Saturday, 19 August 2017

Creating My Odyssey: A GOOD KICK UP MY SEROTONIN LEVEL

Creating My Odyssey: A GOOD KICK UP MY SEROTONIN LEVEL: I've learnt, over time, what may have happened to the old brainbox.       First up, my medication combination. It's known in the tr...

A GOOD KICK UP MY SEROTONIN LEVEL

I've learnt, over time, what may have happened to the old brainbox. 
     First up, my medication combination. It's known in the trade as 'California Rocket Fuel'. Or, to be technically accurate, Venlafaxine (Effexor) and Mirtazipine (brand name Remeron, among others). 
     Immediately after my medication crisis over three years ago, after my GP had prescribed Quetiapine, an antipsychotic which calmed me down and made me go to sleep (what a blessing!), my brilliant mental health team took me off the medication that had caused those horrific suicidal feelings. They put me back onto Venlafaxine, which had served me well for seven years until it had stopped working efficiently in recent months back then. This got me stabilized, or, as Husband put it, tolerably bad.
     Then they added Prothiadin onto Venlafaxine. This is the first antidepressant my doctor had prescribed a year after my daughter was born and post natal depression had persisted, even though the initial shock of the birth had subsided. The effect, making me feel relatively normal back then, had lasted for twenty years. But this time the addition caused me to wake up panicking, and the suicidal feeling had returned. I took the Quitiapin, felt better almost immediately, and informed the team. We were immediately invited in to see them that morning. 
     We discussed the situation with my mental health nurse practitioner and a psychiatrist, and Mirtazipine was added instead. And that, my friends, together with cognitive behavioural therapy, is the route we took to my miraculous wellness. 
     Cognitive behavioural therapy concerns the breaking down of negative thoughts - compartmentalizing them - and challenging each one. Is this thought true? After thirty years of depression, my thoughts required a lot of shaking up! 
     Today, my serotonin level, I believe, has been given a good, hefty kick up the rear, and my brain, which has a mind of its own, now believes that nothing bad is going to happen upon any given moment that had, at one time, caused me anxiety. It's been a long time coming, and may it continue. 
     I wonder - has anyone else been in a similar situation, or have any thoughts on this subject? I'd love to hear from you. I can be contacted on this blog or on Facebook, or on any other of my social media accounts. The more discussions on the subject the better! 


  


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Creating My Odyssey:                                            JANE'S ...

Creating My Odyssey:                                            JANE'S ...:                                              JANE'S BENNETS                          AND ME I live in Alton, Hampshire (a lovely ...
                                           JANE'S BENNETS 
                       AND ME


I live in Alton, Hampshire (a lovely historic market town. I feel sooo lucky!), of which more anon. The name of my road is Bennet. We moved here, literally a hop, skip and jump away from our old abode, in a hired removal van (I drove) around the corner. Exhausting trip.
    ‘Funny, ‘ they all said, ‘Bennet Close. It was meant to be.’
    They were all referring, of course, to my maiden name, Bennett. As it turns out, it's more than appropriate. Fans of Jane Austen will know that she lived in Chawton, the village next door, literally just another hop, skip and jump (not quite just round the corner, takes about half an hour to walk it). She also lived in Steventon, another Hampshire village, where her daddy was a vicar. But Chawton was where she became ill before moving to Winchester to die. She's buried in the cathedral and there's a large memorial stone in the floor where she lies. Stood on her many times. (Sorry, Jane). Several roads in Alton are named after characters or places in her novels.
     But, enough of the history lesson. The name Bennet didn't register with me at the time, apart from the fact that the Bennets were her characters in Pride and Prejudice, the ruddy book (sorry, Jane fans) I forced myself to read three times for my O'Level back in ’69 or thereabouts (English Lit – hated it! Failed. Whatever.) Other roads are named similarly after characters or places in Jane's novels. Willoughby, Bingley (the road below us), Netherfields (the road leading to us). I was never a fan of Jane Austen. Apparently she was a great observer of life and made fun of her characters (I did rather like Mr Bennet, actually) and the mannerisms back then, but I just grew impatient with them all and felt, largely: ‘Oh, for goodness sake, just get on with it!’ Now, I don't need to be reminded that I'm looking through 21st century eyes at a story set in the 18th century. I've been reminded of that countless times. It just makes me all the more tremendously grateful to be living now!
     Back to the Bennets. One of my umpteen zillion interests is family history (again, of more anon) and I'm subscribed to Ancestry.co. And I found myself, by the natural course of things, family historian. I've inherited much family memorabilia and was fascinated by them and given much of it as a teen and twenties person. So, I've researched a fair bit about the Bennetts. First of all my great-great grands lived in Selbourne, Hampshire (my dad always said that I've returned to my Hampshire roots). My great-great grandfather James Bennett was a well known cricketer back in the late 1700s and into the early 1800s, and his cousin, John Bennett, was an even more well known cricketer. They both played at Middlesex and, according to the statistics of the time, were pretty damn good, enough to be noted in the periodicals  of the time. What puzzles me rather, is that my great-great grandfather James, the lesser known Bennett, is mentioned in the census of 1841 as a lowly agricultural worker, so I’m a tad curious. Eh, well – keep researching.
      Okay, jolly interesting. What's this got to do with Jane Austen? I hear you ask (or not). It turns out, and I've known this for some time, Jane was very keen on cricket. A film for television was broadcast fairly recently – Being Jane (I didn't watch it. Maybe I should). Part of the story shows her playing cricket in the garden. That didn't surprise me, but what did, when I Googled Jane Austen and cricket, a website popped up, run by Fantasy Bob (Dodgy name, if you ask me) under the sub title Witterings. Bob is a cricketing fan, and, amidst his cricketing chat, was the apparent fact that Jane had been influenced by the cricketing Bennetts. Well, pickle me walnuts, as dear old Len Goodman (Strictly Come Dancing) used to say. 😃! Well, it was the right era – end of 18th century, and the Bennett cousins were strutting their stuff at the time, particularly down at Hambledon Cricket Club, Hampshire, where the rules of cricket were established, don't you know. Apparently that's what influenced Jane to name her characters in Pride and Prejudice, accidentally missing off the second ‘t’.
     Some might say: ‘Rubbish! Don't believe everything you read.’ I don't. But it's a lovely story and I'm sticking to it. And anyway, who's to say it ain't true? It's perfectly feasible. My big bro loved the story too, and thinks the same.
     What a brilliant thought - that my immediate ancestor, James, and his cousin John, were Jane's heroes! And what a brilliant thought if I could prove it. Doubt that I could manage that, but nevertheless, what a wonderful story, and, as I say, I'm sticking to it! 





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