What it's like going on anti-depressants

. 5 Aug 2017 .

I've felt...let's say, shite in the head department for quite sometime (read: as long as I can remember). And yes, with anything you can't see, people think that you must be absolutely fine. Most of the time I've felt relatively 'okay', or seemed it to others, but the little niggling, the worrying at the back of my mind starts to take over and there I am, thinking of all the ways a simple thing such as going out to get some fresh air, or popping down to the shops will go wrong. And then when I am have been out in public, and someone just look at me slightly strange as they pass, my head goes into panic mode. That I've got something on my face, or a multitude of other things that 98% of the time isn't the case. Apart from that one time I had hot chocolate on my face, walked through town, caught the bus home and had no idea until I walked in the door and saw a splodge of Costa's finest on my face.


Always been seen as the worrier, the flapper, the person asking too many questions because they want to get stuff ever so right. Didn't think much of it until it started to take over my life. I'll admit -  a couple of years ago I pretty much had a breakdown. Something as simple as being asked how I was, set me off in floods of tears, gushing about problems and worries I didn't even realise I had until they came out my mouth. I have no recollection of the next 5/6 months after that.

Since then, I've tried to have different mindsets. Sometimes it's easier said than done, others have fallen into place easily. But then I got to a point where panic/anxiety attacks were happening on a regular basis - they only ever used to happen maybe once or twice a year - kind of part of the reason why I have stopped attending conventions - cannot deal with the crowds without wanting to leg it out of the venue. The breaking point for me was whilst I was at work. I started to feel a pain in my chest and very light headed, I had to get outside as soon as possible so I could try to get my breathing back to normal, and cry. Soz to anyone who was walking past, getting to witness my ugly crying. Made an appointment to get along to the GP that afternoon. Finally he let me decide that it was time to try anti-depressants. Classes for mindfulness hadn't helped, over the years I've tried changing how and what I eat, how I live and whilst I'd notice some difference, it never really helped my mental health. It had been mentioned before, but avoided because there was still the MBCT to try. Didn't even know until my GP mentioned, that my chronic pain, and anxiety are linked! Would have been nice to know that a while ago. 

It's now been just over 3 weeks since I started taking Sertraline, and although the first week or so was hellish, feeling like a zombie, with no energy and not much comprehension of what was going on around me - if I didn't need to be anywhere, I spent it sleeping because I couldn't bear to be awake feeling so numb. But there's definitely a difference in my head. I still find myself worrying to an extent, but it doesn't go any further than the worrying - I don't start thinking 'what if?' and off down a path of a million questions. There are still some side effects which are popping up, but they aren't as bad as the initial ones.

The strange thing is, I felt so awkward opening up to anyone close to me about it. I felt as though I was losing, by giving in to using medication...which is a stupid thought. I'm not weak for that. I feel it took balls to say to my doctor that no, I know what doesn't work for me (I wasn't getting fobbed off again, especially since I felt so scared to visit the doctors). Since opening up, I've found out I know quite a few people on anti-depressants. It makes me feel a little less alone, and at the end of the day, if medication helps you get out of bed, and face the world? Then so be it. If it's helping you to do things you haven't done for years, or come out of your shell a little more? Then great! 

I know that medication doesn't work for everyone. Just like exercise and a overhaul of diet isn't going to work for everyone. People's situations are all different, no matter how similar we think we all are. We don't know what folks are going through, so do what works for you. For me, that's currently taking this little tablet each day. In a few months time, there's the possibility of gradually coming off of it, and I'm intrigued to see how this journey goes.

Don't feel ashamed if you need to go on medication or attend therapy in some shape or form. If that's what helps you to get through life...it helps you. Simple as that.

I've felt...let's say, shite in the head department for quite sometime (read: as long as I can remember). And yes, with anything you can't see, people think that you must be absolutely fine. Most of the time I've felt relatively 'okay', or seemed it to others, but the little niggling, the worrying at the back of my mind starts to take over and there I am, thinking of all the ways a simple thing such as going out to get some fresh air, or popping down to the shops will go wrong. And then when I am have been out in public, and someone just look at me slightly strange as they pass, my head goes into panic mode. That I've got something on my face, or a multitude of other things that 98% of the time isn't the case. Apart from that one time I had hot chocolate on my face, walked through town, caught the bus home and had no idea until I walked in the door and saw a splodge of Costa's finest on my face.


Always been seen as the worrier, the flapper, the person asking too many questions because they want to get stuff ever so right. Didn't think much of it until it started to take over my life. I'll admit -  a couple of years ago I pretty much had a breakdown. Something as simple as being asked how I was, set me off in floods of tears, gushing about problems and worries I didn't even realise I had until they came out my mouth. I have no recollection of the next 5/6 months after that.

Since then, I've tried to have different mindsets. Sometimes it's easier said than done, others have fallen into place easily. But then I got to a point where panic/anxiety attacks were happening on a regular basis - they only ever used to happen maybe once or twice a year - kind of part of the reason why I have stopped attending conventions - cannot deal with the crowds without wanting to leg it out of the venue. The breaking point for me was whilst I was at work. I started to feel a pain in my chest and very light headed, I had to get outside as soon as possible so I could try to get my breathing back to normal, and cry. Soz to anyone who was walking past, getting to witness my ugly crying. Made an appointment to get along to the GP that afternoon. Finally he let me decide that it was time to try anti-depressants. Classes for mindfulness hadn't helped, over the years I've tried changing how and what I eat, how I live and whilst I'd notice some difference, it never really helped my mental health. It had been mentioned before, but avoided because there was still the MBCT to try. Didn't even know until my GP mentioned, that my chronic pain, and anxiety are linked! Would have been nice to know that a while ago. 

It's now been just over 3 weeks since I started taking Sertraline, and although the first week or so was hellish, feeling like a zombie, with no energy and not much comprehension of what was going on around me - if I didn't need to be anywhere, I spent it sleeping because I couldn't bear to be awake feeling so numb. But there's definitely a difference in my head. I still find myself worrying to an extent, but it doesn't go any further than the worrying - I don't start thinking 'what if?' and off down a path of a million questions. There are still some side effects which are popping up, but they aren't as bad as the initial ones.

The strange thing is, I felt so awkward opening up to anyone close to me about it. I felt as though I was losing, by giving in to using medication...which is a stupid thought. I'm not weak for that. I feel it took balls to say to my doctor that no, I know what doesn't work for me (I wasn't getting fobbed off again, especially since I felt so scared to visit the doctors). Since opening up, I've found out I know quite a few people on anti-depressants. It makes me feel a little less alone, and at the end of the day, if medication helps you get out of bed, and face the world? Then so be it. If it's helping you to do things you haven't done for years, or come out of your shell a little more? Then great! 

I know that medication doesn't work for everyone. Just like exercise and a overhaul of diet isn't going to work for everyone. People's situations are all different, no matter how similar we think we all are. We don't know what folks are going through, so do what works for you. For me, that's currently taking this little tablet each day. In a few months time, there's the possibility of gradually coming off of it, and I'm intrigued to see how this journey goes.

Don't feel ashamed if you need to go on medication or attend therapy in some shape or form. If that's what helps you to get through life...it helps you. Simple as that.

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