Dear Up the Villa
Welcome to the forum. I take it you are a fan of English football. I used to live in Birmingham.
I am sorry to hear about your family losses. It's always hard when parents pass away and we can feel we have lost our sense of security. Our parents have always been there and although we know in the normal course of things they will die before us, the reality is not easy to accept. Then when your sister and son-in-law also passed away you must have felt very sad. Talking can often help us to accept these losses although we still feel distress. Grief takes a while to understand and process, and everyone manages differently. Four years is not a long time for you to regain your old self. Both of my parents have died and also my eldest sister who died aged 66 and I still miss them very much.
Have you had a chance to talk about these sinking feelings with your GP? I am wondering if these are some sort of panic attacks. Night panic attacks really are the pits. I think you are wise to see another doctor and ask these questions. I often suggest to people that they print out their post and take it to the doctor. I know when I see a doctor I need a list of topics I want to talk about otherwise I get home before I realise I have not asked about some of them. Very annoying.
Taking SSRI meds can have side effects that are uncomfortable. There are a huge number of different SSRI meds of which some suit us and others do not. It can be a bit of a lucky (or unlucky) dip. One of the things to remember is that SSRIs can take up to six weeks to have the full effect on your system while persevering with a medication for that time. I have never found one that did not have an adverse effect on me. In the end my GP prescribed a Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) which is from the original antidepressant group. It worked for me.
It's always worthwhile having a full discussion with your GP about side effects and monitoring. These meds can be helpful but not if you are fighting the side effects. If you see another doctor it may be useful to discuss this. It's good your sleep has improved. I believe a lack of good sleep has a huge negative effect on us and we can become more easily depressed.
Fighting depression, can use a great deal of our energy and leave feeling quite tired. You probably do not feel like eating much but try for a good diet even if you eat only small amounts.
Thank you for telling us your story. I hope you will continue to write in.