Shame With Anti-Depressants

hope

At the age of 18 I was hit with Major Depression.

Since I was in college at that time having no prior education or awareness around what had happened to me, the only way for me to escape my pain was through drinking and partying.

This, as one would assume, only made me fall deeper into a hole but I was determined to fight whatever it was that had stolen my happiness.

When I graduated, a few pretty large life circumstances occurred bringing me even further to my knees to a point where I needed to contact a Psychiatrist.

Still not knowing that I had Major Depression, I went to my first appointment to tell this doctor about what was happening in my life. My parents were out of nowhere divorcing after 24 years, I was diagnosed with Melanoma skin cancer and I had just graduated and couldn’t seem to get out of bed in the morning and couldn’t deal with my life on life’s terms.

The first thing that came out of her mouth was that I had Major Depressive Disorder and  needed to get on medication ASAP and quit drinking right away before I hurt myself and took my own life.

I was devastated.

Why I was devastated was not having someone tell me I was severely depressed but she said I needed to be on MEDICATION!! Oh no. Not me. I am not going to be one of those girls who takes “happy pills’ every day just to be ok. Not me, never, NO WAY!

The book “Prozac Nation” had come out recently and the way people spoke about and judged those who had to take medication for their “crazy brain” scared me so much.

Who was going to marry me???? I was not dating at the time but my fear was that there was no man on the planet who would want to be with me, especially  not forever. This was a nightmare. I can’t be depressed enough to need this. These pills are going to ruin my life and I will be single forever.

I pictured myself at the pharmacy in line picking up the medication and being so worried that the Pharmacist would say the name of the medication too loud and everyone in line would hear. I feared when I would have to disclose to a guy who had taken me on a few dates, “Oh, by the way, I am on anti-depressants” and the look of horror he would give me and never call me again. This was just not the way I planned on my  life going.

I decided to keep trying on my own to fight my Depression with mind altering chemicals and sleeping pills, and the result of that landed me in an intervention with my now broken family telling me I needed to start taking anti-depressants or I was going to hurt myself and they could no longer watch me live like this.

I gave in that day and called my doctor and told her I would try the pills and if they didn’t work I would stop them immediately.

It’s funny because that was over 20 years ago and I remember taking my first 10 milligram pill of Celexa, an SSRI(Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or serotonin-specific re-uptake inhibitors are a class of drugs that are typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders) the doctor prescribed me and I thought that right away all of my problems and pain would just disappear….and they didn’t.

It has been a very, very, very long road with my anti-depressants and finding the one that would eventually work. Unfortunately, it’s a trial and error process that I have always questioned because I felt like Depression is such a life threatening disease and it’s our brains we are taking these chances with, trying out all sorts of medication with odd side effects, but it is what it is.

I have tried over 15 different medications and have now finally found a combination that makes me feel like a version of my old self. The girl I was before Depression reared it’s nasty head in my life. It’s been combining meds, therapy and my own personal spiritual/holistic approach to healing that has allowed me to show up for my life.

Oh, and as for the guy? I found the perfect man who loves me for my light side as well as my dark side. He supports my Depression and has never thought twice about marrying me. He even picks my medication up for me sometimes at the pharmacy 🙂

So never lose hope when you are told you need to start medication. It’s not the end of the world, in fact, it can be a new beginning. There will always be someone who doesn’t care that you have to take them and if they do, they weren’t meant for you anyway.

Peace, Love and Light

XO

 

 

 

 

 

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