My Journey On Antidepressants

My Journey On Antidepressants

The ever-long relationship between depression and medication
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By the headline of this article, I know that you already have your preconceived notions on medication, especially those that help with mental illnesses. Apart from medication, mental illnesses themselves are partnered with a stigma that has left many of those who struggle in the dark.

In this article, I want to talk about my experience on medication. I am not the end all be all. There are many situations in which medication does not help. I do not want to start or further any shame. Medication is not the only answer, so I do not expect my journey to directly align with anyone. With that being said, I want this article to be a comfort for those who never see stories about people who struggle like them.

*CONTENT WARNING*

This article, as it deals with depression, will include my raw, uncensored journey, including my suicidal thoughts. If you struggle, or have had struggles, please proceed with caution.

I was in counseling last year, my freshman year of college, in hopes that it would somehow cure my grief after the loss of my mom just a few months prior. At first, it seemed to work. I was becoming able to talk about tragedy and trauma. During my freshman year, I solely did counseling because I thought that it was all I needed.

However, I saw a difference in my mood during the summer after my freshman year. I stopped receiving joy from all that I previously liked to do. I saw myself sleeping constantly, so I did not have to deal with life that was seemingly too difficult to handle.

That summer reached its bleak peak when I was studying gender in Maine. This was an amazing opportunity to learn about gender identity and equality in the beaches of the northeast. However, my depression was getting worse. One night, I thought it would be my last. I was crying in the shower which seemed to become a regular occurrence. I took the razor I had bought a few days prior at a nearby store and began digging at my thighs. I wanted to feel something even if it was pain. The blood spewed to each corner of the shower. It, mixed with the hot water, made it seem like it was not that bad. I was okay. I dressed and spent the next hour talking to my cabin mates like nothing ever happened.

As the summer progressed, the absence of feeling became more apparent. I think a common misconception of depression is feeling sad, but in reality, depression can encompass a range of feelings. Last summer, I felt numb. The simple pleasures in life seemed to drift away little by little. I could not go a day without crying. These tears were brought by a feeling of longing for happiness that I could not describe because I could never reach it.

As I went back to college as a sophomore, I was unable to either deny I was sad or not because I could not feel a thing. This is when I attended counseling for the second year. Instead of the calming exercises that by previous counselor did, my counselor wanted me to be seen by a family doctor to try and get on medication. This was not forced at all. I was not against trying medication because I was like, “hey, I’ll try anything at this point.” I then went and saw a family doctor. I was given a depression analysis assessment. I was asked multiple questions on my mood and how I have been feeling. It turned out that I was depressed (SHOCKER). I cried when I was diagnosed. It felt like a weight, even though it was still technically there, had been lifted off of my shoulders. The burden of trying to carry an unnamed illness had left. The doctor prescribed me Sertraline-- a common antidepressant. I began taking them. Obviously I was not expecting a drastic change the first week, but I already felt better. I felt like I was trying to better my mental health.

Four months later I am still on the same medication. I still have bad days, but those days are manageable. I go to counseling, doctor’s appointments and take medication to get my depression at a manageable level. I began writing again and wanting to do it. I began laughing uncontrollably again. I have finally begun to live.

Medication was my saving grace to be cliche like that. It saved me. This stigma surrounding it is nonsense when the results are clear. However, there are instances where medication does not work. This does not meant that you are unsavable. You will get better.

Cover Image Credit: https://jessiejeanine.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/break-free.jpg

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Moving On

Healing hurts but it's necessary to move on.

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I just want to make it clear, that I by no means am or plan to a poet. I have only written one other poem my entire life. But to keep myself from going off and hurting myself mentally, emotionally, and physically after a break up, I started to read, (and reread) my poetry books. I wanted to vent, but I didn't want to write long Facebook status or share every sad post. I didn't even want to tell anyone. Although, I knew I needed to turn my hurt, pain and confusion into something healthy and healing. I started to write an article but I couldn't get the words out, unless they were in short pieces. So I tried, to with a poem.

Moving On

I want to change how you made me feel

I want to numb all the pain and hurt

that you left me to deal with

but how can I do that?


How can I numb the pain,

when I'm already numb?

I feel nothing at all

and at the same time

I feel everything at once


I'm like a walking corpse

begging for life again

And I would anything to get it

but nothing at the same time


How can one thing so simple

make me feel completely empty

and so full of pain and confusion


I've never been left more confused

more vulnerable

and so full of self hate


I've never felt this type of sadness

I was verging on depression again

But I slowly realized that I'll be okay

because I can see what you truly want

and what I truly need


And while my heart was with you

I learned why it should be with me

and I know I'll be more okay than ever


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