self-love

Let's Take the Stigma Out of Taking Antidepressants

I felt like it was time to be candid on my last HC article this year. I’ve recently started to take antidepressants primarily for my anxiety and depression. As a sophomore psychology major, mental health is naturally a very important topic to me, and I believe there should be no stigma around taking antidepressants or any other psychotropic medication. 

  1. 1. Antidepressants don’t make you feel unlike yourself.

    This was a big concern for me when I started to take them. I didn’t want to feel like I was in some sort of fog constantly. When I’m in a rough state mentally, that’s when I feel most like I’m in some sort of haze. If anything, I feel more like me than I have in a very long time while taking them. If they make you feel worse, that’s when you should talk to your doctor and discuss other antidepressant options. 

  2. 2. It's not a magic pill.

    woman holding a smiling balloon

    A lot of people assume you’re going to be a completely changed person suddenly singing "Pocket Full of Sunshine" in the streets. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Personally, my mental illness has stopped me from doing the things that I normally loved to do. It even stopped me from excelling in college. With the help of my medicine (and therapy!), I am slowly learning to enjoy doing things I love again. It’s a slow process for many, so be patient!

  3. 3. There are more people taking them than you might think.

    A lot of times with mental illness, it may feel like you’re fighting this battle alone. There are so many people who need more than just therapy. That was something I learned as well. Before taking medicine, I asked my closest friends with similar problems as me what they felt like on medicine. It’s also important to remember that antidepressants and other psychotropic medication works differently on every person. So, one person having some horrible side effect doesn’t guarantee you’ll feel the same way. It’s all about trial and error. 

While I haven’t been on antidepressants long enough to get the fullest effects, I am noticing that I feel better. I was also feeling scared because I had never taken medicine for mental illness. I thought that therapy alone would fix me. While therapy alone can most definitely help someone, it’s important to realize when you might need to try other avenues along with therapy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with needing antidepressants. You are never alone!

The golden girls hugging eachother

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (or you can chat to someone here!)

HCXO,

Brianna