I was 19 years old the first time my doctor prescribed antidepressants to me. That was the worst year of my life. 4 years later, I am able to write my story.
I had been under a lot of stress at the time and was finding myself facing symptoms of depression. I spoke to my doctor and he diagnosed me with
Major Depressive Disorder
and put me on a prescription for an antidepressant. I unknowingly began the sample pack of Pristiq, and that is when my life changed.
The coming months were filled with ups and downs.
In the beginning, the Pristiq was effective in treating my newly diagnosed clinical depression. I felt better for the first couple of weeks.
I started on the smaller of the 2 dosages, but it wasn't long before I no longer felt like myself. My creative edge was disappearing, my drive to succeed diminishing, my energy nearly nonexistent, and my desire to enjoy my life was gone.
Playing with Antidepressants
I spoke to my doctor and he recommended upping my dosage. So I spent some more time on the higher of the 2 dosages, and again I felt better for a very short time, but this time the coming down was worse.
My doctor felt the next step was to switch me to a different medication so this time I was put on Welbutrin, where I went through the exact same stages and ended up on a higher dosage of Welbutrin and the side effects were getting unbearable.
I not only wasn't myself anymore I didn't want to live anymore.I was irritable, angry, extremely tired and unable to get out of bed.
I was fighting with my soon to be husband all the time for what seemed like no reason at all. I was unsuccessful at work despite my previous levels of performance, and I didn't want to talk to anyone.
Visiting A Psychiatrist
I reached out to my doctor explaining I was having suicidal thoughts, I was scared. My doctor sent me to a psychiatrist (that's right, all of this has been with a general physician).
I spent not even 15 minutes with the psychiatrist before he prescribed me additional medication.
He asked me a handful of questions and because I wasn't just depressed, but also had up days, he diagnosed me with
After a total of less than a half an hour in his office, he stood up to walk me to the door, and with tears of frustration and fear rolling down my cheeks I asked the doctor about the suicidal thoughts I'd been having.
I'd had a chance to do a little research before visiting his office and read that antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts and suicide in patients, particularly those under the age of 24, yet I didn't know how to get off of the medication because every time I so much as forgot a pill I felt like I was losing my mind.
My psychiatrist truly seemed unfazed by this and simply explained I'd need to ween off of the other antidepressant after taking the new medication in conjunction with it.
That was it. A 19 year old girl with no previous history of any problems other than a low mood that I'd discussed with my doctor, is feeling suicidal and even though the doctors know I am at risk of committing suicide, they simply want to add to my medication and spend less than a half an hour talking to me about it.
Beginning My Research
It was after that appointment that I decided I needed to take things into my own hands. I only thank God that drive was left in me and had not been destroyed by the medication yet, or it may have been too late
If you click on the aforementioned link it will take you to a new window where family members share their stories of losing a loved one to suicide after beginning antidepressants.
I also found the statistic that I was at higher risk because of my age. My doctors had never told me this. My doctors never told me I was at risk at all. I felt like there was no one in medicine that I could trust.
Quitting the Antidepressants
I decided right then I needed to stop the antidepressants. I quit them cold turkey.
I say cold turkey as though this were a drug I was addicted to. It was.
Stopping the medicine was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I was overwhelmed with the most intense feelings of depression, anger, and irritability, that I had ever felt. Luckily I had a wonderful family to help me through this difficult time.
And finally, after it was over, I began to heal. It took time, it took focus, it took commitment, but today I am 23 years old and finally feel like I have my life back.
I look back at those years of my life and sigh because I'll never get them back. From 19 years old until 22 years old, a major time of my new young adulthood, I was depressed like I'd never been.
While others my age were out living their lives, mine was stolen from me and I was stuck in a dark hole. However, I am blessed that this is the story I have to write.
Getting Your Life Back
I created this website to help others get their lives back like I was able to get mine back. If you are suffering from depression you are not alone. If you are taking antidepressants and want to stop but feel like there's no way out, you are not alone.
This site is being built to form a community where we can share experiences and turn to others for hope. The resources I've made available on this site are to help others get their lives back.
If you've made the decision that its time to get your life back and you'd like to talk to someone right now, follow the link below and you can immediately begin the healing process with a professional in the comfort of your own home, behind the safety of your computer screen.