More about Diana
Diana has longstanding depression, starting when she experienced bullying at school, and has also been diagnosed as having a personality disorder. After trying a few different antidepressants, some of which had troubling side effects, she now takes Lovan which has helped her depression considerably. At one stage she experienced hallucinations and was started on Seroquel, which she still takes. On high doses of antidepressants, Diana finds her emotions are blunted, and while she no longer gets really down, she doesn't really experience happiness.
Recently Diana has been trying more natural methods such as vitamins, behavioural therapies and counselling to help manage her conditions as she was concerned at the amount of medication she was taking, especially as a young person, and what it may be doing to her body. Although her doctors were reluctant for her to do so, she is in the process of weaning herself off her medicines for depression and personality disorder (Lovan and Seroquel).
Throughout her teens, Diana tried many contraceptives tablets and devices to control her heavy painful periods, without much success. After undergoing laparoscopic surgery she was found to have PCOS. Since she has been using an Implanon contraceptive implant, her symptoms have improved significantly so she no longer needs strong painkillers. She takes Diabex for insulin resistance associated with PCOS.
The thyroxine Diana started a few months ago for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has really improved her life. Even her family, friends and work colleagues have noticed that she now has a lot more energy and doesn't fall asleep all the time, which has allowed her to exercise when she gets home from work.
Diana has found the internet useful for finding information on her medical conditions and medicines, especially when her doctors haven’t provided much information. She finds Twitter and Facebook groups helpful, especially for advice and comparing symptoms of people with similar medical conditions. She has also found talking to her private health fund’s on-call nurses and the NPS MedicineWise website very useful.
Diana is grateful for her family’s emotional and financial support over the years. Her parents have encouraged her to seek a second opinion if she is not happy with things, and have helped with the costs of medical visits and medicines. In the past, Diana has experienced side effects to a number of generic medicines, so she sticks with the original brands that she is now stabilised on, even though they cost more. Her parents are very supportive of Diana’s attempts to reduce her medicine intake, and have helped her to research the side effects of medicines and ways to reduce her antidepressants. Diana generally warns her family about any changes in her medicines, especially to her antidepressants, so her family can watch out for any changes in her mood.
Diana has changed doctors a few times, trying to find one that she feels comfortable with. At the moment she sees a number of GPs as some doctors find her illnesses too complex and only wish to manage some of her conditions. This has caused conflicts with her medicines being prescribed by different doctors.
Diana’s advice to people having similar experiences with their medicines is that you know your body better than anyone and if something’s not right, talk to someone as life is short and should be lived to the full. You don’t have to accept the first lot of advice you get and can always get a second opinion.
At times Diana has found it difficult being on so many medicines, especially when her symptoms have not been well managed. Her own research has helped improve her health, and by taking control she has realised her inner strength that will enable her to get through anything.