I have depression and anxiety. And for about two years now, I’ve been off my meds. But the truth is, I never should have stopped taking them.
Two years ago, I took my last antidepressant. Not by choice, but because the insurance I had at the time stopped covering me. And the cost of my medication was something I couldn’t afford, especially when I didn’t have a job.
The withdrawal symptoms of not being on my medication after taking it every day for over a year made me feel like complete garbage. I was nauseous and living in a fog for days. But not being able to cover my meds wasn’t the only reason I stopped.
I have heard time and again that anti-depressants aren’t meant to be used forever. That they’re a tool that you use to help yourself while you get to a better state of mind, not a cure. And while I do think that last part is true, I also think that if you do need them for the rest of your life then you should use them.
So while I was taking my meds, I already had the mindset that I would have to stop them someday. And when the day came that my prescription was empty, I thought to myself, “Now I don’t have an excuse. Now I can just stop.”
This was wrong and not fair to myself.
Sure, I might have been able to strong arm my way through some really tough spots. But it was so much harder than it should have been.
Since stopping I’ve dealt with increasing anxiety, stronger and longer lasting bouts of depression, unpredictable mood swings, and manic behavior. I thought it was just me. Just something I had to deal with.
And it is me. But that doesn’t mean I should have to continue this fight with just my bare hands.
I need medication to help me function and keep my life and myself on a more level ground. That doesn’t mean the moods won’t still hit me out of nowhere. That doesn’t mean I will never be anxious or depressed again.
What it means is that I’m taking control of my life the way I think and feel I should. And that I shouldn’t feel guilty or embarrassed about it.
Until next time x