45 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Antidepressants
"I don't have to call them Crazy Pills and wave my hands in the air and pull a weird face."
1. I wish someone had told me to not spend an entire day reading the list of side effects.
2. Because sitting in my room waiting for a heart attack wasn't the best use of my time.
3. I wish I'd spoken to my doctor about any worries I had rather than just "waiting it out".
4. Internalising my fears was the last thing my anxious and depressed brain needed.
5. I wish I'd known that I wasn't going to feel wildly different from day one.
6. But I did feel a bit ~strange~ and this was partly to do with me psyching myself out.
7. I wish I'd been more organised about taking my meds with other meds.
8. Taking everything at the same time made me feel a bit nauseous.
9. It would have saved a lot of second guesses and freak outs if I'd set an alarm for when to take what.
10. That would've prevented me running around thinking: "Wait, did I take it? Was that something else? OMFG my memory is the worst! AM I DYING ALREADY? IS THIS THE END???"
11. I wish I'd known the nausea would be pretty bad at the beginning.
12. But after a week of chugging peppermint tea I'd be fine.
13. I wish I'd known about the insomnia, especially in the beginning or whenever they up the dosage.
14. But on the plus side insomnia means there's more time to watch dogs do adorable things on YouTube.
15. I wish someone had told me to savor that victorious feeling of going out to a bar after a whole year of never leaving the house.
16. Especially because I didn't go home after five minutes!
17. But I wish I'd thought: "I did a good thing! I should be proud of myself!" instead of: "It's because of my meds."
18. I wish someone had told me that I wouldn't be on antidepressants forever.
19. But going off them wasn't exactly easy.
20. I did sort of bawl my eyes out because I saw a sad looking rock on the pavement.
21. I wish someone had assured me that it's OK to have a mini breakdown when a colleague asks if you're alright and all you can reply is: "I FEEL FINE I JUST CAN'T STOP CRYING FOR SOME REASON DON'T MIND ME LOL!"
22. I also wish I'd known that going off my meds won't mean I'll never have to go back on them ever again.
23. And when I did go back to medication, I wish I hadn't seen it as a "failure".
24. It didn't mean I was falling apart all over again.
25. I wish I'd known how to stay on top of my prescriptions and make a note when I was about to run out.
26. I wish someone told me to check in with my doctor regularly, even if they seemed to not really care about how I was doing.
27. I should have spoken to them if something wasn't working out.
28. Google is not my doctor.
29. But reading message boards of people who share what I'm going through is comforting.
30. Having said that, it's important to remember that everyone's experiences are different.
31. I wish I'd known that meds aren't going to magically cure me.
32. I'll still slip up every now and again.
33. And I'll still need therapy to get to the root of my problems.
34. I wish someone had told me that there's no need for me to tell people about my meds if I don't want to.
35. I don't have to call them Crazy Pills and wave my hands in the air and pull a weird face.
36. Unless I'm joking around with my siblings, because then it's kind of funny.
37. I wish someone could've assured me that the pharmacist wasn't giving me an "Oh, you poor thing" look when she handed over my pills.
38. I wish I'd known not to take it to heart when my yoga teacher went on about having a "clean body, free from any chemicals and false happiness".
39. I wished someone had leant over to my mat and said: "She's not talking about you, don't worry."
40. Because my yoga teacher is not the boss of me
41. In fact she knew nothing about me.
42. And I wish I'd known that lots and lots of people are on antidepressants.
43. Including some of my favourite comedians.
44. I wish someone had told me to never, ever feel ashamed.
45. Because if my meds are helping me, that's all that matters.
Speak to your GP if you think you might benefit from antidepressants or if you have any questions or concerns about your medication. They are there to help.
If you need information and practical advice on depression, you can call the Rethink advice and information service on 0300 5000 927 (10am–2pm), if you're in the UK.
The Depression Alliance, a charity for sufferers of depression, has a network of self-help groups.
You can call the Samaritans for confidential support if you're experiencing feelings of distress or despair on 08457 90 90 90 (24-hour helpline).
And you can call the Crisis Call Center at 1-800-273-8255 at any time of the day if you're based in the US.