A Big Thank You To The Antidepressant That Saved My Life

A Big Thank You To The Antidepressant That Saved My Life

Dear Celexa, I wish you knew what you did for me.

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It was dark and really lonely. I had just experienced the worst event in my entire life, the death of my father. The world was no longer the same. Everything felt cold, dark, and horrible. Even when the sun came out there was something wrong with it. My anxiety was at an all-time high and stopped going to work, stopped hanging out with my friends and I stopped engaging in everyday life. I was a body without a soul, just a piece of flesh breathing and existing, but having no feelings, except numbness to the outside world.

It was the hardest things I had to do, getting help. I thought it was just grief and everyone feels this way. But that wasn't true. My sisters went back to work, started hanging out with their friends, even my mom started getting back into a daily routine. But not me; all I could do was cry and lay perfectly still all day long. Every movement hurt.

The stigma around mental health is such a horrible thing. People nag, pick on and make fun of mental illnesses but it is the purest form of illness there is. My mother kept saying you need to get help, I am worried about you, but I didn't listen. Actually, my exact words were "I don't need therapy I am not crazy" but therapy does not make you crazy.

I had the appointment long before my daddy died. We were going to finally address the anxiety issues I had been dealing with for my entire life, I thought that was a hard conversation to have. Please, that was nothing compared to what followed next. The doctor started asking me about my father's death and at first, I was very tight-lipped, I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want to even engage with it.

By the end of the appointment I had been diagnosed with GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, no surprise for anyone there, but it explained a lot about the way I think and feel all the time. But the second part of my diagnosis caught me off guard, and it still does when I think about it, I was diagnosed with, Major Depressive Disorder with Anxious Distress.

Depression. The word still rings through my ears when I think about it. But it explained so much. The numbness, the falling into deep pits of despair, the wanting t never move again and just lay there for the rest of my life and let the darkness consume me because it was so much easier than facing the world around me.

I went through three antidepressants until I found the one that woke me from my fog. The first one was horrible. Zoloft left me feeling nauseous all the time, I couldn't eat and there was this constant fog over my body that the professionals call a numbness. Lexapro almost did its job. I started to smile, sing in the car again and was more energetic, but I still had the struggles of getting up and getting moving.

Celexa. The last one, for now. It has been a life changer. Celexa saved my life when I didn't know it needed saving. I smile, I eat, I sing, I go out with my friends, I volunteer to go places when I'm having good weeks I find myself accomplishing more than I ever did, even before my father died.

Celexa has changed my life. My anxiety as at the lowest it has ever been since I was a child, I am not constantly looking over my shoulder. I do still bite my lip and kick my foot up and down, but old habits are hard to stop.

Oh Celexa, if you only knew what you have done for me. The blackness is no longer there. The numbness is no longer there. Sure I still cry but I laugh, and tell jokes and feel other emotions as well. I no longer want to give myself away to the monster that is raging inside my body.

I still have my days, who wouldn't. Sometimes I stay in bed an hour or so longer than need be, but the dark cloudy thoughts are no longer there. It is just finding the motivation to get on with my day that I struggle with now. Maybe Celexa isn't the absolute fix but it gave me my life back. A life I didn't know I was missing until it was gone.

Mental Illness is not a game. Depression is not a joke. Your anxiety does matter. And Celexa saved my life.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Well, Here I Am Again Writing An Article At 2 AM Because My Anxiety Is Not Letting Me Sleep

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible.

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Life is crazy and rough and sometimes sucks. My anxiety has been at its worst this semester, and if I'm being honest - it's driving me insane. I have lost sleep because of it. I have missed classes because of it. I have skipped out on being around friends because of it. The last one is the one that always confuses me, though. I'm at my happiest when I'm around people. I love it, but lately, there have been multiple days where I would rather curl up in a ball and cry.

I struggle to breathe. I struggle to keep up with life. I have all of these thoughts racing through my head. One after the other, trying to see which one will be victorious. However, all of them are victorious because they all have me wide awake. I haven't had a decent night of sleep in a while. At this point, I could probably say its been almost a year since I slept well.

It's yet another night. 2 a.m. and I'm wide awake, crippling with thoughts I want out of my head.

It's constant. It never really stops. I can hear it early in the morning, as I eat my lunch when I'm walking to class, and especially late at night. Right now, the thought screaming the loudest is "No one likes you. That's why you're here and not there." I know it's not true.

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible. I hate them. They irritate me. They keep me up all hours of the night. I toss and turn for hours on end wishing for all of these anxious thoughts to end. I think about things from years ago. I think about things from yesterday. These things never seem to end.

My anxiety has been horrible lately. I haven't been able to get a proper night's sleep in months. I've averaged 3-4 hours a night. I hate it. My mind won't turn off. The racing thoughts never seem to end. I am sick of it. I want to get out of this, but I just can't. Why is this happening?

I have not been able to breathe properly in weeks. I have to physically stop, breathe in deeply, and practically yawn to catch my breath. Why? Why is this happening? I hate it. I'm so stressed from life. This needs to stop.

My body is weak. My mind is no longer concentrating. I want to run away from all of this, but I know that is not how I should handle it. This needs to end. My days can no longer be filled with hopes of a class being canceled or pretending like it is so I don't have to go.

Anxiety has overtaken my life, and I am sick of it. I am ready for it to leave. It won't though. It will continue to reside in my body. I hate it. I can't breathe. I want to cry, but I just can't. I'm sick of this. Anxiety can f*ck off because it has no business taking control of my life.

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