It’s been a bit of a busy one this week. Between submitting and pitching work at college, I’ve also been coping with my first week introducing the drug Sertraline into my system. As I’ve mentioned in previous postings, Sertraline is being introduced into my system whilst reducing another drug, Mirtazapine. Again to recap, Mirtazapine has been a drug I’ve taken for nearly 2 years and have found it to make me quite lethargic – sleeping in excess of 12 hours, not being able to be woken up, and generally being very zombie like at various points in the day.
Since reducing Mirtazapine to 15mg this week and introducing 50mg of Sertraline I’ve immediately noticed I’ve become more alert, sleeping less, and generally being ready to start my day when I wake up. For essentially being comatose for the last 2 years it feels great to be able to wake up when I want to wake up. I’m not saying I’m exactly leaping out of bed, but at least the aches and general drowsiness has subsided.
What I’m also saying is that it’s not the Sertraline that’s doing this; it’s the reduction of Mirtazapine that’s alleviating my symptoms, in my opinion.
So what is the Sertraline doing? Well it’s doing what all new drugs do to my system when introduced: it’s fucking shit up. There’s usually a period I find where new medication has to adjust to my body, or for my body to adjust to… Yeah, that last one… So my body is trying to adjust to this new medication whilst also being weaned off Mirtazapine. Cognitively I feel the same – although my mood is up because I’m not sleeping in excess of 12 hours. Physiologically I’ve noticed a few issues. I won’t list them, but suffice it to say always read the warning labels so you know what to expect. I don’t anticipate some of these side effects to last long, but it is something to always keep an eye on.
So retrospectively I think it might be worth addressing whether I’d recommend Mirtazapine as a course of medication for others in a similar situation. If you suffer from severe insomnia, then yes. Otherwise I’d say no. Sleeping for long periods and feeling drowsy for long portions of a day is not something I needed. Initially I did, I couldn’t sleep, I felt restless all the time. But to go from one extreme to another is not a solution. Medication needs to be reviewed all the time, and to be honest I probably should have come of Mirtazapine at some point last year. So that’s to also say if you feel your medication is causing some issues, raise them with your doctor.
Just because you’re medicated doesn’t mean it’s permanent. In my experience anti-depressants are just like antibiotics – eventually your body becomes too accustomed to the drug, and the infection becomes resistant to them. Depression is a lot of work to control, like any other disease, but just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Whilst there may be no ready cure, it can be managed. You’ve just got to be willing to work at it. Like a really bad marriage.