My Outlook on Life After Taking Depression and Anxiety Medication

Early in the spring 2017 semester my depression and anxiety became unbearable to the point where it was difficult to go through everyday life as a functioning human being. Although I had not been officially diagnosed before then, I know that mental health problems had plagued me for many years prior, yet the effects were only mild to moderate, and I was able to handle them on my own. However, as I entered college and many aspects of my life began to change, the symptoms that used to be more like a nuisance turned into the worst days of my life. I knew medicine would help me, so I made an appointment at student health and scheduled regular psychiatrist and psychologist visits in hopes of getting the help I needed.

Thankfully, it’s been working.

I take 20mg of Prozac every morning when I get out of bed. I call it my “happy drug” because I don’t think I’d be able to feel much more than numbness without it, at the very best. With the pill, though, I can enjoy my life. Like, really enjoy it, to the point where some days I forget that I have severe anxiety and moderate depression at all. It’s remarkable, and I thank my lucky stars for everyone involved in developing such a miracle. All those beautiful, wonderful scientists and doctors have given me my life back. It’s the greatest gift anyone could give me.

Before, I hardly ever wanted to get out of bed and could not go more than a few hours without longing for a nap. I avoided people, even my closest friends and family, and would often make excuses of why I could not/would not hang out because I thought I would be judged if I explained that my mental health was keeping me distant. I could no longer find joy in the things and people that usually made me the happiest, and constantly worried that I would lose friends. I did lose some. And, although I have explained myself many times, some don’t want to come back. Is it my fault? I’m not sure, but the absence that certain people have made, some lifelong friends, has been one of the hardest things to deal with.

Now, I’m making progress. Of course, mental health problems are a constant struggle, and I don’t really expect to ever be totally back to normal. But I’ve accepted the fact and moved on, making space for improvement, learning, growth and acceptance along the way. I can wake up early and be productive now. I am getting better about being social and am working hard to ensure that the people in my life know that they matter to me. Little things make me happy again. Some friends have come back, while others have not. I still worry about them, but not nearly as much as I used to. I have accepted it all.

And, perhaps most importantly, I have become more vocal about my depression and anxiety. While I do not let it define me, it is important for people to understand that mental health problems are serious and widely prevalent. There are so many stigmas associated with mental health, and as someone who has been on the receiving side of judgment and harsh criticisms, I want to make sure that others do not experience the same treatment.

Mental health problems are common and treatable. If you have them, you are not alone. I spent so long thinking that it was only me fighting for happiness, but I know now that depression and anxiety can plague everyone.

Please, get the help you need. Take care of yourself. You are wonderful and you deserve the best life possible.

Gifs: 1, 2, 3