I'm no doctor, so my knowledge of medications is staunchly limited to what I myself have experienced. But based on my experience, I've had a couple of epiphanies when it comes to the use and effects of anti-depressants. Medications of this sort have a wide span of application; they can be very useful for treating depression, anxiety, and all sorts of other disorders of the mind and body. They do, however, bring with them a certain set of what you might label side-effects.
The idea behind medicines like Prozac and Wellbutrin is equalizing brain chemistry so that an overactive or under-active mind mellows out, allowing for more stable emotions and an easier time going about one's daily activities. Now, having been on both of these medications at different times, I can say that they certainly meet one's expectations for relaxing the brain. Under their influence, I can accurately report that my anxieties were, in some measurable way, restrained; my depressive thoughts were fleeting, and for a long while it seemed like this was the proper treatment I had been looking for.
That said, after a while I began feeling rather disquieted. Though I was less anxious and depressed, I realized that my capacities for excitement and happiness had also seemingly diminished. Colors appeared more bleak. Music did not stir me in the ways it had before. I do not think it would be right to say I had become apathetic, but I will attest that felt like I had somehow been emotionally lobotomized. Thus I found myself at a perplexing crossroads; I could continue on with the medication, and remain as I was, or I could take myself off of it and take my chances with my unhampered emotional responses. Ultimately, I took my leave of the medication, and I have little regret for doing so. Maybe for a time it was necessary, useful to my overall mental health, but I think my error was in treating it like a cure instead of the bandage it inevitably proved to be.
Now, I'm not about to suggest that one shouldn't make use of these medications, and I imagine certain people in more dire situations than myself are very glad to have them. What I am saying is that we must be very cautious when considering the use of drugs tailored to mental health issues. One must be informed and prepared for possible consequences, and most importantly, one must be unafraid to seek an alternative if they find the miracle pill to be not all that miraculous. For me, the medications were a transitional tool in that chapter of my life; they helped me cope with matters, but they also taught me the importance of personal judgment in regards to my own health and instincts. There is more at stake with anti-depressants than is alluded to on the dosage warning, and one should exercise caution when taking such medicine. It exists to help us, but when it ceases to be helpful, we must be prepared to broaden our view and seek consultation outside of what we acquire over the counter.