I’ve been on antidepressants for about two years straight. I have been on and off them since my junior year in high school because I couldn’t find the right one and I didn’t really think I needed them. It wasn’t until the end of my therapy sessions that I took it seriously because it was suggested to me over and over again that I should try an antidepressant. I took a lot of different kinds but the first one that worked was Prozac. I was on Prozac for about a year and a half when I decided to switch. The reasoning behind me wanting to switch was because I started getting acid reflux almost daily and if I didn’t catch it fast enough I would have a burned esophagus the next day.
After Prozac my psychiatrist put me on Venlafaxine. I was still on Venlafaxine up until three weeks ago. Venlafaxine actually made me feel that same as Prozac, so I was feeling good. It was when I would forget it for a night and I would wake up feeling fine and then mid-morning I felt nauseous and just overall sick and exhausted. It came in waves but if I tried to do anything I would just be knocked down by nausea and I felt overall disgusting. All I could do was lay on the couch. Even if I took it in the morning with breakfast it wouldn’t stop the nausea that would happen for the remainder of the day.
I’ll be honest, there are other side affects that came along with both antidepressants that I didn’t appreciate. But, I don’t really want to discuss them. The sickness and one other side affect that I also had with Prozac really bothered me. I wondered if I could feel happy on my own like I used to when I was a sophomore. I just remember that being a happy year, but I think I remember the happy moments more than the bad ones. Being on antidepressants for so long makes me forget why I was on them. I forgot how strongly I felt some emotions and how easily I would get overwhelmed. I wondered that if I really took care of myself, meditated, worked out, ate healthy, slept well, read books, and fought my bad moments, if I could live a “normal” life.
By normal, I mean just not being on edge all of the time. I knew that coming off my antidepressants at first would be ROUGH. I have had days where I was either out of my prescription or forgot for a couple of days straight and I was angry very easily and if I was taking (or not taking) Venlafaxine I would be sick.
The first week was rough. I was weaning off so I had to take it every other day. That meant, every other day I was sick. But, I started a second job that week. It turns out that if I had a distraction, like working somewhere that isn’t at home, I didn’t notice my nausea. It was when I was home that no matter what I was doing I could not shake it.
I didn’t have any strong emotions because I was still on it every other day. I was actually doing pretty well and feeling optimistic. I was also getting up early and working out and doing yoga as an attempt to start actually taking care of my mental and physical health.
I will share how my second and third week off my antidepressants went soon! I’m truthfully wondering if I want to go back on them. I felt emotions on antidepressants. I hear that some people feel nothing. I still felt happy, sad, angry, and anxious. I actually still had a lot of anxiety but that’s when my therapy lessons came in. Antidepressants won’t fix everything but they’re also nothing to be scared of. You should not feel ashamed to be on an antidepressant.
Being off my antidepressants, my emotions are a LOT stronger and very overwhelming.
I’ll probably group together week two and three for my next post because I didn’t feel very different. Maybe just a little more control over my emotions in week three.
I want to share this journey because it can be VERY challenging to come off antidepressants. I also want to stress that there is NOTHING shameful about being on an antidepressant. Being on antidepressants doesn’t mean you are week. They help balance out the chemicals in your brain.
I also want to say I apologize for the delay in blog posts. I mentioned on Instagram last week that I was staying quiet because I was taking time to learn and let other voices be heard. I’m still learning as well, despite posting on social media again.