Hey guys – happy Thursday (and Happy Groundhog’s Day!). Will we be having an extended winter?…
Anyway, how has your week been? I have to say, mine’s been pretty good.
I began Monday feeling well-rested, I took a challenging-but-refreshing BODYPUMP class on Tuesday night, I sailed into a new month on Wednesday, and here we are—almost to the weekend!
And did I mention that Bazooka is still sleeping WONDERFULLY in his new bed?!!!
Truth be told, I had many different thoughts running through my mind this week about what I wanted to write about for today, but none of them seemed right (perhaps another time).
And then I thought about positive changes over the last several months—and I feel much of that (not all, of course) can be attributed to my finally admitting that my anxiety was beyond my control and agreeing to try an antidepressant.
I’m proud of myself for making some positive changes, and I owe many thanks to my husband who gave me the boost and encouragement I needed to take these steps.
How Taking an Antidepressant Has Changed My Life
1. I’m more fun to be around.
I don’t mean fun as in “let’s go drinking and dancing” kind of fun. I simply mean that being in the same room with me is no longer anger-inducing.
Before I began taking my SSRI and seriously thinking about the repercussions of my actions, I wasn’t very pleasant to be around. I worried about everything, I was snippy with others, and I often though the worst of everything. Now, I am “lighter,” and I think people enjoy my company.
2. I don’t worry about my son all the time.
Of course I still worry about my son (and his health, happiness, care at school, future, etc.—and I always will!) sometimes, but I don’t worry about these things incessantly.
When we went through various tests to figure out why Bazooka wasn’t gaining weight like “normal” babies (uh…genes?), I went down a deep and dark spiral. I hated myself and the mother I was. I doubted every decision I made—continuing to breastfeed and which solids to introduce—and I spent hours googling every genetic disorder possible, convinced something horrible was wrong.
Now, when Bazooka doesn’t eat more than 2 bites at dinner I’m frustrated, but I shrug my shoulders and tell myself “at least he ate a good lunch” or “he’ll just be hungry at breakfast.” He is tiny, but he’s healthy, vibrant, inquisitive, and active just like every other 2-year old boy I know.
3. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself or take chances
For most of my life, I’ve unfortunately been one of those people who will just “suck it up” or “take one for the team” even if I feel I’m being treated unfairly. It’s almost like I’d rather be miserable than take a chance at ruining whatever situation I’m in (be it a job or something else).
Well, this year, it’s like I discovered some hidden confidence, and while I won’t go into details on the blog, I took a chance, brought some things to my superiors’ attention, and make a good argument for certain changes to my situation since there were several things about it that were unfair.
And you know what?
They listened. Things took a while to be resolved, but they were, and they were resolved in a bigger way than I’d anticipated. What a great feeling! 🙂How taking an antidepressant helped give Catherine #confidence #mentalhealth Click To Tweet
4. I’m less rage-y
I never thought I was depressed because I rarely experienced bouts of crying or hopelessness. Instead, I experienced depression more similarly to men—through rage. I never thought I would hurt Bazooka, but I’ve definitely experienced rage-filled moments where I just had to yell obscenities, beat up the floor (I know—what did the floor ever do to me?!), or think about harming myself. Oh, and the road rage…
Now, though, I get upset like any other person, but I control it better. I’m able to think before I react inappropriately. I’m much less angry at the world when things don’t go my way.
5. I have more empathy
Back in college (and before), I was sadly prone to holding grudges. I consider myself to be a nice person and I generally get along with anybody I meet, but if a person rubs me the wrong way or hurts me once, I don’t forget it.
In a way, that attitude was a lack of empathy, because I didn’t allow myself to understand where the other person was coming from. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that we say or do things for many, many reasons—justified or not.
Because I’ve said and done things as a result of my anxiety and depression, I now understand that others do the same. They may act selfishly because they really are hurting. They may feel there is no other alternative except for their current actions, feelings, etc.
6. I’m still me
6 months later, my weight has barely gone up (and that’s probably a result of holiday eating, not the pills), I still have the same dry and sometimes-dark sense of humor, I still have the same passions and ambitions, and I can still write (I’m not the only person who was afraid to lose that ability).
When people think about antidepressants or antipsychotics, they imagine a personality 180. A vibrant person becomes a zombie, an emotional person is void of emotions. I promise you, though, that is not the case. While I may be calmer in situations that normally caused me significant stress, I’m still the same person—I’m just a better version of myself.After 6 months of taking an #antidepressant, I'm still me #mentalhealth #TOL @NAMIcommunicate Click To Tweet
If you think you or a loved one is suffering from depression or anxiety, don’t be afraid to reach out!
So tell me…
- Have you ever taken an antidepressant or other mood stabilizing medication?
- If so, how did it make you feel?
- Has anybody in your life (parent, significant other, etc.) taken medication?
- Do you feel there’s an unfair stigma against mental health and medicating for mental health conditions?