Millions of Americans suffer everyday with anxiety, depression, OCD, and other mental illnesses. Thankfully, we live in a time where those who can no longer cope can get they help they need.
SSRIs are the most common form of antidepressant/anti-anxiety drug on the market. SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, which simply means it stops your brain from sucking all of the serotonin away at one time. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that can help regulate some bodily functions, and a deficit in serotonin can lead to depression. Because of the popularity of SSRIs, they've had a lot of time in labs and on the market to work out some of their kinks. This being said, SSRIs aren't a Hail Mary, and sometimes people don't see any benefit or change with them, though most do.
Back in January, I decided to go on an SSRI, because I couldn't deal with my anxiety alone anymore. I'm not going to lie, the first six weeks on Zoloft (a common brand of SSRI) were rough. I was drowsy all the time, my head hurt for a good part of those six weeks, and I felt all around sluggish. But toward the end of that adjustment time frame I started feeling much better. In the months that followed, I noticed that not only had I stopped shaking every time I tried to order a coffee, but my mood actually improved too. I knew that I had some very mild for of depression, but I didn't realize how much it actually was effecting me until it wasn't there anymore. This isn't to say, however, that I didn't have bad days. There's been a few bumps since January, but I no longer feel inhibited by my mental illnesses. I can go to work everyday without feeling like I'm going to throw up because my anxiety was making me so nauseous. I can look at fall leaves and not feel a crushing sadness that the greenery is ending, but now I can look at those leaves and know that the green will come back.
I know there are some who say that people on medications are "false happy," or that they aren't really themselves. I find that the opposite is true. I feel like medication has helped me be more me, especially around people who've know me for a long time. Medication has helped me open up to my friends and family and brought me out of my shell. It pushed me over that edge of being super shy to actually engaging socially with others.
I'm not saying that medications and SSRIs are for everyone. For a lot of people, it takes months and years of trial and error to find the right medication and dosage. I hope, however, that after reading this, people will realize that it's okay to need medication to be okay.