My Full Antidepressant Experience

I wrote awhile back about taking an antidepressant. A lot has happened since. 

Before I start, I want to stress that antidepressants are not evil, and if you feel that taking one will help or is helping you, go for it! I am not a doctor, I am not a medical professional of any kind; I am just sharing my personal experience from the last year.

So! I went on an antidepressant called Citalopram in the latter half of 2016. I've lived with depression and anxiety as long as I can remember, and I had reached a point of desperation. I knew I needed to at least try medication, and soon. So I did.

The medication worked wonders for about six months. I could suddenly function in public without shaking and/or crying. I could speak on the phone. I could live like a fairly normal adult. I wasn't living with a constant feeling of adrenaline, and I wasn't overreacting at the smallest things. It was an interesting change of pace. It was six months of learning how to function. I loved it. I felt "sane." However, the beginning of 2017 brought a lessened effect from the medication, along with some financial issues which aren't too terribly important to this story, but they are worth mentioning. 

I eventually could feel my old symptoms creeping back up on me. I was beginning to feel depression creep back, and it grew stronger every week. At the same time, my prescription had run out, and I would have to go to the doctor to have it refilled. Unfortunately, just a five minute meeting with my doctor could cost nearly $100, and I was sure the appointment I needed would cost more. I'm a broke 22 year old. Do you get what I'm hinting at? 

So, with no money and a medication that was no longer working, I decided to simply stop taking the medication, and WOW was that a strong decision. This was around the end of June/beginning of July of this year. My depression and anxiety symptoms worsened, and I had withdrawal symptoms to boot. I spent a few weeks feeling nauseous and tired, with constant dizziness, which was slightly terrifying, and an even more slightly pain in the ass.

I spent an entire week basically in a fog. I barely left my bedroom, let alone my bed. I didn't even notice I'd done this until I left the house for a quick little errand, and my thighs were aching all night afterwards. That's so bad. I'm so out of shape, and staying in bed for a week didn't help. However, this did serve as a wake-up call of sorts.

By the end of July, I could feel that a lot of the medication was out of my system. I became weepy and easily emotional. I had to learn to live with that all over again, anxiety as well. I had days of difficult breathing and tingly limbs. I had to re-learn how to cope with crying over nothing, and I found myself explaining the tears to my parents over and over again.

The thing is, I'd lived this way before. I was on medication for less than a year, and spent many years before that living with my symptoms. Is it the best way to live? No, not really. But it's possible. That's what I had to remember.

I think having a medicated moment of normalcy taught me how to function. I suddenly understood how to speak to strangers without alarm, and speak on the phone instead of screening all of my phone calls. I learned how to leave the house by myself, and carry on better/more stable work related relationships. Now, I've kind of figured out how to fake-it-'till-I-make-it. I can even better realize when a reaction is solely based on anxiety or depression, and that the initial feelings probably aren't even real.

I'm still depressed. It's really bad some days. I still have anxiety, and the littlest things make me worry uncontrollably. I've been dealing with sensory overload a lot lately, which is annoying, but it's there. Even with all of the problematic details, I think I feel more normal now than ever. I'm emotional. I get really sad, and I keep going. I can still handle situations like an adult, and I've even regained the motivation to get dressed and do my hair and do my nails. I stopped doing those things for so long that I suddenly look like a different person.

Long-term medication didn't work for me, but, as my mother would say, it helped me "get over the hump." I'm alive. I'm functioning. Everything's okay.


  1. I'm happy to hear that you're doing better again and hope that you'll feel even better in the period to come! It do sounds logical that the medication period showed you what life is "supposed" to be like. And wise that you learned how to learn that and take that with you once you did without medication. Depression and anxiety can be so cruel and I wish nothing but it to become easier and easier to deal with <3 Mia

    1. You're the kindest Mia, thank you, really.


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