One thing no one really talks about while suffering with mental health issues is the constant medication change. I first got diagnosed with depression at the age of 16. Back then (2001) no one was open about depression. It wasn’t so much frowned upon but more of an “embarrassment “. It definitely wasn’t publicized like it is now. People either thought you were crazy or just looking for attention . So as a teenage girl already being hormonal and then on top of that getting put on antidepressants. I honestly felt like an outsider, ashamed that I would be labeled like as a weirdo or something. The 1st antidepressant I was put on at the age of 16 was Paxil. I honestly don’t remember if it made a big difference or not because I also was also put on birth control to try to stop the endometriosis that I had. I was on Paxil until I graduated from college (age 19) because I was no longer on my dad’s health insurance. So I went a good amount of years before I ended up back on antidepressants. I was 26 and just had my daughter and I just felt off. Just down in the dumps and felt like I could cry or snap at any moment. So I went to my MD and he kept trying to tell me that it was all in my head. So needless to say I switched doctors.
My new MD was very thorough with everything. Ran all kinds of blood test and he asked why I went to my other MD because he didn’t do “shit” (which was completely true). So we ended up increasing the dose of the Paxil to see if that would help at all. A few months later it felt like there was no change. The meds weren’t working because I was extremely depressed still and had no motivation for anything. In comes antidepressant #2 Prozac. Now that med did help. But after about a year and a half and two strength increases it stopped helping. It was getting to the point where I just wanted to give up because it felt like I would never find a medication that would work fully. So we ended up trying to switch it again and that was the 3rd medication change in about 3 years. We tried Lexapro next and once again that seemed to help. But around this time was when I started to drink heavily because it seemed like nothing was going right. So I decided to go see a therapist and try to talk through my depression and anxiety.
The MD was ok. Not really my cup of tea but I kept going thinking it would just take time. So here comes antidepressant #4 Zoloft. And lets just say once I was on that med is when the shit show of my life really started. I would throw up about 45 minutes of taking it and it was like that for a couple months. I let therapist know and he just kept saying “it takes time. I don’t want to switch you to something else” That’s when I started to feel helpless. I just wanted to feel happy and it seemed nothing would work, other than alcohol. Zoloft + alcohol= self destructive Antoinette. I really didn’t care about anything at that point. I was so hurt by things that was going on in life at that moment that I felt extremely exhausted with life. After a few months of living in that mind frame I just gave up. I stopped taking the meds correctly and tried every other day thinking that would help. But it didn’t. So the drinking was in full force because that seemed to be the only thing that would help. And all it did was destroy my life. That’s what led up to my breakdown.
At the mental facility I checked myself into the psychiatrist that was there was awesome. He was very patient and kind. So we tried going back to using Paxil. So when I got out of there my primary MD kept me on it because it seemed to help. Whelp that fairytale didn’t last to long and as of this moment right now I am on antidepressant change #6. I have been on trintellex for about 2 years now and it was helping. Then covid hit and my depression and anxiety went through the rough (just like everyone else) So my strength got increased and a “booster med” was added to help. Wellbutrin was added to the mix and so far it seems to be ok. But still having all of this stress and lack of self worth it feels like I might has to change again. But I really don’t want to. Having to go through that whole routine of waiting for a month or so for the meds to work is complete shit and it sucks. So now I am trying to find something to help calm me down that is not a medication. And this blog has definitely helped.
So no matter what your situation is. Whether you are medicated or not. Its still a battle trying to get your mental health to a point where it doesn’t consume your entire life. No matter what you are going through. Just remember that you are going to be ok. It won’t seem like it. Hell it still doesn’t feel like it for me but I’m hoping that connecting with people going through the same thing as me will help break that stigma embarrassment that we feel.