How Being On Antidepressants For 1 Year Has Affected Me

May 13, 2023 in Wellness - 4 min read

First of all, I just absolutely love how our generation has normalized talking about our declining mental health and our struggles with pushing through life overall! For so long, we have had to force and fake being okay because any sign of ‘not being okay’ was just a huge ick! You are taking antidepressants? Ick!

Secondly, I am envious of everyone who is just raw-dogging life — what do you mean you don’t get depressed and don’t know what it’s like to have crippling anxiety? Pls, you are living my dream!

What’s crazy is that I never ever wanted to be on meds, I never thought I would need to be. What could be so bad in life that I wouldn’t be able to function by myself without the help of medication?

Well, I f*#cked around and found out!

It’s been a year since I have been on one of the popular antidepressants here in the US, Lexapro. So, let’s talk about it…

✷ What Is Lexapro

Lexapro is ranked 3rd most effective & 2nd most tolerated antidepressant in the US! It is medicine that you can only get through prescription from a licensed doctor and is used to treat severe depression and general anxiety disorders. Luckily for me, I have both depression and anxiety *eye twitching*

This medicine works by increasing the amount of one of the ‘happiness chemicals’ called serotonin. This chemical is also known as the “feel good” chemical — responsible for improving your mood, reducing anxiety and helping with social engagements.

✷ How I Ended Up Here

Yup! That’s me! You probably wondering how I ended up in this situation,”

2021! Man, that year showed me that rock bottom has a basement — anything and everything that could’ve went wrong, sure did go wrong! In every aspect of my life too. That was my first time I had thoughts like, “What’s the point of living? I don’t want to be here!

So, I entered 2022 depleted! Nothing was getting better in my life but I decided to take control. First up, therapy — pfft, a story for another day! Literally a week after I started therapy, I was prescribed Lexapro…

✷ The Effects It Has Had On Me

I started off with the 5mg which you take once a day, then it was increased to 10 within a week. Let me tell you this, I love and hate the fact that it has been super helpful. In the beginning, my symptoms seemed to have completely disappeared!

I was able to be myself again, do things I have always loved to do, socialize more and look forward to seeing the future. (This has all changed since my niece passed away 2 months ago but it has nothing to do with the antidepressants — I’m just still grieving).

Colder seasons came and my mood took a slight slope. It was nothing out of the ordinary, this has been happening ever since I moved to the US. Honestly, the decline wasn’t even that steep but I do feel like it never came back up since then…

I haven’t had any bad side effects that people typically experience like, decreased libido, change in weight, appetite, nausea and headaches BUT drowsiness and night-time insomnia… Oh man, it’s kicking my ass!

I am drowsy just typing this but the great thing is that I have managed to combat the issue of having trouble sleeping by creating a winding-down night routine. Somehow, I am always sleepy until I have to sleep!

RELATED ~ A Practical Guide To Creating Your Own Wellness Routine

✷ Moving Forward

In January of this year, I told my doctor that I would love to get off the medication by the end of the year. Mainly because I don’t want to have to depend on it to do day-to-day basic tasks. Like? I really can’t find the motivation to go take a shower without medication altering my mind? “Are you not embarrazzed? This is really embarrazzing!

I am looking into getting things done the natural way using herbs. It’s definitely a complicated route that requires an extensive amount of research and trail-&-error. Additionally, not all herbs are easily accessible! So, I would also have to look into growing my own herbs. Where? Do I have a garden?

I would just have to be super committed and ready. Right now, I have a ton on my plate (which I have not been attending to for the last 2 years)…

✷ Thoughts?

If you are struggling mentally and feeling you have been reliving the same day over and over again without any inspo or motivation to do something about it, you might have to go see your doctor.

Yes, there is also the option to see a therapist but to be honest, that didn’t quite work for me.

What I do recommend, if you are going for meds, is to use it as your assistant not think of it as the boss. It’s just there to help you out with the tasks that you couldn’t do by yourself. So, get creative again, get up and do the things you used to love doing, engage and network… all these will help you not depend on the antidepressants and take control of your life!

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About Me

About Me

Hi and welcome! My name is Mbalenhle K but everyone calls me Mbali for short (say: mm-bah-lee). I am a freelance copywriter who loves all things art, experiences and aesthetics (big time Pinterest gworl 🧚🏽)! I am the founder of Budding Regardless where I talk about mindfulness, self-development and self-nurturing for creatives. Read More

Mbalenhle K.

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