I love my antidepressants.
*cue the medication haters*
You need to learn to cope without medication.
You’re doing long term harm.
I need my antidepressants to live. I need them to help me get from day to day without crawling into a ball, crying continuously for no reason and wondering if I should kill myself.
Woo yeah! Depression is soooooo fun.
I first started taking antidepressants in my first year of university because I was struggling with anxiety and depression. My university GP put me on 10mg of Citalopram and from that moment on I’ve taken a Citalopram tablet every day. (Ok, that’s a bit of a lie but I’ll come back to that.)
So I’ve basically been on antidepressants for five years. Which, in anyone’s book is a long time. When I think about it I suddenly go “me? No way…it can’t have been five years.”
But it has and I honestly don’t think I would still be here, five years later, if I didn’t take them.
They’re not fun to take. They make me lethargic, sometimes I find my memory can be a little slow, I am very sensitive to loud noises and bright lights and I guess they numb me a little; they stop me feeling such intense emotions.
And I’m cool with that. I still feel happiness, sadness, fear, anger, love, hate etc. but just re-calibrated to my new state of being.
In 2014 my life was fucking awesome. I had a job working in a bookshop (the dream), I had a boyfriend, I was earning money, I was independent, I could go out and do things and well, life was ace. So I went to my GP and said “mate, I’m well happy. Can I come off of the antidepressants because I don’t need them anymore?” He agreed and so I slowly, carefully and with advice and monitoring reduced my dose over a period of a few months until I was down to nothing. And then the shit hit the fan. Big time.
“HAHAHAHAHAHA LOL YOU TWAT.” Is basically what my brain said to me. “You honestly think you can get through life without feeding me antidepressants? I need them.”
My depression and anxiety reappeared at the speed of light. I quit my job, became frightened of leaving the house and became completely dependent on my family and boyfriend. Not really the sort of life you envisage for yourself at 22.
I rushed back to the doctor and begged him to put me back on the medication because it was clear I needed it. I’d foolishly thought that my happiness and independence was all down to me being bad ass but it turns out it was also aided by the medication keeping all them chemicals in ma brain working as they should.
The doctor agreed that the best thing to do was to dose me up again and stay on them for as long as I needed. I think I’ll need them for life. And I don’t mind. They help me to live, to feel emotion that I otherwise would be too numb to feel. They allow me to wake up every day and live a life (ok, maybe not the life that I should be living, but a life nonetheless) and they give me the chance to feel like myself.
I still have a long way to go until I’ve built up my independence again and am less fearful of leaving the house but a lot of that is down to psychological factors now rather than physiological factors.
I wish people weren’t so quick to judge those who find medication a huge help. I know that antidepressants aren’t for everyone and I don’t judge those who choose not to take them. It’s their personal choice, just like it’s my choice to take them. And, as far as I’m currently aware, there are no trials or studies that have proven there is anything wrong with taking antidepressants over a long period of time. Plus even if they did, I don’t think I’d stop taking them.
They allow me to live my best life and whilst it might not be a life of daring adventures and fearless pursuits, it’s a life that I don’t think I would still be living had I not been able to take them.
Is it weird that I save all my boxes after they've been finished?