Reblog from 2015: I’ve Got A Job!!!!

I just stumbled on this while I was looking for something else, and was reading the comments.

Dear God I miss Blah so much. It sears my heart every time.

Invoke Delight and Inspire

So yesterday was exhausting but I tried to catch up with blogs in the evening. I was on the TV set for 10 hours and I was mostly naked and it was very cold. Overall it was a positive experience though and the positives definitely far outweighed the negatives and I spent most of the day pretending to eat someone’s muff. I can’t go into any more details due to the non-disclosure agreement, but it was for a show that airs on the BBC so it’s not porn or anything (sadly lol – I did meet a porn actor but he only did gay porn so had no advice about which straight/lesbian studios were any good).

Then this morning I overslept bigtime and my Dearest was left to make his own way to school. And my phone had 2 missed calls/ 2 messages so I phoned back and it was…

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New Year’s Resolutions

This year I thought I’d make some New Year’s resolutions, so here they are:

  1. Use perfume more often. I went through a phase in late 2013 and early 2014 of buying perfume. Then I stopped wearing it. So now I have a heap of bottles, containing Avon Perceive, Avon Pur Blanca, Avon Far Away, Avon Romance, Charlie Red and J-Lo Glow (I’m dead classy, natch. Actually I went through a phase of only wearing expensive designer perfumes… it got expensive and most of them aren’t good for day-to-day wear) knocking around, and I never wear any of them. This year, that’s going to change. I need to use them all up before I emigrate.
  2. Read more books. I have SO MANY BOOKS that I haven’t read, and yet I find myself either re-reading old favourites or buying new e-books (they’re guilt free because I don’t have to store them anywhere) and reading them instead! Worse still is the fact that there’s so many books I want to read but haven’t even bought yet because I have such a backlog.
  3. Write more books. This year I’ve published 3 books but I have written 7. One of those is coming out on 6th January, but I go through 3 month periods where I don’t write anything! An example of this is the last 3 months, while I’ve been working hard at my MSc in Obscure Science. I want to get 6 books out in 2017; that’s one every 2 months.
  4. Wear my nicest clothes more often. I have some decent items but I tend to slouch around the house in my dressing gown (robe) or nightie, and when I have to go out, I throw on a pair of black trousers and any old top. Since writing is a work-from-home job, and since I no longer have a car and my unemployed husband doesn’t need driving to work, that means there are entire weeks where I don’t get dressed!!! I want to make more of an effort to dress nicely more of the time, just for myself, because I have so many things that don’t get worn enough.
  5. Wear my nicest shoes more often. I own 9 pairs of shoes (excluding roller skates and ice skates); some of them are truly pieces of art, but I tend to gravitate towards my rainbow-soled sneakers or my one pair of Vivienne Westwood pumps, so my pair of Doc Martens, all the jelly shoes, and my Irregular Choice ones get left in their boxes most of the time. I’m probably going to have to get rid of a lot of them when I emigrate, so I should wear them more now so that I feel less heartbroken. Maybe I should start wearing shoes in the house?? Nope, it’s just too weird, I can’t do that!
  6. Go skating more. Last week, I went ice skating for the first time in 6 years. Aside from my ankles being weaker, I was as good as I was last time I went, mostly because in 2016 I took up roller skating since I don’t live within 30 miles of an ice rink. At one point I was roller skating 6 miles a day. However, the last few months I’ve stopped roller skating too, because my bipolar medication made me exhausted all the time and I lost interest in any kind of physical activity. I plan to go skating (roller or ice) at least once a week next year, let’s see if I can’t do that Biellman spin again.
  7. Eat more new stuff. I have a list of foods I’ve never eaten. I need to get back onto that. I bought a tin of smoked oysters this week, and I’m going to try them tonight, to get 2016 finished with ticking one last thing off my to-experience list.
  8. Drink more alcohol. It’s usually found in social situations, and I shy away from them sometimes, and other times I’m just working too hard (I tend to put in 12-16 hours a day, because I really love what I do; people who know me IRL will remember that I used to ice skate 16 hours a day when I worked as an ice skating instructor; I’m also still trying to achieve a level of financial independence that’s bipolar-proof), so I plan to play harder and that starts with drinking more alcohol. The occasional day off won’t lead to financial ruin (says the girl who is, right now, sitting at home editing a manuscript to send in, rather than going out to any of the 4 New Year’s parties she was invited to, because she wants to get that next book in a better place before 2016 is through).

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

The holidays have officially begun!

My projects are all finished, the tree is up, there are fairy lights adorning the walls, and while I was researching something unrelated, I found this really profound quote from the eminent phenomenologist J.D. Lewis-Williams:

“All communities are obliged to formulate definitions of consciousness, various kinds of altered consciousness and madness, whether explicitly or implicitly, for these mental conditions are inescapably part of being human. At the same time, those definitions are always a site of contestation. The resources on which Upper Palaeolithic individuals drew in the construction and transformation of acceptable and powerful social identities therefore doubtless included definitions of various kinds of consciousness. As in many societies and subcultures today, altered, or ecstatic, states of consciousness were a manipulatable resource. Indeed, any account of the past that omits consideration of altered states of consciousness is likely to be incomplete (cf. Sherratt 1991: 52). The hostility of some researchers to discussion of altered states is obscurantist.”

— J.D. Lewis-Williams, 1997, page 812.

I had the distinction of meeting Professor Lewis-Williams in a pub back in 2008 or possibly 2009, and I am sorry to say that I did not understand phenomenology in the slightest, although he explained it very patiently. Maybe that was the point of the conversation, since I started out thinking I understood phenomenology and finished the first pint of beer whilst realizing I had less comprehension than John Snow. Revisiting the whole concept this week has been enlightening, though I’m sure if I met him again I’d discover that I still don’t understand it.*

Happy beginning of December, everyone!

 

*Due to the Spiral Curriculum.

Full reference:

Lewis-Williams, J.D. (1997) “Agency, art and altered consciousness: a motif in A7 (Quercy) Upper palaeolithic parietal art”, Antiquity 71. 812.

 

All aboard the medi-go-round*!

Okay, bipolar peeps; hit me up. How bad/good is olanzapine (Zyprexa)? I could finally afford to see my psych again and she is moving me onto olanzapine because the quetiapine (Seroquel)’s side effects are outweighing the benefits and she thinks it will be more stabilizing longer-term. She’s also recommending sertraline (Zoloft) for that anxiety/depression I haven’t been able to shake since August. Has anyone tried these either separately or together? What were they like? I’m mostly worried about the sedating effect which she says should be improved compared to the quetiapine (oh my God I could stand to be less sedated atm).

I’m not sure I’m in love with the idea of taking a combination of things, but at this point I’ll take whatever works!

*medi-go-round coined by Morgueticia.

To PhD, or not to PhD? That is the question.

Dear The Internet,

My birthday was a lovely day, but I had to still work over some of it, as well as the day before/after, so my actual birthday time didn’t last as long as I wanted it to. I am now officially a grown-up. Mostly.

Wow so it turns out I’m doing pretty good on my essay marks. Like… if I’d had these sort of grades on undergrad, I never would have worried about whether I was smart enough to do an MSc. The difference bipolar meds have made to my ability to achieve and learn things has been profound. I think the fact that my PTSD has receded a lot (compared to even last year) has made a big difference, too. There was a 21 gun salute going on for over 10 minutes beside the department, timed right in the middle of my Evolution class today, and I did not dive under a table. I wanted to… but I didn’t. I definitely got stressed and stopped concentrating, but I didn’t even need to stick my fingers in my ears or show any outward signs of how I felt. And that’s fucking progress.

I mean, I can’t not be happy with the grades I got today… I can’t actually get a higher grade at this point, so going for essay feedback was a strange experience, especially since the university is a lot more diverse now and 90% of the faculty aren’t former Oxbridge dons any more (the dons have mostly retired). So from not having gotten a poor mark, and not having the same type of staff, today (essay marks/feedback day) didn’t go as expected. I didn’t spend all afternoon sitting in various offices around the department being questioned as to why I bothered coming to university if I was going to hand in such complete shit. It was refreshing, but it also wrong-footed me, because I’m so used to getting everything wrong. Since when did the university get so touchy feely?

The thing is, the only thing that’s changed in the 7 years between undergrad and now is everything. Okay, that was a terrible hyperbole and also possibly a bit inaccurate, but y’all know how much I hate deleting sentences once I started them. I’m not sure I can quantify the changes. The university is more relaxed, that’s for sure, and there’s more friendly staff instead of grumpy ones. But their standards are inescapably higher than when I last attended. I don’t think they would let someone on to their undergraduate degree with my high school grades any more. There’s just too much competition for places (and only 1 in 30 got a place the year I applied), so it’s a bit surreal being on a course with people with 1st class degrees and high 2:1s, knowing I’m probably the very least qualified person out of the 140 master’s students in the department. And I’m still getting A-plus grades. Sorry, I’m not trying to gloat, but I know some of you were rooting for me to do this MSc and I wanted to, but I wasn’t so sure it was a great idea (and others of you were convinced it was only going to end in smoking ruins where the university used to be). So I thought it was worth an update.

I am pretty sure the reason I’m a better academic writer these days is down to having worked as a teacher, followed by my recent experiences in academic publishing. I read a lot of articles and I get to fix them and make sure they’re at their best when they get published. That makes a person better at spotting mistakes in their own work. I can’t deny that writing my romance novels definitely improved my overall quality of written work, as well. It’s easier to improve when someone points out specifically what you need to do to fix something, than when someone just yells at you for doing it wrong again, or ignores you.

So anyway, I went to a lecture this morning where one of the department’s more research-focused members of staff explained the procedure for applying for a PhD. And now I’m considering it. Is that such a bad thing? Yay women in science and all that jazz… Except… well… we were planning to move to Canada (or maybe New Zealand) next September, and if I’m doing a PhD for the next few years, that’s going to cause problems. Unless I do one in Canada. But their funding is idiosyncratic – some of the deadlines were in August which is probably fine if you’re on a two-year master’s degree but we cram them into one year over here. Anyway, trying to do my branch of obscure science in Canada makes finding a PhD all a bit more difficult because my subject is defined as something totally different in North America, and I don’t think the stuff I’m currently doing really exists over there, because whatever you think I do, it’s probably not what I do (except one of you. One reader knows what my research interests are, because we hang out sometimes IRL). Case in point: for my master’s thesis, I’m studying a supercomputer.

So the decision over whether to stay and get a PhD or emigrate and get a happier life is currently proving difficult. Britain is really shit right now for those of us with a foreign name, and I don’t see it maturing like a good bottle of wine any time soon, but if I want to do a funded PhD I would need to stay put a while longer. So I’m probably not going to get a PhD, which is a shame because there’s a past version of me who is yelling at me from the entire 90’s, because she’s very disappointed that I didn’t choose education/career over love. Actually, I’m pretty happy with my career and prospects at the moment, so she can shut the Hell up. My publishing placement’s going great and my writing’s mostly where I want it to be; I just wish I had more time for it but that was always the trade-off this year. I guess the PhD would have been utterly gratuitous. My husband’s probably right; I’d get bored in 6 months, and then I’d get distracted by writing again.

Turning 30

At 8pm this evening, I will turn 30. People are already wishing me a Happy Birthday, of course, but for now, I’m letting it wait until the evening before I have to acknowledge the whole thing. Some of my readers are quite a bit over 30, and I know that my thoughts on this probably don’t reflect yours, but it’s ok for us to have differing points of view on stuff without feeling invalidated by one another’s opinions, and so this is my opinion on my own 30th birthday (and why I feel this way).

I’ve been dreading this day since I turned 28, when I realized I’d wasted most of my twenties trying to get a stable income (and stable health), both hangovers from my really shit parents not doing their jobs properly (that’s not the subjective viewpoint it looks like), and suddenly I was filled with the urge to do everything left on my 30 list (the things I wanted to do before I turned 30). I didn’t have the time or money due to the aforementioned problems. Given that last year was a bit of a write off, and I basically have spent at least 5 years this decade just trying to get an education in something I could get a job in, I decided to give myself an extension, to get things done by 31.

But why is it bothering me so much that I’m turning 30? Age is just a number right? My now-husband was over 30 when we first met, and it never bothered me in the slightest.

But part of me knows that it’s different for women. It’s different for me.
I come from a place where most people got pregnant between the ages of 16 and 18, most people my age who I went to school with now have teenage children. And it’s only in the last few months that I’ve worked out what I want to do with my life (I want a job in publishing and I want to continue writing books, too) and finally had the free agency to make that happen.

Beyond that, and maybe it’s my PTSD talking, but I sorta thought I’d be dead by now. I’ve done a lot of pretty stupid stuff in the past decade (and the one before that). I don’t honestly know why I’m still here.

I’ve tried to kill myself on at least two occasions. I’ve walked away from bad situations, taking pretty much nothing with me, more than once. I’ve been electrocuted across the heart at work. I mis-landed a jump on ice skates and landed on the top of my head at high speed. I tried to stand up through a rock and hit my head so bad that, a year later, my pupils are still different sizes. I’ve driven my car through someone else’s because they parked me in. I have eaten a lot of things I shouldn’t, and been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning twice. I fell off a cliff far enough that I was certain I was going to die, and I survived because I landed in a tree. I’ve started fights with people twice my size over things most people take lying down. I skinnydipped in water with heavy metal toxicity (which I had no idea about until afterwards). I once kayaked 2 miles out to sea, to an island, with the tide going out, no lifejacket/buoyancy aid and I can barely swim one length of the pool. I have driven my car so fast that I completely burned its brakes out once on an emergency stop, and I only came to a halt half an inch from the back of an obstruction on the motorway. I nearly drowned as a small child when the priest that was supposed to be watching me went chasing after boys in swimwear and I went straight for the deep end. I climbed a snow covered Munroe (a high Scottish mountain) in January with no equipment or map. When I was sent back to school to finish my A-levels, I used to make a challenge out of running the level crossing — when the warning lights came on to signal that a train was coming, I would start running and see how far I could get before the barriers came down. If the first barrier wasn’t down, I would always keep going. Twice I had to vault over the second barrier to avoid being hit by a train.

None of that was even the stupidest stuff I’ve done (some of which I won’t ever post on here), just some of the most deadly (there’s other stuff, but again, not gonna post it because it’s really bad), but it’s illustrative of why I’m slightly surprised and a little disappointed that I’m 30 and I’m still here. In the words of Terry Pratchett’s Cohen the Barbarian, “You’re upright, you’re breathing; you’re fine.” That was what I lived my life by, and why I didn’t acknowledge or seek help for mental health problems until last year when everything really went to shit.

Before I got my bipolar meds, I was not only a chronic doer of really stupid shit, but I reveled in it. Facing death made me feel more alive, in a way nothing else ever will, and part of me (the part that is heavily medicated and occasionally slurs half-coherent demands for bottles of neat vodka) enjoyed doing all that stupid shit. My psychotherapist says repressing it just makes it come out worse and repeat itself more, so I just accept it. I’ve said it before, but bipolar almost always only makes me do things I wanted to do in the first place.

My parents were both chronic doers of stupid things too, and they both died when I was 27, within 5 months of one another; both were in their early fifties. As a result of their deaths, I simply cannot believe in religion (but I respect other people’s right to). I tried, but I just can’t believe it. I believe that when we die we stop existing. This life is everything. If I have the same lifespan as my parents, I’m already more than half-way through it, and what have I done with my life?

I’m not afraid of death. Sudden death is how I’d prefer to go, not a lingering, clinging one, with plenty of time for the full horror of the situation to sink in. Death doesn’t scare me. I’m afraid of getting old. Enduring. Having to keep living, day after day, fading away and getting more and more decrepit and old until one day, with a whisper or a sigh, I finally breathe my last; old and lonely.

Turning 30 was always going to be hard for me because it’s a sign that I haven’t lived hard enough, and don’t have as much time left as I’d like.

But looking into the mirror, I was pleased to see that I’m not looking so bad. All the cigarettes, alcohol, bad food, sleepless nights, 90 hour work weeks, abusive shit that happened to me, psych meds, prescription opiates, nights of homelessness and sleeping rough on newspaper have not actually had the effect on my body that you’d expect them to. Or maybe all the fresh fruit, vegetables, smoothies, long walks, longer cycle rides, orgasms and moisturizer has offset the bad stuff I did to myself.

It’s not that I worry about not looking my age, as much as I see not looking prematurely old as a sign of being healthy. I remember when my mum turned 30, and I’m looking a Hell of a lot better than she did at this age, so if outward appearances are anything to go by, maybe I’ll take after my Aunts and make it to 60 someday.

And maybe it’s time for me to turn 30. On Thursday, I asked at the security booth if something could be done at the university, and the man just assumed I was an undergraduate student. I was fairly irritated by this, since that was his basis for not doing the thing I asked him to do. But when I was parking my bike, after cycling home in the dark, I realized that I probably should have taken it as a compliment.
I still didn’t.

I fight against my worse nature, but I’m very stubborn when I make my mind up about something. Some people call that ‘driven’ or ‘single-minded’ but it’s basically stubbornness when you get down to it.

I used to name the years, to sum up how I felt about them. I haven’t done that for a while, but 2015 and 2016 have been such a shitstorm that I feel it’s worth bringing that back. Generally I name them after things that mean something to me, not things that sum up the year for everyone (that would be rudely ethnocentric of me). So 2015 is the Year of the Dead, 2016 is the Year of The Glib Toads (who have talked their way into popular votes and other similar atrocities this year. I would always rather be outspoken than mealy mouthed) and 2017 will be the Year of the Calm After the Storm. We can always re-name it if things stay bad.

So I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the Year of the Calm After The Storm. Maybe it won’t be that bad, after the last two years.

Now for the song no-one EVER links me on my birthday (swear warning):

Anger, Sadness and Allergy Tablets

I have a severe dust allergy. It’s like having hayfever year round with additional sporadic skin rashes and scalp hives. Sometimes I cannot vacuum or touch surfaces, because the dust makes my skin prickly, itchy, my nose runs, my eyes stream, my lips burn and split… you know the drill.

I have taken allergy tablets on and off for years, and recently I’ve had to stop taking them because I’ve linked them to mood episodes so severe they’ve left me suicidal at times. First, it was acrivastine (UK Benadryl – there are 2 types of Benadryl in the UK, neither are the same as US Benadryl) that caused issues, which used to be the best thing ever for my allergies. Then loratadine did it too. Finally, cetirizine was also making me have mood swings. At the very end of July, I finally got to see a qualified immunologist at the allergy clinic. I explained the problem I have with allergy tablets. The only allergy tablets that don’t give me extreme mood swings are diphenhydramine (US Benadryl) and promethazine.  The allergy doctor gave me a nose spray (Avamys – fluticasone fuorate) and suggested I try cetirizine (in the UK the brand is Benadryl in the US it is not) twice a day.

After three days on the cetirizine, I noticed I was just as mood-swingy as before. I was like a grumpy toddler. Anyone who pissed me off sure KNEW they’d done so, and I’d flip from furious harpy rage to tearful sobbing mess with no warning at all.

This is NOT normal, even if you have bipolar disorder (which I do). People think this is a mental health issue. Hell, I thought so too. I nearly got mis-diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder because of this reaction to allergy tablets!! The first psychiatrist I saw didn’t think to rule out allergy tablet reactions (despite the fact most allergy tablets are in the broader antipsychotic family and therefore it makes sense that they can all affect your mood in various ways). And the doctors don’t seem to recognize that this is a severe and debilitating side effect of allergy tablets. But it is. How can I be so sure? When I don’t take allergy tablets, this goes away.

Since stopping the cetirizine, my doctor put me on Fexofenadine (Allegra) and that was great for a week, except every morning I couldn’t get my brain to fire up until about 11am. I thought this was due to my bipolar meds, but they’ve never done that to me before. This week, the rage was REAL. So were the tears. At first I didn’t recognize what had happened because I’ve been in a deep depression for a few weeks and I thought it had gotten worse. The emotional disregulation really crept up on me this time, I think it was subtle at first, because I was watching for it and still didn’t notice.

The thing is, I had a cold this week, and I don’t know what you non-allergic people are complaining about when you catch a cold because it’s literally nothing at all compared to how it feels to have a cold alongside a severe and unregulated allergy. I always wondered why managers never understood why I called in sick with any given cold, until this week, when I caught a cold while my allergy was finally under control.

Let me tell you, fellow dust or pollen allergy sufferers; it was amazing! Having a cold whilst having a controlled allergy was like, half the nose blowing of a regular day without allergy tablets. My face looked awful, and I was tired, but the sore throat was more comfortable than the feeling of gradual drowning I usually experience, and I wasn’t afraid to go to sleep at night, in case I woke up choking on snot (a regular occurrence when I have a cold).

I was so disappointed, then, to realize that the severe PMS-like-symptoms I’ve been experiencing were actually from my allergy tablets. Anger, unbridled fury at stupid things, impatience, inability to talk to people, profound sadness and hatred of everything, feeling like a waste of space and wanting to quit my Master’s degree that I worked so hard to get onto. If you felt like this, and found a way to make it stop, at the expense of being able to breathe normally, what would you do? I skipped a dose two days ago and I was back to my usual chipper self within hours but I was choking on my own snot again. It’s heartbreaking. And gross.

On the (significantly good) plus side, the nose spray Avamys has not given me any negative side effects. It felt weird for a couple of weeks while I got used to spraying in my nose but sweet mother of mercy, that stuff gets rid of about 40-60% of my dust allergy. The Allegra tablets are really just to give it the final kick. I can actually go running when I take Avamys and Allegra together, and I can do all the proper breathing etc without having to stop because of drowning in my own fluids (it really wrecks my form).

So now I’m experimenting with making my own Allegra-D, because I hear that the pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) is a stimulant (and decongestant) that might offset the irritability and depression of the allergy tablets (fexofenadine, my current allergy tablet, is the Allegra in Allegra and Allegra-D). I can’t go back to uncontrolled allergy, and if you don’t relate to that, I can’t really explain it to you. I can finally get through a lecture or a short bus ride (or a meal) without having to blow my nose seven or eight times, people actually want to talk to me, and I can finally leave the house without a wad of toilet roll in my pocket/handbag. Do you know the panic of realizing you’re away from home without any tissue? Or the horror of trying to discreetly swallow your own goop like everyone else, but its so thick it makes you throw up instead? If so, then you’ll know why I am trying so hard to make this allergy tablet work.

So if like me, you can’t take any allergy tablets for hayfever or dust allergy, I would strongly urge you to try some Avamys (fluticasone fuorate) from your doctor. It’s a nose spray unlike any other nose spray I’ve tried. For starters, it doesn’t make my sinuses swell and burn, I can barely feel it going in. Secondly, it takes about a week or two to reach maximum effect, but for me it was a game changer, and I no longer wake in the night (even without allergy tablets) to blow my nose constantly. I can actually sleep through, now!! If my allergy wasn’t so bad, I would probably only use nose sprays.

All Amazon links for examples of things you can try are usually for US Amazon except, where stated, they’re for the UK Amazon.

If you’re really suffering badly from allergies without allergy tablets (I get an itchy scalp which is where my hives hide out), I have not been emotionally deregulated when I’ve used the traditional, old fashioned anti-cholinergic allergy tablets: diphenhydramine (Benadryl* is the brand name in the US, or here’s the cheaper generic one in the US) or prescription-only promethazine, but do read all the information about them before deciding to try them.

*NOTE: UK Benadryl is NOT the same ingredient, it’s cetirizine or acrivastine, both of which have caused me emotional issues. In the UK, diphenhydramine is only sold over the counter as a sleep-aid (the usual brand is Nytol but not the herbal stuff) so you have to talk to a pharmacist to get it, and you can’t buy it for allergy but you can buy it if you have trouble sleeping.

Diphenhydramine and promethazine are both fantastic for allergy but long-term (more than a week) use isn’t a good idea as they can cause something called rebound insomnia from the drowsiness, meaning it’s harder to sleep! Additionally, studies have shown if you use anti-cholinergics daily or near-daily for years, you’ve got an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. So don’t do that.

This blogger had good results with Clarityn (loratadine) and I never used to get affected by it, but for the past year it’s been one of my worst ones for triggering moods. This post (not by me) pretty much sums me up on loratadine. You could try that though in case it doesn’t affect you the way it affects me.

So things to try (carefully):

  1. Clarityn (US) aka loratadine on UK Amazon (because it’s readily available)
  2. Diphenhydramine (US) for really bad allergy days (but not long term; you have to get this from a pharmacist in the UK)
  3. If your allergy is snot-based (you know what I mean), get Avamys from your doctor and don’t look back!
  4. Use Avamys with a saline nasal spray (US) I use the ones for kids because they’re gentler on my nose (find on UK Amazon here).
  5. If you can’t get your allergy and emotions under control with these methods, see your doctor again and if they don’t take your emotional problem seriously, educate them about the fact that this is a real issue.
  6. If any allergy tablet makes you feel suicidal, STOP TAKING IT and see a doctor asap for support (and a new allergy tablet if you need one). Be sure to tell them if the suicidal feeling wore off when the tablet did.
  7. Use the Yellow Card System to report these antihistamine side effects to the MHRA (the people who monitor pharmaceutical side effects), so they can finally have the evidence they need to investigate these debilitating side effects!! The quick link to report a drug is here: https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk Please give them separate reports for every adverse effect you’ve had from an allergy tablet so they can be aware how extensive this problem is!
  8. Try alternative medicines. They’re not really proven, but they seem to work for some people and at this point I’m not ruling anything out.

How to use Avamys for best effect:

  1. Buy a saline nose spray (that’s for US Amazon) (I got this one from Amazon UK) and rinse your nose with it first. This will get rid of any dust or pollen particles that are stuck in there (and which are causing your allergy to trigger when you’re nowhere near any other allergens).
  2. About 5-10 mins later, spray the Avamys into each nostril. If you haven’t been given a dosage, use it like this: For the first two weeks, spray it twice in each nostril, then once it’s got your allergy under control, use it once in each nostril. Do this once a day, either morning or evening, depending when your allergy’s worse, day or night. I do mine at night because I like being able to wake up without a throat full of goop.
  3. If your allergy is especially bad on any given day, you can have an extra spray or two of the Avamys, it won’t harm you to do that.
  4. If your doctor gave you different instructions, follow those instead.

Good luck!

Massive Disclaimer: 1. There are other mental health issues I haven’t taken into account here; this article is aimed at informing people who have ruled out other mental health problems as the underlying cause of their emotional difficulties, e.g. if you stop having emotional problems (or if they significantly improve) when you stop taking your allergy tablets.
2.  Do not stop taking important medication without the advice of a doctor. I am not a doctor, I am just a former pharmacy assistant and a chemistry teacher, and my opinions are based on my own experiences and those of patients I’ve seen, and my opinions are informed by my understanding of chemistry – your mileage may vary. My article is for your information only, please research further, use your own judgement, and if you are unsure about anything or you’re on any other meds, speak to your doctor!!
3. This page sometimes links to Amazon Associates UK because they have a wide range of products and it’s easier to show you examples of useful things. Use your common sense – if you know of a cheaper place to get them, go there instead!