As mental health already holds millions of stigmas itself, receiving help tends to be viewed in a negative light as well. Please know that whatever help you need (counseling, antidepressants, etc.) is OKAY. Seeking help to overcome your condition is a great thing. As the title shows, I want to use this post to talk specifically about antidepressants.
There’s a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the use of antidepressants. A lot of people group them with street drugs and think that your body can become addicted to them. That’s completely false. Antidepressants don’t alter your body’s proper functioning like street drugs do. They simply help you to feel your normal self at best: motivated and ready to tackle anything the day throws at you.
One of my biggest pet peeves with the talk of antidepressants is people thinking you’re crazy for even considering medical help. You’re simply taking medicine for your body to feel better, just like you would for any other medical condition. For example, depression is listed as a mental illness and there are plenty of medications for it just like for someone who has diabetes. Antidepressants are not some type of drugs that make you extremely happy 24/7 because that is super uncommon in real life.
Personally, I have taken antidepressants before and I’ve seen a huge improvement in the way I function. Weeks before starting the dosage, I wouldn’t be motivated to do anything and my grades and other important things to me would start to suffer. With my personal experience, I believe that the antidepressants have helped me to get back to being the motivated, driven person that I usually am.
If you’re looking to start taking antidepressants to help alleviate your symptoms, that’s a great thing. Talk to your doctor about your options and choose what you feel is best for you. Please note that there are a lot of different antidepressants so the first one you try might not help you as much and you may need to switch out to another one (i.e. from Lexapro to Effexor). That’s completely okay but give it a few weeks before switching. Even when you’re feeling much better, please don’t discontinue the antidepressants yourself. Go back to your doctor and talk about your options with them so you can taper off of them safely.