Self-care

Side effects and dealing with them

Everything comes with a price, goes especially well with the drugs. It’s a struggle between trying to be a functional independent person (not aiming to be a Superman) and side effects.

I struggle with CPTSD, which can be felt similar to depression, anxiety, ADHD, BPD and OCD combined.
People with CPTSD are similar, but we are not the same. Treatment should always be individual and help you at areas you struggle the most. There is no CPTSD drug that fits all.

I’m currently on antidepressant, antiepileptic and Cannabidiol.
The most annoying side effect at the moment is the lack of physical energy. I need to force myself into any physical movement.
“Luckily”, I had a back injury and I’m in lots of pain if I don’t move. So my motivator is the fear of pain or pain, if not else.
I hope you have some better methods and I’d really like to hear about them.

You can combat tiredness with caffeine


If you’re prone to anxiety or having trouble with self control – you’re walking on a thin line here.

You need to be really careful about mixing anything with your drugs (coffee, herbs, other supplements, etc. – you know that annoying part of commercials about consulting with your doc? Please go do that. Always. I’ve learned the hard way what happens if you don’t).

Right now, being a bit tired, sounds much better than being unorganized to the point that you need reminders to remind you about the need of having the reminders.
And you’d still forget to do the basic life stuff (except to eat – damn brain) while simultaneously doing 10 things at once, feeling desperate along the way or not feeling anything at all.

I had plenty of issues with some drugs. For this matter, I’ve switched lots of medications.
I was expecting to find a drug with no or almost no side effects, but they all have some.
It’s just a matter of intensity and how they bother you at your daily activities.

You can do some other things before you consider switching your meds.
You can try to take them at different time, different dosage (microdosing is sometimes better than large or therapeutic dose), you can take them with or without food (whatever feels better).
But whatever you’re about to do, you need to consult with your doctor first and make a plan together with him/her.

What about you, how do you cope with the side effects?

Further reading:
Reddit (there are plenty of people talking about their experience with side effects, just search for the drug or experience you’re interested in)
European guidelines on managing adverse effects of medication for ADHD
Antidepressants: Get tips to cope with side effects

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