I’ve been taking anti-depressants for seven years and have quit them within the last few weeks. I was shocked at the level to which I had stooped with self-care, while on anti-depressants. Taking better care of myself was one of the reasons I began taking anti-depressants. In fact, what I was doing was systematically sabotaging my own mental health by medicating emotions rather than listening to them. Prior to beginning the anti-depressants, I had put in about 5 years of solid work on my emotional recovery. I was working my program, not to perfection as no one is perfect, but I was making good progress. I suffered some major setbacks and decided that my recovery was impossible without medication. I lost two stillborn babies and had some terrible experiences with a house we had purchased. It was too much.
While taking the medication, I told myself and everyone else, that I was keeping up on my mental health needs, journaling, processing emotions, listening to my emotions and body, working my program. I was in fact, slipping deeper and deeper into drug-induced apathy. SSRIs and anti-depressants do not treat depression. They mask it. They mask all feelings, positive and negative. I didn’t realize how miserable I’d become on medication, because the anti-depressants were preventing the SOS messages from getting through.
A few weeks off from the anti-depressants showed me that I had let my recovery program severely slip. I was appalled at how good I’d gotten at ignoring my own needs. True I didn’t get as angry as I once did. But my fault lay in attributing my own strides in mental health to a pill. Rather than accepting that I had grown was developing healthier habits, I automatically gave all the credit to the anti-depressant. I began to think that the only reason I was making healthier choices was because I was popping a little pink pill daily. I began to think that without the anti-depressant, I would become an emotional basket case, unable to function in a healthy way. I was terrified to quit taking my anti-depressant lest I revert to some sort of mindless, psychotic life-form. I was psychologically addicted to my anti-depressant.
It took a dear friend to remind me that I wasn’t a mindless, psychotic life form before I went on the anti-depressant. I could not revert to something I had never been. We learn a lot from our feelings, perceptions and sensations. Anti-depressants may not be physically addictive, but they can be horribly emotionally and psychologically addictive. For more on health, visit my blogs at www.emotionalhealthhelp.blogspot.com and www.healthhelp4u.blogspot.com. To follow my recovery from anti-depressants, visit me at www.offallmeds.blogspot.com.