My Love/Hate Relationship with Medication

I have been taking anti-depressants for almost five years now.

I’m not necessarily proud of it, but I’m definitely not ashamed. It’s like vitamins—it’s something I need to make myself mentally and physically healthy.

I love that my medication helps me. I love that it’s easier to get out of bed every morning and that I can appreciate the little things in life again. I love that it provides me with the thing my body cannot produce enough of on its own. I love that I’m overall just better.

But there are also a lot of things I hate about being on medication. The number one problem for me is that I am a dependent. I hate knowing that if I were to stop taking my medication, my depression would completely crush me. I hate that when I miss taking a pill, I begin to feel the effects of my depression. I especially hate that it’s numbed my body, particularly to intimacy.

I used to love cuddling. I used to love being touched. I used to love the feeling of another person laying next to me. But now, I can’t stand it; my mind and body don’t respond anymore. As a result, I’ve had a lot of problems in my relationship. When I don’t want to hold hands, or if I don’t want to cuddle in bed, I hurt his feelings, even though I don’t mean to. I want to want the intimacy. I want to want him, but I can’t. And I know my medication is to blame.

I also hate that I’ve gained weight. I was never big to begin with, but looking back on pictures, I notice a change—and it upsets me. There’s nothing worse than having a horrible body image, and it’s one of those things that can really trigger my depression. It’s ironic that something that is supposed to make me feel better can make me feel worse at the same time. Although my medication makes me generally happier, it also hurts my self-esteem.

I’ve tried multiple medications to try to figure out which one is the right one for me. The one I’m currently on has been the best thus far, but I often think that I need extra help. But maybe that’s the downside of medication—it can only help so much. It can make things better, but it can’t make things normal. It can help some things, but make other things worse.

Maybe I’ll always have a love/hate relationship with medication. Maybe one day I’ll find the right medication that will change my world completely. But for this moment, I accept that I need it, even if I don’t like it.