End of another chapter

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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Early last week, I had an over-the-phone appointment with my psychiatrist. It was brief and bittersweet. Little did I know, at the start of the conversation, that this appointment would be my last. She explained to me that she had done all she could. Finally, I’ve come to the end of another chapter.

The long road we travelled together started in 2018, barely a month after I went off work. I consider myself lucky; we meshed right from the start. However, it would turn out that my relationship with the SSRIs she prescribed, would do anything but get along with me.

What makes a good therapist?

Moreover, I would put myself through a pharmaceutically-induced hell. As fate would have it, nearly every treatment option failed. Despite this, I soldiered on pill after pill, I clung to the hope that this time, this would be the one; the one that eased my depression, minimized the torture that comes with PTSD and ultimately saving my life.

This little, tiny pill would become a double-edged sword.

Alas, this was not to be, and no matter the level of hope, it was soon dashed by the results – or should I say the lack thereof. Fortunately, it wouldn’t take long for my psychiatrist to figure out what my Achilles heel was.

So then, what was it that made this aspect of my healing journey such a difficult one? Well, ironically, it was a medication. I have epilepsy and have been on an anticonvulsant since I was thirteen.

Read Medication, at an Impasse

With it, came an opportunity to plan out and live a normal life because it, lucky for me, completely controlled my seizures. Even to this very day, I am grateful for the life it gave me.

However, this little tiny pill would become a double-edged sword for me. While I got through my day-to-day relatively unscathed because of it, my slow and slippery slide into the realm of mental illness would be complicated by it.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
Find out more below – Written for therapeutic release, published in hopes it helps you.

I have been fortunate to have lived the life i have.

As fate would have it, the anticonvulsant I am on would prevent almost all attempts to help me moderate the symptoms of my mental-health conditions – for the most part at least. How ironic, that a medication that helps me to live was now hindering my healing.

On the positive side, my psychiatrist went the distance with me. She could have handed my care back over to my GP much sooner, but wanted to find a solution. Although finding the med that worked for me was largely trial and error, I would have to say that many months of sedation and other side effects were worth it in the end. My psychiatrist was awesome and did her utmost to help, even advocating for me in other ways; often contacting WCB on my behalf. Although this is essentially the end of another chapter, I can move on knowing that we both put up a good fight.

So please, don’t give up on yourself.

Despite the battle, we did, however, find some meds that somewhat help. Sure, I could be disappointed, but I choose to be grateful. While they may not be wonder drugs, they do help quell the suicidal ideation. Personally, I’d call that a win. My friends, going the distance does indeed pay off.

So then, what’s the moral of this chapter in my life? Well, firstly, I now know that if you persist and advocate for yourself, you will eventually get the help you need. Furthermore, I have come to learn that there are some committed, compassionate mental health professionals out there who only want to help and make a difference.

So please, don’t give up on yourself, the system or the professionals, for they may help you get to the end of another chapter.

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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