Me, Myself, & Prozac - a young woman’s battle with clinical depression.
Posted Thursday 1 November 2012
As a late teen starting university, I figured my constant sleeping, avoiding going to social functions, excessive drinking and tiredness were just a part of the student lifestyle. I thought my dark moods and wanting to be isolated from the world were just a form of late adolescent mood swings, and that it would pass. However, these dark moods, constant tiredness, and feeling sad for long periods of time carried on into my final year. I was missing lectures, and started not to care about life in general. I realised something was seriously wrong when not only was I lashing out at my fiancé, who loves me and would do anything for me, I realised my life isn’t that bad, so why was I feeling so depressed constantly? I felt guilty for feeling so down all the time when realistically, I had nothing to feel down about – I was about to graduate, had great friends, family and a supportive fiancé.
It finally got to a point where some nights I would just sit and cry, nothing and no-body could cheer me up, and thoughts of suicide reared their ugly head. I just tried to ignore the feelings whirling round in my head but they just wouldn’t disappear. It was then I realised I needed help. I went to a doctor who explained to me I have severe clinical depression and I was put on sertraline 50mg. At first after taking it, I felt on top of the world, better than I had in years. However that only lasted for a week and it wasn’t long before I started to feel depressed again so chucked my sertraline in the bin and tried to get on with life, hoping for better days.
Time went on, and I tried to cope with life. I realised that during my teens I probably didn’t deal with some issues properly and perhaps the doctors were right when they said I am having a delayed emotional reaction to events in my past. After having several more depressed weeks, I finally plucked up the courage to return to the doctor. This time I fully explained all my symptoms, not leaving anything out, and was given fluoxetine (Prozac) to help me try to combat my depression.
3 months on, I can honestly say I feel a lot better. I feel happier, more confident and able to appreciate and enjoy my life and the people in it. Of course, I still have my down moments at times, but now I want to get up in the morning. It’s obvious that Prozac is not a miracle cure to my depression, but at least it has leveled out my mood so I can deal with my issues and confront them head on. I just want to say to people there are all forms of help out there and life will get better once you make that first step to see a doctor. You may feel embarrassed about having depression, but you shouldn’t, it is an illness not a crime. Anyone can suffer from depression at any point in their lives for any number of reasons. I just wanted to share my story and show people suffering from depression and other mental illnesses that you are never alone and life can get better.
For some people, antidepressants can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Our making sense of antidepressants booklet has more information. Don't be afraid to ask your GP about the treatments offered and what the alternatives are
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