The Return to Antidepressants

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A few weeks ago I felt myself on the cusp of spiraling. If you’re not familiar with the mental health community, spiraling is a loss of control; whether emotionally, your thoughts or both. And almost 4 weeks ago I felt myself right there, on the edge of a depressive episode that was threatening to disrupt whatever semblance of togetherness that I had.

It was at 2:30 AM on a very sleepless and anxiety filled morning that I decided it was time to go back on antidepressants. I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t always a fan of medications to treat my mental health. There was a lot of pride preventing me from the admission that it wasn’t something that I could control on my own.

In time I learned that mental health was no different than physical health in the sense that sometimes medication is an absolute necessity. It didn’t matter how many vegetables I ate, vitamins I took or physical activity in the sunshine that was had or intense prayer sessions with my God; sometimes medication is a must.

In 2017 I came off of my antidepressants because the suspicion was that my thyroid was the culprit for my depressive episodes. After it was removed, some months down the line; I knew I was still depressed. But what was the cause? To be honest, it could of been any number of things.

My mobility changing,the excruciating pain of arthritis, my hypothyroidism wreaking havoc, a teenage daughter who was stressing me out, family, my view of self etc. The list was a long one and anyone of these things could’ve been the reason I was experiencing more blues than usual.

I knew I needed medication back in 2017, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do without them. And I did…for awhile, 3 years to be exact. But as I saw my self perilously close to the dangerous thoughts of “I don’t want to wake up”; I woke my husband up on a sleepless night and through tears I couldn’t hold back, I told him: “It’s time.”

For the last 3 weeks I’ve been adjusting to 300 mg of Bupropion (Wellbutrin). It hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been the worst either. The first few days were filled with diarrhea, a shift in appetite, and mid day crying spells that seemed to show up out of nowhere. The crying still happens, but not everyday. I also know it can take a minimum of 6 weeks to feel any sort of benefits from antidepressants.

So what have I been doing in the interim? Trying my hardest to practice humility. I am learning to give myself the grace to say “I can’t”, and rest. I always feel an overwhelming sense of guilt when I can’t adhere to the standards I set for myself as a wife, mother and even business owner.

I feel weak, and weakness makes me vulnerable in ways that I don’t often appreciate. I do try to remember a statement made by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 10 – “When I am weak, then I am powerful.” In my weakness I rely on God more, and that strengthens me. In that strength that he provides, I am able to turn to my husband and my support system to get the adequate care that I need for my mental health.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect these last few weeks on what kind of person I desire to be. I know I want to be a good example to my children. When they grow up, I want them to remember that I took my my mental health care seriously, so that in the event they should ever face the same; they too will take care of theirs.

I have been trying to keep gratitude at the forefront of my mind through these darker days. It’s not always easy to see the good when you feel as if you’re drowning in the bad. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my war with depression; it is that there is a silver lining…even if I have to pray and fight a little harder and take some meds too.

I know this isn’t my typical blog post, but I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to get it off my chest. I want to remind those who may be facing similar circumstances that they are not alone.

Until next time,