mental health

The serotonin blues

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Earlier in the month, I started weaning off lexapro, my anxiety medication. After a week of feeling like shit, I decided to stop cold turkey and get it over and done with.

I already felt awful, I figured it couldn’t get much worse…

Boy was I wrong!

When I started on lexapro, I was pretty naive about the entire process. I knew I needed treatment for my anxiety. My symptoms had accelerated and not only was I suffering, my marriage was suffering and my son was suffering.

I knew it was time, but I knew it wasn’t forever. And I told my doctor that.

So, 18 months ago, I started on lexapro (escitalopram). For about six months, I used a generic brand of the drug and it worked wonders.

It was amazing.

Then, I changed pharmacies and therefore changed aftermarket brands. The medication changed, it wasn’t as good.

I never put the two together.

Fast forward another few months and I’d moved to Melbourne, used several different generic brands since and was generally having a shitty time with my anxiety. There I was in a new GP’s office about to up my dose when he told me something I should have been told a LONG time ago:

The drugs in escitalopram are so sensitive that even changing brands can completely change the result of the medication.


That’s when I stopped using after market brands and switched to lexapro brand ONLY. I didn’t have to up my dose, I just had to stop changing the brand. That.damn.simple.

After two weeks I was back on top of the world.

At that point, I probably should have spoken to my new (and amazing) GP about the medication as a whole and if it was right for me, but I didn’t.

I still blindly followed my original doctors advice. My anxiety had settled so I was happy.

Fast forward to now. James has been home for four months, Oliver’s behaviour is better than it’s ever been and I am feeling pretty damn fine.

I knew it was time to kick the lexapro. I wanted to keep it up my sleeve for when life throws it’s next set of hurdles at us.

So I went and saw my GP. She talked me through the symptoms- nausea, sweats, headaches, fatigue, the shakes and the list goes on. Like 20% of people, I might go through SSRI withdrawal.

Yup, lucky me…

It was horrendous. Imagine the flu, whilst highly emotional and suffering a bout of gastro.

It was tough. It was really tough.

But I did it, and I feel fucking great!

Do I regret going on lexapro? Not exactly, I just wish I’d conducted my own research and found a more suitable drug for me. Check out what NPS says about lexapro it here!

Will I be going on it again? Heck no!

It helped me through a really really shitty time in my life and for that I’ll be forever thankful. But gosh, I really think my GP probably should of told me that I will never exierience anything tougher than going off lexapro- even childbirth (yup, I said it)!

I don’t want to put you off either. Seriously, I have never felt better than I have felt in the past couple of days since my serotonin kicked back in. I’ve got my groove back.

I did it, you can do it. And you’ll be great! But I’m not going to lie to you, it’s tough!

And if you are looking into treatment for your anxiety, ask plenty of questions, do plenty of research, and trust your body!! Don’t be scared of medication, it’s a wonderful thing. Just know what you’re putting I’m your body.

So, what was your experience like with lexapro? Would you ever go back on an SSRI?

If you, or someone you know is suffering from anxiety- seek help from professionals, don’t go it alone. I am by no means a professional. Check out Beyond Blue for resources! 


An open letter about Belle Gibson

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I’m going to put a question to you. It’s not a comfortable question, and one that I don’t like to ask. But I’m going to do it anyway.

If Belle Gibson took her own life, could you say 100% that you had nothing to do with it?

I can’t.

Powerful words

Like most of you, I have been disgusted by the acts she is accused of. I have shared articles on Facebook and I have even liked the Facebook page ‘exposing Belle Gibson.’

But it was not until yesterday that I read this and realised that we have gone too far.

“Former classmate Meg Weier said that Ms Gibson was quite strange.” Taken from the dailymail, UK.

Well, fuck me, she must be guilty!

We have clearly run out of things to say about this issue, but we’re finding something to say anyway.

It got me thinking back to Charlotte Dawson, and her suicide that many believe was caused by cyber bullying. After she died we talked a bit about cyber bullying, but then we just kinda moved on. Did we not learn anything?

You see I was bullied as a kid and it sucked! Like, really sucked. Like, yes- I did think it would be easier if I didn’t have to get up the next day- sucked.

But I would go home, or hang out with my friends on weekends and escape my bullies. I didn’t have to worry about them. They weren’t in my house; they didn’t enter my personal space. So I got through it with the support of my friends and family.

Cyberbullying vs Bullying

Ms Gibson’s bullies are in her home. They are on her phone, her tv, her computer. She really can’t escape it. Her mental health must be absolutely on the edge.

Sure, she may not have cancer like she claimed, she may not have the scans to prove her illness, but just look at the facts here guys—anyone who has gone through what she went through, what she has put herself through, is clearly very unwell.

I get that people are angry; I understand that Ms Gibson may have actually made a lot of people really unwell. You know what, I’m a bit angry too.

But I am going to take a different path. I am going to advocate for her safety and the safety of her child. I am going to offer my support to Belle Gibson, a young girl whose mental health must be very frail.

And I get that you can’t advocate with me, and that’s fine. But let’s stop the cyber bullying before it’s too late.

With love,

Cassandra J.