It wasn’t until after numerous doctors appointments with therapists, general care physicians, and clinical psychologists that I was coaxed into being put on an antidepressant. I had never been a fan of being on medicine simply because I always had been on medicine. My asthma doctor knows this side of me and always worked with me to ensure me that yes, the medicine is for the best and yes, it would help. Finally one of my behavioral health doctors was able to do the same.
I had struggled with anxiety for most of my life which had then snowballed into some kind of anxious-depressed mess. I cried all the time. I was sad. Panic attacks happened more than I’d like to admit. Frankly, it was all becoming too much. Medicine would help, I was told, it would make things so much better. My life would be enjoyable, not just something I had to bear.
They were wrong.
Upon starting my selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI for short, I felt like shit. My head hurt, I couldn’t keep food down, even my eyesight seemed to be blurrier. I wanted so badly to stop, to throw in the towel, but I remembered how long it took for me to agree to medicine and I didn’t want to throw that down the drain. I persisted for a while.
The next couple of months on Zoloft went by, and there really isn’t much to say about them. It was Thanksgiving. Then Christmas. I got into my top school. I committed to college. My friends got into their picks of colleges. It was cool and all.
Next thing I knew, it was months later and I was sitting on the floor of my boyfriend’s dorm crying. I had stopped my antidepressants 3 weeks prior due to a multitude of illnesses and other medications wreaking havoc on my body. I was apologizing. I had been absent for months. I felt like I had woken up from this long coma. During my time in this so called coma I had no feelings towards anything. I did not even witness the girl who had once been empathetic and ambitious turn into an apathetic and lethargic blob until I was out of that state. It was although I was blindfolded while this new girl took over the old me. Looking back at my indifferent mindset kills me. How in the world did I get there? I was a walking zombie who had lost the capacity to feel. My antidepressants weren’t just anti-depressant, they were anti-emotion.
I still have not come to terms with where I am currently. I go through days where I feel so stupid for not noticing where I was at. I sometimes feel guilty for not caring about the people around me. I feel angry that I did not care for myself properly during this time. But, I am extremely humbled and thankful for what this experience has taught me.
I have learned a few things that I would like to pass on to others:
Be kind. You will never regret it. You will only regret not being kind during a moment where you could have been.
Don’t be afraid to make a change and do what’s best for you. My doctor wanted me on an antidepressant for at least a year. I want to cry when I think about what my life would be like today if I were still on those pills. Disclaimer: I’m a 18 year old teenager from a small town. I’m not a doctor here to give medical advice. Zoloft works for some, but not for others. Take what I say with a grain of salt.
Always look out for others. Now that I have been through this, I’m constantly checking in on others. Give someone a hand if they need it, you might be the only one who does.
Forgive and forget. I know it’s cliche and I know it’s annoying, but you can spend your time hating yourself for who you were, or loving yourself for who you’re becoming. With those two options, I hope you make the right choice.