My doctor perscribed me antidepressants after I was diagnosed with severe depression. I was open to the prospect of using medication to combat my newly aquired disease because I feared I would not be able to do it alone, as I had been battling anxiety for many years prior and after constant support from friends and family nothing had changed. My experience and the changes in my overall thinking and behavior may be extremely different to that of others who either use a different medication or had different reasons for needing medicated assistance. But, my experience with antidepressants has thus far been a good one. I have been relieved from symptoms and even experienced several of the side effects, but the depression that once masked a lot of things, got me wrapped in a fog, and had me feeling so awful that I didn't have the energy to deal with real problems, is no longer affecting my life and relationships.
I have been on antidepressants for a year now. I find it a little difficult to describe how I felt before the antidepressants only because I feel like it's a little weird. So for starters, every morning I would wake up with this tingling, like you hit your funny bone and feel those painful tingles up your hand, but I'd feel them all throughout my body. I would wake up and feel nauseous and obviously not normal because I had this anxiety pulsing through my veins the second I woke up. The only escape I had was sleep but you can't sleep forever. So it took getting into a routine to be able to decrease the angst I woke up with every morning. But a routine didn't make it stop forever. If something triggered me, like being put in a position where I had to make a descion or something reminded me of an instance where I was hurt in the past, my body went right back to feeling the tingles everywhere. And then even if I had a great day and was able to go to sleep feeling good about tomorrow, no matter what I would wake up with the same exact feeling and I was forced to relive the cycle. I would cry because I couldn't make it stop, I would hate myself because I was so easily triggered and everything felt like the end of the world. It sucked even more because I knew there was literally no reason to feel like this. I have an amazing supportive set of parents, friends who love me, and an ambition and faith for life that I haven't met in anyone else. But apparently something switched a chemical in my brain that made this angst follow me around like my shadow and I couldn't force the sun to rise and cast the shadow away.
It took three different sets of antidepressants to find the one to perfectly combat my symptoms and the way my body reacted to the change that it envokes in your body. Obviously antidepressants work by altering the balance of certain chemicals in your brain and with that came the possibility for side effects that included weird dreams, dry mouth, drowiness, lack of motivation, etc. etc. One side effect that was prevelent in my life was how tired I would feel when I was on my medication. I felt like I had to take a nap to get through the day. So with a couple trial and errors, I finally found an antidepressant that made me energetic instead of sleepy.
I definitely didn't get better overnight but a year later of constant work and treatment through the medication, I can say I am content. I wake up in the morning with no anxiety, no thoughts of the undeniable doom of the day, or saddness. I wake up okay. And that is something that is so relieving. I hated and resented that I couldn't function and now that I can, it's like everyday is the best day of my life. I'm optimistic about tomorrow, excited for the future, and I use everyday to fulfill some sort of goal. Whether that goal be as simple as finishing homework or making the effort to have dinner with my family-- I feel normal. I am okay with being emotional and okay with the fact that tomorrow isn't gaurenteed. I am excited about life and there is nothing more I want than to make it a good one.
When I've talked to people about being on the medication, I get a few different reactions. I could get a supportive one, a questionable one, a disgusted one, or a unapologentic unable to understand one. The only time I've ever questioned whether I wanted to be on the medication, is when someone brings up that the way I feel isn't because of me. Everything I do and feel is influenced by the medication and to the people who have belitteld me for it, there have been some who feel the person that they "want" isn't real because I am influenced the medication. But for now, I want to stay on the medication. I am scared of who I might be and what might happen if I stop and it does scare me that I've become dependent. But until I believe that I can be okay without the antidepressants, I am going to stay on them.
Regardless of what other people think or your preconscieved notions on them, antidepressants have helped me. I would reccomend it to anyone who has encountered a doctor who feels that treatment is the best way to combat their depression or other type of illness. Not everyone has the same experience or same side effects. Such attributes can be influenced by your genetic makeup or existing health conditions, but it's a beautiful thing that we have. Just like chemo that runs through your blood to kill cancerous blood cells, I like to imagine the antidepressants flowing through thoughts killing thoughts that are bad. If you need help it's okay and I hope my experience was able to help you in some way.