It’s only a week in and I’m cautious about talking too much about how it’s going. This is for a few reasons, but they are important reasons.
Firstly - it has only been a week.
Psychiatric medicines take awhile to get into the system. Although you may be monitored every two weeks, it is important to not expect any drastic differences until at least a month. Often patients are monitored every two weeks when beginning medication therapy to check on any side-effects, and to ensure that the patients physical health is not being compromised.
In terms of my own first week on Vortioxetine, the side-effects I have noticed are minimal, I still have some sickness, which I mentioned on my instagram stories a few times. This could also be contributed to my sudden cessation of Mirtazapine, which brings me on to…
Secondly - I dropped the Mirtazapine without reducing the dose.
DO. NOT. DO. THIS.
Never, and I mean never, just stop taking a medication. Especially don’t do this with psychiatric drugs. It was only yesterday(!) that I discovered I should have tapered my Mirtazapine dose over two weeks before starting the Vortioxetine.
I knew that you should never just stop taking a prescribed medication before all this, and I won’t go into the reasons why I didn’t taper off the Mirtazapine, but if you take anything from my mistakes, my blog, my anything, please please please double check with your GP and Pharmacist before stopping any medication.
Thirdly - My life is a mess
Ok, so a mess is a little dramatic, but I work nights, I sleep during the day and I work upwards of 5 nights in a row regularly. If I’m taking the Vortioxetine at 9am and then going to sleep, I’m generally sleeping through the worst of the side-effects, I think.
The impact of working nights on health is well documented especially on mental health. Leaving my job is not an option right now, and I don’t exactly have the impetus to look for another one, it’s easy for me to stay where I am and try to build my photography. As much as my working pattern could be a detriment to my mental health, the job isn’t. The team I work with is, on the whole, excellent, we support each other and we work hard.
Finally - Social Impact
I am acutely aware of the social impact this blog series could have. Currently it doesn’t, which is a bit of a blessing, but there is the potential of influencing people and the last thing I want to do is be incredibly negative about a medication that could save someone’s life. I don’t really have any negative things to say, but in trying to provide a balanced documentation, and knowing what I know, I struggle to discuss any negatives objectively as the positives may not truly present themselves for another month.
And this week that’s what I want to leave you with, that when embarking on any medication for psychiatric disorders, it is so important to give them time, and to give yourself time too. Currently my body and brain are dealing with a new mediation, my mind is slowly making sense of it all and that is all part of the journey, really.