP as I had a significant family event approaching in six months time; namely my daughter’s wedding. During my consultation with the GP it was agreed to a change in my medication and so I now take Sertraline in addition to the Pregabalin, medication. I started on a dose of 50 mg per day and after three weeks this was increased to 100 mg per day.
As usual time has passed – back in July I went and visited my GP for the first time in a long time. Since then I have been back to see him a couple of times. After my first appointment, we agreed that I would try out an additional medication, so I started on Sertraline at 50mg once a day for two weeks, then increased it to 100mg once a day. I have been on this dose now for 3 months. Here is a useful explanation of the medication Sertraline on Mind’s website.