Antidepressants: My Experience
By Gia, age 19, Florida
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
When you see the word ANTIDEPRESSANT, what do you think of? Is there an instant stereotype that comes to mind? Do you picture someone who definitely, not in a million years, could be you?
Well, I never thought I would be on an antidepressant. Yes, I had a somewhat severe cutting problem with a few suicidal attempts, but after years of therapy I thought it was all over. College was supposed to be an escape for me, to severely grow up from that girl. But I didn't, and it landed me back in my parents' house, going to college downtown and looking at every aspect of my life.
A prescription pad was all it took to join the ranks of pill dependent teenagers everywhere. Look, this isn't about me bashing people on pills. I know that for some it's a necessity.
So there it was: Paxil - five letters that would forever change my life. It's even hard to put another sentence together after that daunting one. Paxil, a white or yellow pill that I have to take to not feel anxious, depressed, or sick to my stomach. A pill I need to get out of bed and talk to people.
The first few days were terrible. I forgot the people I loved, where I was, even who I was. My night terrors were as bad as they had ever been. My boyfriend wanted me off the med the moment I fell asleep with him and was crying and talking in my sleep, telling whomever was chasing me to stop. The fact was, though, I couldn't go cold turkey even though I had only started them a few days before. The side effects didn't outweigh the positives. I could smile and feel like today was a good day. I liked it, I needed it.
I'm on Paxil for two specific reasons: for my anxiety and my depression. It's been about six months since I started them - I can't believe it's been that long. People who haven't seen me in a while can see the difference. People who don't know me pre-Paxil don't know that I'm on these pills. I can see the difference. I love the person I've become, the one who is searching for the desire I can't seem to fill. It helps my writing; it helps make my creativity jump onto pages when I feel like writing them down.
I don't believe pills are for everyone. I've become mentally and physically dependent on them. The word "addicted" can even be used, if you want to jump to conclusions. Spiraling out of control is what to be afraid of. What happens if my brain starts out of nowhere to not let me feel the effects of the pills? It's scary to wonder if I may need to be on these for the rest of my life. For right now though, I wake up, brush my hair and teeth, find my glasses, and take my pill so I can conquer the day. I'm perfectly fine with that too.