5 Things I Learned After Being Prescribed, And Taking, Antidepressants

5 Things I Learned After Being Prescribed, And Taking, Antidepressants

The lessons from choosing the path of SSRIs.

I was recently prescribed with Lexapro to deal with major depressive disorder, something I had been battling for the last few years with some rather unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Though I haven’t gotten past the stage of adjustment whereby the effectiveness can truly be assessed and a change can be made if need be, I have learned some things about myself.

1. I Need To Learn Patience

I’ve always been the impatient sort, eager for a quick fix to a problem and unwilling to stick out things that didn’t have an immediate or obvious payoff. Depression really doesn’t help with this tendency, as everything takes that much more excruciating effort. Yet with anti-depressants, the very nature of them means I’ll need to exercise that same patience that was so fraught beforehand. It’s going to be tough, but ultimately that lesson will serve me well in the future.

2. I Need To Fix My Relationship with Drinking

Doctors recommend abstaining from alcohol while on Lexapro. People I knew in person recommended staying off it for a while and then later taking it quite slowly. This came as a major blow to me upon hearing it, but honestly it’s for the best. While I’m not an alcoholic in the sense of being chemically dependent on it, I did tend to use going out as my sense of relief from the stress of the week, indulging too heavily and waking up late the next evening. The hungover meal of a chicken fillet roll, orange Lucozade, and a paracetamol tablet were often consumed far later in the day than they should have been. I’d spend too much money and end up miserable at the end of a night. It’s honestly something I need to sort out.

3. Sleep Is Important

While I was aware of all the benefits of sleep and harms as a result of lacking it, the true gravity of that never set in with me really. I’d go with too little, binge on sleep at weekends, my pattern completely in a mess. Yet these pills have made sleeping somewhat easier. Curbing the drinking means I’m home more often, and the drowsiness makes falling asleep a more attractive option. I’m far more able to grab that early night and wake up at a reasonable hour. Now the challenge is to actually get up as soon as I wake up, oh boy.

4. Skepticism Is OK, But Don’t Throw People Under The Bus

Honestly there’s too much discourse around the subject of antidepressants to succinctly put it all into one paragraph. What I will say is that it is perfectly natural to be wary or skeptical of whether antidepressants might be right for you. They’ve got side effects which can vary from annoying to quite dangerous. It takes a while to see if they actually work, and doctors can be too eager to prescribe them when the situation you’re in mentally may not be chemically related. However, stigmatizing people who have to take them, delegitimizing their struggle to get better, to spout pseudoscience or fake deep bullshit is not the way to go at all -- especially given how people may drop them after being exposed to this rhetoric, and the dangers that can come about from going cold turkey off them. These are things I had known implicitly from reading about, yet had never realized properly until I found myself in that very position.

5. They’ve Given Me Time, Now I’ve Gotta Use It

Curbing drinking freed up my time, getting sleep is leaving me in better shape, and they do make me mildly less grim at this particular stage, hoping that level of wellness goes significantly up. What I’ve got now is more time, and I’ve gotta use that. I’ve got to pour myself more into my college work, which had been excruciatingly executed rather than done with a smile in a timely fashion. I need to engage more intensely with the therapy, using my time and clarity to reflect on myself when I hadn’t done that before. I’ve gotta use this time to find newer, healthier coping mechanisms rather than the ones I had before. This may not be the end of my journey, but I’m certainly in better shape than when I started it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.


Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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