1. They would change who I was and steal from me the best bits of my personality.
I have always seen myself as a funny, bubbly person but when funny and bubbly became interspersed with irratic and tearful I needed to admit I needed help. One of the main reasons I fought against taking the tablets for such a long time is I thought they would take away my moments of elation along with the sadness and I wasn’t sure it was a sacrifice worth making. It turned out my fears were unfounded and instead they allowed me to enjoy all the good bits of my personality without the anticipation of the low that would surely strike at any given moment.
2. Taking Antidepressants Meant Admitting I Had Failed At Life.
Why wasn’t I strong enough to cope with life on my own when everyone around me was doing so well? Depression isolates you and clouds your judgement. Since I’ve been taking them and found my way back to wellness I have realised that other people are struggling just as much as I was and a surprising number of my friends have also taken tablets at some stage in their life to help them cope with their own emotions.
3. I Was A Weak Person.
I thought the the fact I was having such a hard time mentally and that I needed this crutch to help me cope must mean I was weak. In hindsight, thinking through a clear mind, I acknowledge the tremendous amount of strength it took to get help and admit I needed support and medication.
4. Other People Would Judge Me.
I assumed others would disapprove of me if they knew I had resorted to taking tablets. It turned out this could not have been further from the truth. The majority of people were incredibly supportive, many had been through it themselves, others were still going through it. People commended me for being brave enough to take that step and to also have to courage to talk about it. In truth, I was telling people because I felt dishonest if I didn’t, like an athlete taking performance enhancing drugs. But actually it helped to talk about it, it was cathartic and took away from the stigma I had attached to the situation.
5. The Side Effects Would Be Horrendous.
In truth the side effects were minimal and far more desirable than the side effects caused by my anxiety and depression. Anxiety was making me ill. I’d convinced myself I was dying of all manner of terminal illnesses because the very real symptoms caused by stress mimicked so many other things. The tablets on the other hand, gave me strange dreams for a month or so and made me feel tired for a while until I had the sense to take them at night…and that was it.
6. They Would Define Me And Who I Was.
I thought that being on tablets would become part of my identity and would change the way other people saw me. In reality all it did was calm my nerves and allow me to get back to enjoying my life and living it to the fullest and being my best self. So while the Antidepressants haven’t defined me at all, they have allowed me to define myself in whatever way I wanted and given me back my confidence, my smile and my life.