The first time anti-depressants were suggested to me by my doctor I was in year twelve, and had been dragged to the doctor by my mum who thought something was up with me, no matter how much I rolled my eyes and insisted I was fine.
My family doctor handed my a K10 test and said to bring it back to her in two weeks, and suggested that I start a dose of anti-depressants.
At that point, I still felt like my doctor always knew best and I didn’t know myself well enough to stand up for myself and tell her that I didn’t think that was right for me. But I felt so upset and so stressed at the prospect of being one of ‘those people’ – the kind of person who depended on pills and who was so unable to cope that they needed medicine to get through the day. It scared me that someone else could think I was doing that badly.
I never filled out that test and I never went back.
The first time I took anti-depressants was two years later, and came after my mum once again dragged me to the doctor when I began calling her every day, sometimes twice, crying about being unable to deal with my close friend passing away.
I was so stubborn and so adamant and so angry at everyone around me and just kept believing that what I was feeling was grief, but it was so much more than that.
That same doctor prescribed me anti-depressants and this time I took them.
I had the most horrible side effects and I genuinely was getting worse and becoming a danger to myself, so I stopped taking them. I was angry at my doctor who said that the only side effect would be a dry mouth and I was let down because I tried so hard to overcome my own stigmas about taking anti-depressants but nothing had gotten any better.
About three months later, I dragged myself to the doctor, because I wasn’t sleeping and was crying every day. I knew exactly what was wrong, but I didn’t know how to make it better. I just knew that I couldn’t keep feeling that way every single day.
The doctor I saw prescribed me anti-depressants and booked me an appointment with a psychologist. Over the next months we had many appointments and we slowly brought up my dose and things slowly improved.
It’s been almost a year now, a new state, a new doctor, new brand of meds, new psychologist, but I’m still taking anti-depressants.
I take them because they make things easier for me.
I take them because my brain doesn’t work the way that other people’s do, and I need some help keeping my chemicals balanced.
I take them because I want to be happy and I want to be okay, and right now I can’t do that on my own.
I take them because they give me that push, that boost, so that I can sleep properly, and I can exercise, and I can talk to someone about my feelings.
Taking anti-depressants means that some days getting out of bed isn’t a struggle anymore.
Sometimes I can achieve loads of things in one day before I start to get tired, instead of waking up and not having the energy to shower.
My anti-depressants let me see that there is a way out and things will get better, and that even if I do fall into a bad place again, there are so many people to help me back out.
Thanks so much for reading! I really hope you enjoyed this post. I was very emotional to write, but I hope it helped you understand a little bit more about my mental health journey.