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Episode 3229th July 2022 • Radical Resilience • Blair Kaplan Venables
00:00:00 00:18:11

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Blair Kaplan Venables share’s her experience with a new SSRI in her life.

Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.

About the Host: 

Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. As a pioneer in the industry, she has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards, launch their businesses, and more. Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is also the #1 bestselling author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw and Real Stories from an Entrepreneur and co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast. When she’s not working on the board for her local chamber of commerce, you can find Blair growing the “The Resilience Project,” an online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.

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Blair Kaplan Venables:

trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real. Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

It's me, Blair Kaplan Venables, and I'm here for a mental health check in. So we are two and a half weeks into me starting a new SSRI Zoloft. And I just wanted to give everyone an update. So let's back it up a little. Let's talk about some stuff. Okay. So I have had anxiety my entire life, or as far as I can remember, it could be intergenerational. My mother had anxiety. Other family members of mine have anxiety. I never dealt with it as a kid. I had depression as a kid, but it was undiagnosed, but I was definitely writing about it. I had depression as an adult. And I never really started to deal with all this until I learned my father was going to pass away. When I learned that he was terminally ill at the end of 2018, I cut out alcohol and I started to really go down the path of healing. And so it's been extremely interesting. So let's you know, a little bit of a recap. So anxiety, depression. And I learned probably about 10 years ago that I have p m DD PMDD is a health problem that is similar to PMS, but it's more serious. It has severe irritability, depression, anxiety, of about a week or so maybe two weeks before my period starts. And then when my period comes, the symptoms go away. But it is like aggressive, aggressive. And you know, there's also fatigue, low energy cravings, or binge eating headaches, insomnia, can concentrate. And when I say like depression and anxiety, I'm talking like, the lowest lows, like very low, sad, depression, and irritability. And I learned that I had PMDD because when I moved in with Shane, he I remember I was PMS thing. I knew I was PMS thing. And he wanted me to help them move a mattress and I wanted to go ride my bike. And I remember being like really, like really annoyed and unhappy that I had to like do this very small chore. And I was irrationally angry. And it scared me. Because I was so upset. And I knew I was PMS. And I knew that like normal Blair non PMDD or non PMS, Blair wouldn't have behaved that way. And so I went to my doctor because I was like, This is not normal. Like when I PMS, I become a monster. I don't like who I become. And I was diagnosed with PMDD. And part of that diagnosis, this doctor decided just prescribe me an SSRI and I was prescribed Prozac. And I was told to start taking Prozac for the week before my period came while I PMS or PMDD. And so I did. And I was doing this and it in, I'd say maybe about six or seven years later, a different doctor suggested that I take it all the time, because it would work better. Like what do I know? I mean, Dr. Google tells me this and that. So I look to the professionals. And so I started taking it there like it also helped you with your anxiety and your depression. Of course, of course I'll do it. Of course I'll keep doing it. And so I started off with 10 milligrams and then increased to 20 milligrams. And then last November, that just passed. You know, my mental health wasn't doing too well.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

My baby died. My father in law died. My mom died. My dad was going to die. We just didn't know when I moved to New City. I wasn't mentally doing okay. And so the doctor suggested that I double my dosage. So I went up to 40 milligrams. And I felt like my mood fully stabilized my PMDD was completely just like a sliver of minor PMS. I put an IUD into helped me regulate my emotions to prevent me from getting pregnant. And I was okay. Now I'm also on this journey of Do you like like a really, really deep journey of healing, I'm talking spiritual awakening, meditating, dissecting my dreams journaling, working with people in the metaphysical space. I'm doing a lot of learning and unlearning and growth, and I love it. I absolutely love it. And I was going to spend four days with my healing guides. And my healing guides were located on Vancouver Island. So part of the work with the healing guides is using medicine. And I, I can't mix certain medicines with the medicine that I was on. And so I decided to taper off and wean off and I did I weaned off Prozac. And I was doing probably the best I had done since before the miscarriage. Mentally I was in such a good place. I was taking the lessons I was learning with my healing guides, implementing them integrating and I was finally becoming a version of myself that I loved and that I recognized. And so during my time healing, I had a weird, intuitive hit. I messaged my sister because my phone was off. So I turned my phone on. And that's when I learned my father's health was declining. We made the decision for me to get on a plane and fly from British Columbia to Winnipeg. And within a week or so, my father passed away. So I no longer had those, the SSRI in me. And luckily, I had them with me. So I started taking them again. And the Depression came back in such an interesting way, I felt like I was already numb, like I'm, you know, in such deep grief anyways, and it was expected. And I've been doing this healing, and it was a lot of different feelings and emotions. But luckily, I had this prescription. So I went back on my prescription. And I started to rebalance. But then my prescription ran out. But I wasn't fully I guess the medicine fully wasn't stabilizing my mood yet. And I was still extremely depressed, and my prescription ran out. And because I was so depressed, it was so hard for me to even get on the phone to refill my prescription. And unless you've battled depression or a mental health situation similar, it's really hard to explain. It wasn't just as simple as like going online and making an appointment. And getting on the phone and explaining it. It was like there was something restraining me from doing that. Like it felt like it was such a big ask and a heavy lift. And I just, I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

And then my mental health suffered and slipped. And in June, I was on a media tour. And I you know, I went on a book launch tour, I launched my book and two other books. And I was in Vegas, and then Winnipeg for my mother's unveiling, which was very emotional, and then to Los Angeles in New York, and it was really beautiful and hectic and crazy and a lot and I felt very overstimulated, but I didn't feel okay. Like I felt very sad. And like, looking up at my billboard in Times Square in New York, I was very proud of myself, but I felt very sad. And I knew something wasn't right. Like, I knew I knew it. Like I had to get another prescription, I had to get back on medicine. And so when I got back to Canada, I rested. I tried to get back into my schedule of like waking up and moving my body and journaling and meditating. But I was having trouble doing it. I was so out of sync with what was working before that I couldn't do it. And eventually I hit a point where I just felt very sad, like, very, very sad. Not suicidal, like, I didn't want to die. But I thought if I were to die, whatever, like I'm leaving my legacy, like, obviously, like I wasn't trying to die and I wasn't thinking of killing myself. But I got to a point where I was like, my zest for life was gone, it evaporated. And that that scared me because that's not who I am. I know who I am. And I know when my lows are lows and my highs are highs, like I'm a human and I have a lot of energy. And I know when I'm medicated or when I'm managing my mental health. I know what my lows are like and this was new. This was a very sad scary place. People in my life were talking to me letting me know their concerns. You know, they were worried about me telling me like they were concerned. And so I did it I finally I hit my rock bottom or hopefully that was my rock bottom like I never want to get lower than that and I made the appointment and I made an appointment with the doctor and I got in like an appointment I made on Friday. I got in first thing Monday morning and we had a conversation Jen and, you know, we made the decision to try a new med because I was off Prozac for long enough. And she started me on 20 milligrams of Zoloft. And so, um, two and a half weeks in, and I can tell you that I'm starting to feel like myself again, the lows are no longer here. You know, I still have some highs and lows, but they're not as drastic. I'm feeling still, like, I'm having moments of like deep, deep sadness, but I mean, I miss my mom, I really miss my mom and my dad, my birthday is coming up. So that's just only natural. My birthday is August 8. But I think the reason I felt so compelled to come on to this episode and do a mental health check in is that it's okay to be on medicine. You know, I had a fair amount of people reach out to me when I shared that I was going back on medication, you know, offering, you know, alternatives. And I think it's great to use a variety of modalities and variety of tools. You know, I meditate, I, you know, have healing guides, I use plant medicine, I have a therapist, grief counselor, Zoloft. I do what I need to do, and I, I never want to feel like I felt like that was it, it was a really dark place. I was not okay. I was not okay. I did not like who I was, I did not recognize myself. And if medication is something that you need to help level you out to help bring you back to life, to help bring you back to who you are. That is completely okay. And I think we need to normalize that because

Blair Kaplan Venables:

a lot of people, you know, are ashamed and embarrassed. But think about it, like, you know, my husband, he's diabetic, and he has to take insulin there. You know, I have an IUD, if you don't want to get pregnant, sometimes you take birth control. If you don't want to get sick and you don't get enough sunlight, you take vitamin D, like people do what they need to do to feel okay to not be sick, to get better when they are sick. And if that means that you have to go to your doctor and explain your symptoms, and they prescribe something like an SSRI, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Except it you know, she I just remember feeling relief, like she called it in to the pharmacy, I went and got it and I started taking it. I was informed I can definitely go like way up in my dosage. But you have to start slow. Because the majority of your serotonin I think is created in your gut. And you're taking the pills. So you don't you know, there's some symptoms when you start taking the pills. But I was like, I will start like I am ready. And SSRIs are used for, you know, depressive disorder, anxiety disorders. PMDD. And, oh, man, I'm so grateful for science and for this pill, because where would I be, like, not enough sunshine and beaches and camping in the world could do what I needed to help me rebalance. And I think a lot of us can relate to the opposite feeling of being high and happy. You know, something awesome happens, you're on top of the world. When something bad happens, you're on the floor, you know, you just can't get out of bed and you don't really care. You want to just feel you know, like time was just passing by. And that's not a way to live. Like I'm here to turn my pain into purpose. I'm a motivational speaker. How can I be a motivational speaker when I can't even get out of bed? Like I'm talking like not even watching Netflix? Like I usually if I'm sad, I like like to watch some real housewives or Netflix. I literally was just lying there staring at the wall. I did not care and like, What good are you? what good am I to this world? If I can't be here to turn my pain into purpose, and what good are you to your friends, your family, your community if you're not taking care of yourself. And part of taking care of yourself is seeing a doctor, getting checkups. Checking in with your physical and your mental health. Putting the things in place that you need to be who you really are. What do you need to remove from your life? What do you need to add to your life? One of the biggest reasons actually a couple of reasons. One of the biggest reasons I stopped drinking was because drinking even one glass of wine the next day would activate my anxiety and my depression and made me feel worse. The other reason was because my dad lived with addiction. And I could have went down a very dark path. And it wasn't until I stopped I'm drinking that I really understood actually how bad my anxiety and depression was. Like being happy. I like smiling. I like laughing. I mean, laughter is the best medicine. I like to enjoy life. I like to think about how grateful I am. You know, I list my gratitude every day. I was still doing it. But I almost fell off the gratitude wagon. Actually, I didn't do it every day when you know, when I hit my lowest. So, this mental health chicken is sponsored by me, Blair, not by anyone else. If you are feeling sad, and you've never spoken to a doctor, or are you having anxiety, and you feel like you know, maybe you should talk to someone about it, this is a reminder that it's okay to do that, that you should check in. You should check in with your doctor or counselor, a therapist, even your friends or family. It's okay to get on medication, it doesn't mean it's a permanent solution for the rest of your life. But we're just human beings, surviving all together through reviving growing being here to support one another, doing this thing called life and our bodies and our skin suits. Right? So what are you doing in this lifetime? And is anxiety and depression or even PMDD getting in the way? And if you're not sure what this piques your curiosity, just talk to your doctor.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

If you have questions about anything I'm doing, I'm an open book, send me a message on Instagram Blair from Blair land. I'm an open book about any of this, you want to talk about anything, I'm going through anything I've been through anything I'm doing, I am here to share with you what I'm doing. I am back baby, I feel good. I will feel better but like, my zest for life is back and back to meditating by the river in the morning. And journaling. In fact, today I finished my very first journal cover to cover writing on every page. I've never done that before my 37 years, you know pulling oracle cards meditating candlelit baths, listening to meditation as I fall asleep, I am back to taking my mental health and physical health into my own hands. And it's okay if you let it slip because you're human. I let mine slip. I'm human. But I'm here to hold your hand and help you get back on track. So thank you for tuning in to another episode of radical resilience. I appreciate you. I appreciate the journey you're on. You can get through the hard stuff. I'm here with you to walk alongside you. Thank you.