Tuesday, July 8, 2014


So … I'm alive and (relatively) coherent. And, I have to say, last night was a fantastic night's sleep!

To be honest, the "…seriously, don't…" comments had their effects. And a colleague's insistence on 'phoning me to make sure I was alive made me a little worried. So, buoyed by the knowledge that my hotel had what was described as a "decent" restaurant, I stayed in, and decided on a sedate – rather than adventurous – evening.

Which may have been wise. For the first hour or so, I was absolutely fine, After about 90 minutes, though, I began to feel hugely and inescapably lethargic. I found myself simply staring into space… drifting off, looking out of the window… and catching myself simply acting vacant. So I had a very early dinner and went to bed.

It’s very difficult to put into words what the sedation feels like. It’s not like being tired, quite. The best example is the lethargy that you feel on a long motorway journey in summer. When the sun shines, and the miles scoot past without incident, you often feel your eyelids drooping, your head nodding and yourself drifting off to sleep. You aren’t tired, per se, but it takes an enormous effort of will to avoid dropping off. And for me, too, without being tired exactly , I was just drooping and slumping into sleepiness.

So what’s it like after 24 hours? Like having the fidgets, the ‘flu, being drunk, being sleepy and being hung-over, all at the same time. All of which put a little bit of a dampener on being in Paris…

The akathisia was definitely there before bedtime. At first, I thought it was just going to be irritating rather than overwhelming. I certainly aren’t experiencing the effects as badly as the people on this video. But it isn’t pleasant. It’s very much like the fidgety feelings you get a few hours after a long cycle ride – it feels as if moving or massaging your legs will alleviate the feelings, except it doesn’t, which leaves you doing it repeatedly and looking a little strange. My body also isn’t quite doing what it should.  When walking, for instance, I found myself almost consciously having to lead with my right foot, with the left sort of following on: right, left, right, left, etc. Even scratching an itch seemed to be a planned activity.

There are a few other issues: my mouth is dry and I have a metallic taste in my mouth and a curious tightness in my the chest. But they’re not insurmountable and I have to say, again, that I had an excellent night’s sleep last night … I slept for 14 hours! But along with the obvious sedation were some other unpleasant effects. Wandering (rather aimlessly) around town getting lost from time to time isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either.

Thus far… I’ve been taking chlorpromazine for a little over 24 hours. Tomorrow… I’m giving  my presentation. I’ll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. Wondering about the point of taking this psychotropic for such a brief period (???). As I'm sure you are aware, many non-psychiatric medications take time for an individual to adjust to (e.g., oral contraceptives and various antibiotics often have a temporary side effect of nausea, which often abates).

    Likewise, sedation is common with meds used for non-psychiatric purposes, such as the medication my son takes for Epilepsy. For his first week on Tegretol, he experienced sig. sedative effects. As the dose was slowly titrated up and his body adjusted, the sedative effect diminished and his normal energy level eventually returned. You have no way of knowing what would be temporary side effects for you and what would be long-lasting, thus rendering the benefits of this experiment questionable.