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Wellness

Antidepressants Aren’t a Bad Thing

When many people hear the word antidepressants, they also hear every negative thing associated with the word. From the terrible side effects to the reasons for being on them, it seems there is no escape from the stigma that surrounds depression, anxiety, and antidepressants. In my personal experiences, antidepressants have helped in so many crucial ways that I feel it’s important to share my experience in order to help tear down the stigmas.

 

When I was young I always felt out of place. I was a happy kid, but never quite as happy as other kids my age, and when I was sad it felt like my world was doused in a blue hue. These feelings followed me as I got older. In middle school, I would have episodes of intense sadness. I would have no motivation to get out of bed, let alone do basic life necessities like a shower or eat. Into high school, it only got worse. Every day I felt as though I was wading through a thick grey fog. When my brother experienced his health issues, it felt as though I was plunged into the depths of the ocean. At the time, I never quite had a word for what I was feeling, but after seeing a therapist for a few months, we were finally able to conclude that I what I suffered from was called Dysthymia. Essentially, due to an imbalance of chemicals, my emotions were always on a flat line so to speak. My highs were never quite as high as others and my lows were always much lower than others. The first time my therapist brought up antidepressants I was very much against them. At the time, I still only had a preconceived idea of what antidepressants were. What I perceived them as were, “happy pills,” with monumental side effects. In actuality, I learned they really are meant to help raise levels of serotonin in an individual in order to help maintain a balance in an individual that is normally imbalanced. This was the case for me. My depression stemmed from an imbalance and with a low dose of antidepressants, my levels were able to level out. While I did experience a few side effects such as nausea and extreme fatigue, the benefits of the pills far outweighed the cons. To really summarize: antidepressants have monumentally changed my life in that they help me function and live a normal life. Without them, I would be suffering in school, in my social life, and really all aspects of life.

 

Despite there being a number of misconceptions surrounding mental illness and antidepressants, there are a few I really want to shed light on.  First, I want to preface this by saying if you are someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, seek help immediately. That being said, I am also not a healthcare professional and what follows are entirely my own opinion based on my own experiences.

 

  • Antidepressants cure depression.

 

This is completely wrong. While for some it may feel like your depression is cured, in actuality, it is helping but not curing. This feeling can be dangerous because many individuals, myself included, will feel that they no longer need the pill and will stop taking it resulting in returning or worsening of conditions. Stay in constant communication with your healthcare professionals and only modify your medications as prescribed.

 

  • Just taking the pill will fix everything.

Not necessarily. The pill can only do so much, it’s up to you to meet it halfway. For me, I need to maintain a healthy diet and exercise in order to really feel better. If I solely rely on the pill and nothing else, it helps, but not to its full degree.

           

  • “I don’t need those I’m not crazy or super depressed,”

A few things here. One, anyone suffering from a mental illness or disorder is not, “crazy” and should never be called such. A broken leg doesn’t mean that person is broken and the same goes for mental illness. Next, no matter where on the spectrum you fall whether it be minor or major, anyone can benefit from seeking help and medication if needed.

 

At the end of the day, we are all so very different and have very different needs when it comes to health of any sort. I highly recommend consulting with a therapist and a doctor about how your feeling and work out a plan on how to tackle it. What works for me may not work for the next person and that’s okay. It may take some time to find what works but the journey is so worth it, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times.

If you find that you’re suffering and struggling with life, know that what you feel is valid and try to reach out to someone whether it be a close friend or a professional. You matter to so many people so don’t let the stigmas keep you from finding your happiness.

 

Resources!

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line:

Text HOME to 741741

New Mexico:

1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474)

 

 

 

Student at NMSU double majoring in Journalism and Government. 
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