Today I took the plunge: I went for a physical at my regular doctor’s office and asked her about medication for depression and anxiety.
Just admitting that is hard.
I don’t even know why, honestly. I’ve been an advocate for people with mental illnesses for years. I used to run a pen pal support group for people with depression. I don’t look at anyone I know who is on medication or in therapy any differently. It’s just me that I’m hard on.
Taking that first step was hard; picking up the phone and calling my doctor in the first place. I had an even harder time scheduling my first therapy appointment back in January, and making myself go. Stubbornness runs in my family, but it’s more than that. When you have depression or anxiety, your brain will try to trick you. “Everything is fine, man,” your brain says. “You don’t have to go. It’ll be different this time.”
I know better now.
So, I went.
Depression and anxiety are like asthma: if you try to ignore them, they will get very bad, and you will have an attack and get sick; if you stay on top of them, take your medication, and go to therapy when needed, you’ll cut down your chances of having an attack. I wanted to take care of it before it got any worse. Things haven’t exactly been easy these last few months. Even before losing my friend and my job, I was struggling. Depression has long been a part of my life.
My doctor said it could take 2-3 weeks for me to notice a difference on the Prozac—and we started me on 10mg a day, so it might take even longer. (I tend to react strongly to medication, so starting on the low side is always a safe bet with me.) I’ll be seeing her in two and a half weeks to determine how it’s working and whether we need to bump it up.
I’m glad I went, even though it wasn’t easy telling a stranger that I need medication. I was afraid of being judged. Instead, she was super understanding and supportive. The only person judging me is me.
Have you ever been on Prozac? Did you notice any side effects? In the past, I’ve tried Zoloft, Seroquel, Elavil, and Cymbalta. I didn’t have good luck with any of them. (For example, Zoloft made me feel nothing and Cymbalta made me stay awake for three days straight.) Leave a comment or shoot me an email. This is a judgment-free zone.