Anxiety

The truth about anti-depressants.

I’ve been on and off anti-depressants for the past 6.5 years. It was never my intention to start taking medication to control my anxiety and depression but I reached a point at that time in my life when nothing else was working. I was overweight, depressed, and didn’t feel a “zest” for life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking medication but it scared me, if we’re being honest. I wanted to share the truth about anti-depressants, for me.

Counseling wasn’t working.

I had no motivation.

I just couldn’t get out of the rut.

So I decided to start taking something to help me deal with it. It was something I took every day and for awhile, it made me feel great. I was on it until I got pregnant and then had to taper off of it. And to be honest, I don’t remember it being that hard.

Recently, I decided they weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing anymore. I felt worse, more depressed, and just blah. I just wanted everything out of my body so I could start fresh and try and do things a more natural way. So I decided to go off of them.

I don’t have a doctor here yet so I decided to just wean myself off of them on my own. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Well same goes for medication like this. And I knew that. So for the past two weeks, I’ve been cutting the pills, marking down what I was taking, and then was just off of them completely.

Well apparently two weeks was not enough time. After two days without the medicine, I felt like shit. I was disoriented, dizzy, nauseous, clammy, and felt like I had the flu. I laid in bed most of Saturday and just still felt terrible when I woke up from a nap.

Anti-depressants aren't a bad thing. Sometimes, we need them to get over a hump. Sometimes, we need them long-term. Here's the truth about anti-depressants.

At first I thought I was just getting sick but then it hit me… I was going through withdrawal. Of course I went to Google and yup, sure enough I was having withdrawal symptoms. So I decided to start taking the medicine again and then consult a doctor about how to properly come off of it.

My body really doesn’t know what to think right now. I’ve been so emotional, on edge, and cranky, and I know it’s because I’ve messed with my mind and body. So once I get back to some balanced level of normal, I plan to talk to a doctor about coming off of them.

The truth about anti-depressants? It’s a love-hate relationship.

They can make you feel better.

They can make you feel worse.

They can make you gain weight.

They can make you lose weight.

They can make you sleep too much.

They give you insomnia.

You’re scared to take them.

You’re scared to stop taking them.

The struggle is real, I can promise you that. But if I’ve learned anything over the past few weeks, it’s that doctors know best. And even when I thought I knew what I was doing… I didn’t.

You never really know how you’re going to feel when you take medication. And that’s scary, isn’t it? Which is why it’s super important to consult a doctor, when going on or off any medicine.

There’s nothing wrong with needing to take anti-depressants. I’m a huge advocate for mental health and believe that different things work for different people. So don’t ever feel bad about taking medicine or needing to find a way to cope with your anxiety and depression.

Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t need the medicine and that you “worry” for no reason. Don’t take it personally when someone tells you to “calm down” or doesn’t understand that you can’t make a decision, small or large. Anxiety and depression are tricky and hard to understand and only you know your body and what it will take to make you feel like yourself.

So if you’ve been there, give me advice. And if you haven’t, know that you’re not alone. Mental health doesn’t need to be as taboo as the world sometimes makes it out to be. And the only way to educate others on the topic is to talk about it. So feel free to do so below 🙂

Anti-depressants aren't a bad thing. Sometimes, we need them to get over a hump. Sometimes, we need them long-term. Here's the truth about anti-depressants.

 

«

»

10 COMMENTS

  • Melissa

    That was really insightful. I’m sorry you went through that terrible withdrawal. Mental health is so hard to understand..you’re brave for realizing you needed help in the first place!

  • Lauren

    It’s really hard to explain to other people the meds, how they help, don’t … unless they know personally!

  • Brittany Martorella

    I’ve gone on and come off antidepressants three times, and each time experienced different withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately even under doctors supervision you’ll still probably get some of the withdrawal symptoms but they go away within a week or so! Some meds made me worse, some did nothing and the last one I kept plateauing with and felt no difference! The worst is when you get the electrical “brain zaps” feeling in your head. It’s scary how much a small little pill can actually effect your body huh?

  • Taylor

    This post is great. I’m not currently on medication for my anxiety, but I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I want to try it. Right now it’s still up in the air, but this post is honest and real and I like that.

  • Shane Prather

    Girl, I know the pain. I have been on them since 9th grade. It’s a bummer that they level out your mood sometimes, that you don’t feel the lows, but also sometimes miss out on the highs.

  • Stephanie

    Love your blog! This was a really great post regarding mental health meds and the importance of seeing your doctor! I work as a mental health professional and stress to my client’s the importance of seeing/following up with their doctors for all the reasons you wrote and more. I’m curious to know why you felt counseling wasn’t working for you though. Counseling can be a wonderful way to learn coping skills, gain various perspective and work through thought patterns/stressors in a way that medication can’t. Granted it can be a process to find the right fit (someone you can trust and feel can connect with) but it is a wonderful resource and a comprehensive component of mental health treatment. There’s stigma that can come from the idea of counseling/therapy so I always am curious to know people’s experiences. Thank you for using your platform to normalize mental health, its appreciated!

  • Totally agree with you! Love hate relationship for sure! I think it is ALWAYS so important to consult with your health care professional before going off any meds because our bodies can be so tricky and react in ways we never imagined.

    xx,

    Lacey
    http://www.theglittergospelblog.com

  • Rachel

    I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety all my life, it comes and goes.. I’ve just recently started to think medication was needed, but I’m terrified of exactly what you’ve wrote. Thank you for being honest, for such a personal, real view on these medications. It’s such a hard decision to start them or not. Xo

  • Maria

    Nope, there is absolutely wrong with needing to take anti-depressants. You don’t suddenly stop taking heart medication, or meds for diabetes, right? We need to treat this the same way. My doctor once told me this, and that helped me tremendously.

  • Nikki

    First of all, fantastic post!! I know how you feel. I took anti depressants and anti anxiety meds for 11 years. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get off of them, but I decided it was worth a shot. I don’t know how much you take but 2 weeks is NOT long enough at all. I am not a medical doctor but just having gone through it, you really need to do it with a doctor’s guidance. It took me over a year to get off the anti depressants (the anti anxiety meds don’t make you feel as bad when you are getting off). I literally went down 10 mg at a time and stayed on that dosage for at least a month before I could get completely off. I was really lucky to work with a doctor who was more than willing to try to help me get off of them. Some doctors are pretty much like, if you are taking them, you are on the for life. If you ever want to talk about it, feel free to email me (thefashionablewife@gmail.com)! It was really scary getting completely off, but I am so glad I did. I honestly don’t feel much different. (And therapy never worked for me either).

    Nikki
    thefashionablewife.com

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.