Night time post…

Hello. Well that’s been a good day. No feelings of anxiety or low mood. I’ve felt positive and in a good mood. Looking forward to the future, immediate and medium term. No feelings of doom. I’m pleased. The last six weeks haven’t been all that good, despite the odd good day here and there. 

Looking forward to my sleep and to another good day tomorrow.

Night all

Allen Brooks xx

Anti Depressants to blame?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/aurora_shooting
The link is about an American man, James Holmes, who was prescribed sertraline for a mental illness. Holmes’s behaviour became ever more bizarre and erratic until he walked into a cinema and shot 12 people dead.

The raison d’ĂȘtre behind this story is the role anti depressants have on the lives who battle mental illness each and every day. Everybody is different and react to anti depressants in different ways. Personally, I was on Fluoxetine until December 2015, before changing to Mirtazapine. Fluoxetine were really causing some harmful side effects. I decided to stop them before I did myself harm. It’s a decision I don’t regret.

I still go through the same problems now, and yesterday, I took the decision to up my dosage to 45mg. Does that mean I will shoot 12 people dead? Of course not. I get angry sometimes, but anti depressants don’t turn me into a psychopathic killer. 

So this headline of the story that anti depressants can cause harm is a misleading one. People react differently. What was a pleasant individual in James Holmes was turned into a rabid, out of control individual by dint of anti depressants. But to blanket all medication as causing harm is wrong. Mental illnesses are many and varied, and they need different types of treatment. They’ve done me good in keeping me alive, with the occasional bad relapses, as I’ve outlined. I don’t view them as bad, but they’re not for everyone.

It’s an interesting article and a good topic for discussion. Not all people with mental illnesses are killers. But the easy way out is to generalise and stereotype. This stigma and discrimination at work. And the work continues for better understanding of mental illness, by everyone, irrespective of illness or not. 

Allen Brooks xx

Late on Parade…but a better sleep

My sleep isn’t the best these days. I can have the odd day, like last Friday, where I can sleep really well, other days aren’t so good.

It’s day one of being upped to 45mg of Mirtazapine. Obviously they won’t work straight away, they will take two to three weeks to get into my system. The dosage has been increased so I hope to feel better and also sleep better. 

Very late on parade today, but I woke up and felt a lot better. Good sleep and I don’t feel as mentally unwell as previous days/weeks. Could be a temporary thing, but I’ll take feeling good for one day at a time, and hope to build on that. Don’t feel as physically drained either. Feeling ok mentally can have an impact on physical health. Again, I’ll take that, albeit temporarily.

A brief respite? We’ll see. 

Allen Brooks xx

PTSD?

Afternoon. Something occurred to me today. For the last seven years, since the seismic events of my life (and not for the better), every summer time around late May or early June, a switch in my mind is flicked and I take a mental downturn…coincidence? 

I don’t deliberately set out to be unwell, but something in my subconscious seems to remember the traumas of 2010 and sends me downwards. It’s not always to the day or hour or anything like that, but on the bad days, the virtual reality becomes total reality.

Think of the brain as a computer. It absorbs millions of pieces of information, some good, some bad, some indifferent. The brain stores them in some compartment and recalls them at inopportune moments. Like May and June. My brain goes back to those times, and remembers the hurt, the pain, the grief. The brain is good at remembering those traumas and emotions.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can take many forms and can affect people differently, like most mental illnesses. It can’t be a coincidence that the second half of the last seven summers has seen trauma dominate my subconscious thinking.

It’s all very well for people to say, try and do things to take your mind off it. If it were only that simple! One day it starts and I have control over it at all. Other times of the year it doesn’t dominate my life. I carry on as though nothing has happened. All very strange.

It’s just a theory to try and explain all this. Plus of course, autism to be thrown into the mix. Nothing has been diagnosed as far as PTSD is concerned, but there must be an element of it, maybe? Maybe? As I said to my doctor today, I’ll wake up in a few weeks time and I’ll be fine again. 

To put it bluntly, midsummer isn’t a great time. I thought it was the depths of midwinter, but clearly that’s wrong. Life, don’t you just love it? 

Allen Brooks xx

A mountain to climb…again

  
Following on from the theme of the Himalayas in my last post, it feels as though I’m at the bottom of another large mountain, ready to climb it and fall a great distance, like the past ten years. 

I went to the doctors today. I’ve been procrastinating a lot in deciding whether to go, and today I finally went. The anxiety was there, but I made it to the surgery. 

I’m on a higher dose of tablets, just to see whether they will make a difference. I was doing so well up until early June, then back down the mountain I went. I’m prepared to give anything a go to get myself out of this rut. It isn’t pleasant, but when the alternatives are considered, the only thing to do is to carry on, in the British way, stiff upper lip and all that jazz. And I will.

I received a nice piece of encouragement from the correspondent in Nepal, who simply said “Keep on writing!” That I will do, keeping it real, keeping people abreast of how things are in my life. It gives me hope to know that someone is closely following my progress from a far off outpost. Encouraging, and that gives me hope to carry on once again. 

Time to start climbing that mountain again…

Allen Brooks xx

Allen Brooks in the Himalayas?

Trawling through the figures for the blog today, I noticed one thing. Someone viewed my blog in Nepal of all places. Yes, that’s right, Nepal, that country in the Far East with the Himalayan mountains…

I can just imagine someone climbing those mountains, reaching the top and then tuning in to my blog, or maybe not. Perhaps they have better things to do. But in all the far off outposts around the world, I wouldn’t have expected Nepal to feature on the list. I must be making an impression somewhere and somehow! 

The only thing I know about Nepal is that they play cricket. They’re my friends for life….! 

To the person who’s liked my stuff from Nepal, thank you and keep tuning in.

Allen Brooks xx