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Let’s Talk Antidepressants

December 15, 2010

Work happened. It was frustrating because we have a big project to get done this week, and random things kept pushing back its start. It actually hasn’t started yet. And we even brought all of our work home with us tonight because weather reports are calling for some ice tonight! Hopefully I can still get to work because I don’t know if I’d be very good at working from home….

Snack happened too. Greek yogurt + 2 clemetines  + my baggie of Kashi Go Lean.

 

And dinner tonight randomly turned out really great!

I knew I was going to make spaghetti squash, but thought I might just throw in some frozen broccoli, black beans, and jarred tomato sauce. When I found out we didn’t have any tomato sauce I had to get a little more creative with the sauce using a can of diced tomatoes. I remembered I a bunch of TJ’s chopped veggies to use up. And of course I threw some spinach in.

I dumped in a bunch of spices – garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne, and some meat seasoning (what?). I let the liquid boil off, put half away for lunch tomorrow, and then put in the black beans to heat up for tonight.


On top of a bowl of spaghetti squash, it made for quite the colorful dinner! I ended up having a piece of bread with laughing cow on the side.

 

 

Let’s Talk Antidepressants:

If you’ve read my story, you know that antidepressant medication played a big part in my eating disorder recovery. I was really scared to ask for them at first because being on antidepressants meant I was actually mentally sick. But I found out that depression runs in my dad’s side of the family and so I likely truly needed them.

The antidepressants did more than just lift my mood, they reduced my anxiety around food. They allowed me to eat more normally, which in turn allowed me to gain weight. I loved my antidepressants. They gave me my life back. I was perfectly content to be on them for the rest of my life as long as I didn’t have to go back to the sadness and loneliness I had felt before.

But not everyone feels that way. I know lots of people that don’t like the idea of taking medication period, much less a medication that alters chemicals in your brain. I definitely (and moreso now than then) think that there are plenty of natural and holistic methods to try before resorting to medication, but having two doctors as parents means I’ve never been against taking medicine in general.

Eventually, after being in recovery for quite a while, I started to wonder if I really needed the antidepressants. I would forget to take them everyday (honestly, not on purpose) but then realized I wasn’t feeling very different and so stopped taking them completely. (Note – I do not recommend changing or stopping medication without a doctor’s approval)

That was about a year and a half ago, and I don’t intend on ever being on antidepressants ever again. But recently with the stress of work and a long distance relationship, I’ve realized that I am not totally free of bouts of depression and anxiety. The difference now is that I have found my own way of dealing with it. When I maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and exercising regularly, I am a perfectly happy girl. But throw in a bad night’s sleep or a weekend of overindulgence and I get iritable and upset.

After talking to friends, I also realized that is part of the reason I don’t like to get super drunk anymore. For me, the aftermath of heavy drinking is not fun. Low blood sugar causes me to overeat and I don’t have the energy to work out. I hate feeling that way, and it definitely spurs some of my anxious behavior.

It’s nice to put two and two together and realize how my new healthy lifestyle is my own form of antidepressants. It makes me want to stick to my good habits even more, but also makes me aware of trigger situations that I can work on avoiding or  handling better. It’s not exactly an ideal situation, but remembering how miserable I used to be makes it all worth it.

 

  • Do you have your own form of antidepressant?
  • What are your feelings on medication vs. natural methods?

 

Let’s keep these comments nice –it’s a sensitive topic for many and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

 

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2010 8:49 pm

    My mom has been on antidepressants my whole life. My boyfriend is on them as well, so I’m not against them. So, I’ve always grown up/known to get help if I needed. So, I think if someone is clinically depressed, it can really really help that person. I respect people who do not wanting to take medicine like that.

    I am not opposed to taking medicine. I went off the pill (also on my own) because I didn’t like how it was messing with my hormones! (this might be TMI) I might need to go back on for cramps, but I want a low-hormone one.

  2. December 15, 2010 8:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. I have suffered from bad anxiety for years and have been perscribed antidepressants by different doctors. I am pretty against putting any form of medication into my body so after I read the side effects chose to throw out the perscriptions without ever taking one pill. I figured I didn’t want to go that direction and decided to take St. John’s Wart instead whenever I feel my anxiety returing. Once I get a little anxiety I start getting anxiety about my anxiety and it can spiral out of control pretty quickly. I too, have found eating clean, working out, yoga, meditation, getting plenty of sleep and not over drinking have decreased my anxiety significantly to the point where I have many days and weeks where I have none whatsoever. It is amazing what healthy living can do for your mental health.

  3. squigglefloey permalink
    December 15, 2010 9:25 pm

    Thanks for telling us what’s worked for you. I’m on them also myself (as prescribed yrs ago when I was hospitalized for my ED), and I’m on a veryyyy low dosage right now because I want to stop! Because I’m going to be out of school soon and probably won’t have insurance after wards.
    I tried going cold turkey a year ago, but the side effects were too severe!
    I think it’s wonderful that you’re able to manage well without them. Everyone has those days here and there when they’re anxious or depressed — heck, esp. with a long distance relationship and stress. You definitely should give urself more credit for getting through this! You’re a tough cookie 🙂

  4. December 15, 2010 10:11 pm

    Thank-you for being so vulnerable, Clare. I agree about healthy living being its own antidepressant. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come and just want you to know that I’m praying for you that work and the stress of a long-distance relationship don’t wear on you too much. You are a strong, beautiful, confident woman with so much to offer, and your identity is no longer in your ED or medication. Thank-you for your inspiration. I’m so glad that we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit! And YOU BETTER BE CAREFUL going to CN, missy! Talk to you soon…aSn

  5. December 15, 2010 11:43 pm

    My view on antidepressants is that other methods should be used first, but in my opinion, they should be used when these other ways fail and the person really needs them. I’m not against medicine, and I think it is used for a reason (most of the time).
    Thanks for sharing your story!

  6. December 16, 2010 1:17 am

    God is my antidepressant. Not to sound religious (though I am), but faith played a BIG role in my recovery. I’ve never tried antidepressants, but thankfully I had my faith that worked deep into my soul to keep my anxiety from overcoming me.

    I think it’s commendable how honest you are, though. And I hope that you’ll find an everlasting peace inside you that trumps even the best medicine.

  7. December 16, 2010 2:58 am

    You are so brave for opening up about this. I too had an eating disorder, but I haven’t spoken about it with any of my readers on my blog. For me it is way to personal, but the way you put yourself out there I just wanted to let you know that you are NOT alone.

    In regards to antidepressants, I know what you mean by having food and exercise control as your own antidepressant. I use it as a control mechanism, and it makes me feel more in control in other aspects of my life. Just know it’s okay to need medication, and you don’t have to take care of everything yourself. Others are there for you, that was my biggest issue. I’m very controlling and have a hard time letting others in.

    Love your blog, by the way. I’m your newest follower! 🙂

  8. svenoblivion permalink
    December 16, 2010 2:58 am

    I am not opposed to medicine but homeopathic remedies definitely come in first place on my list. I think meds are way overused.
    Found you on Faces of Beauty, and you certainly are beautiful. Praying for you!! Keep up the great work.

    – syd

  9. December 16, 2010 8:32 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this… I’ve certainly dealt with the same thing, however seeing how many of my family members reacted to their anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds I have been searching for solace in yoga. And honestly, reading blogs has helped tremendously because knowing that there are other women with the same food issues is comforting. We’re all in it together

  10. December 16, 2010 9:15 am

    I’m on antidepressants now, a very low dose, and actually for something unrelated to any eating anxiety or over-exercising issues that I have suffered from. But since I’ve started my course, I’ve noticed less need to go to the gym everyday, I just don’t want to. I don’t know if the two are related but talking with some people it could be that my anxiety has lessen and I’m simple on a normal schedule now. I’m definitely not against them as I know many people who’ve needed it and having taken my psych of eating disorders class final yesterday, know its quite successful with a lot of people.

  11. December 16, 2010 11:41 am

    Hi – as everyone else just said, thanks for sharing this story. I am so glad you are feeling better! I am actually going through a lot of anxiety myself. I would say mine started back in college. I am currently on anti-anxiety mediciation as needed, but I honestly think my job/food/weight issues drive me crazy. I have had to take them a lot more often! Sometimes I seek the advice of my parents but it’s hard – my mom is completely against any medication, yet my dad takes Xanax and even needed to go on anti-depressants for a brief period when he was going through a lot of trouble in his life. He said he felt great and didn’t regret taking them. I believe everyone has their own approach. While I believe my anxiety medication helps me, I am starting to research some different herbs and techniques I can use to supplement that treatment and hopefully start to feel better. My problem is that sometimes I think I can morph into a machine – and that’s just not possible!

  12. December 16, 2010 12:04 pm

    Also – I completely understand the not getting “super drunk” thing anymore. I don’t go out as “hard” as some of my friends do sometimes because I HATE the way it makes me feel the next day. I love my routine, and being hungover throws it off. Makes me crabby!

  13. December 16, 2010 8:44 pm

    My parents actually considered the idea of buying antidepressants in order to help me on recovery…
    But I use homeopathy, and my homeopath thought that her own medication would do.
    So I’ve never took antidepressants… But I do think homeopathy might have helped me, since my “pills” were made exclusively for me, created for the solo purpose of helping me heal.
    But if you think antidepressants work for you and your doctor sees no problem in it, I think you should definitely use them! I mean, if you think they’ll make you feel better…
    Wish you all best, Clare!
    XOXO

  14. December 17, 2010 2:04 am

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    I relate with the need to use something to find relief and the fear to actually take any form of medication in the antidepressant/anxiety category.

    I started having issues with anxiety about 6 years ago. At the time, I had NO IDEA what was going on with me or my body. My anxiety attacks presented themselves as pain. I went weeks with vague pains all over my body and developed health anxiety as a result of it. I was finally hospitalized for it and after running a whole battery of tests the doctor explained that my issues were related to depressions and that I needed to be medicated.

    I hated the idea but listened to what he told me. I have to say that taking them was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. After a few weeks, my body returned to normal. The perpetual state of panic, fear, sadness had gone away and I was able to start working on the root cause of all of it.

    Although the medications help, I think it’s important that therapy is part of the treatment also. The medication helps life become manageable but the therapy helps us gain the tools we need to deal with the ups and downs that put us in that bad place in the first place.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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