I take an antidepressant… and that is OK

I know that usually I’ve pretty light on here, but right now I want to be serious.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder). And let me tell you, regardless of all the people saying that “it’s a disease invented by drug companies,” it is a real thing. The week before my period my emotions were out of control, and not just in the “she’s hormonal” kind of way, but in the “come closer so I can rip your throat out” kind of way. When this diagnosis happened, a few things took place; first, they put me on a brand of oral contraceptive that was marketed for the PMDD, and second they put me on a generic of a very popular SSRI (aka antidepressant). That’s when the fun began…

First, I should explain that my family is very odd. They don’t believe in discussing unpleasantries (unless it’s in a non-helpful, gossipy sort of way), they do not deal with or acknowledge any kind of issue that they do not approve of (aka “mental illness”), and they do not approve of medicine for issues they feel you should be able to suck up and handle on your own (like PMDD, which is not a “real thing”). Apparently my family would rather me be homicidal for a few days than acknowledge the fact that I’m on an antidepressant, but when my uncle (a Desert Storm Vet) was put on it for nerve issues resulting from his deployment it was all “hallelujah they (the doctors) are finally doing something for you.” (WTF?!)

It was largely due to these issues that after my second baby was weaned I never went back on them. I felt like it was wrong to be taking them. I felt like I should be able to “deal with it” on my own, but after seeing the effects that that dark side of me is having on those around me I realized that sometimes people need help. Being strong is not being able to handle everything on your own, it’s being able to admit when you need help.

The last time I went back to my doctor we talked, and decided that I should go back on the low-dose SSRI that I had been on previously, and I can already tell the difference in simple things. I keep my temper better, I’m not on edge, I’m not so annoyed, my OCD is better… I’m a better mother because I knew when I needed help.

Do not let anyone tell you that you are less for needing help.


One Response to “I take an antidepressant… and that is OK”

  1. Well said; thank you! These things deserve openness, and I hope your family will come to see that.

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