For every person who says anti-depressants have worked for them, there are ten people sharing horror stories for when they didn’t. I have come to realize that taking anti-depressants is the best way for me to manage my mood, but I also understand that it’s not for everyone.
It took me a long time to accept the fact that I could still experience depression while I was being treated for it. For example, when I started this blog just over two years ago, I was at rock bottom and had a hard time understanding (and accepting) my reality. Getting out of bed in the morning, attending to my personal needs and taking care of my daughter became insurmountable tasks. I felt like I was walking up a down escalator; moving, but getting nowhere.
An increase in my medication pulled me out of the quicksand enough to start addressing my many challenges. I didn’t necessarily feel better, but I was no longer paralyzed with fear. Instead, it maintained my mood enough to reluctantly navigate the murky waters of poverty, rebuild my self-esteem around career and school and learn how to budget. I began to see farther than one step at a time. I began to have hope again.
I am now in the fortunate position of tapering back on my meds, with my doctor’s approval of course. Forgetting that I might experience withdrawal symptoms with a lower dose, I became irritable, short-tempered and noises drove me crazy. Ahh, this is why I’m on anti-depressants in the first place. Sometimes it’s good to have a reminder.
Do I still have depression? Yes. Will I need to up the dose again? Probably, but not right now. In the meantime, my mood has improved due to the fact that I’m taking care of myself. Seeing friends on a regular basis, spending quality time with my kid, getting to better know my neighbours, playing with our new kitten, keeping track of my accomplishments no matter how small and doing things I enjoy. Life is so much easier outside of my head.