Anti depressants are not happy pills
So a friend of mine recently started anti depressants and he mentioned that he was having trouble with keeping up with everyday life because they make him drowsy. I take anti depressants too and now I am at a dose that does not really hamper my functioning but I realized that even I had forgotten what it was like back then. So I just wanted to share my experience for all those who are struggling right now, I know its hard and it seems like it is taking forever but trust me it will get better InshaAllah.
Its really difficult when you already struggle to get out of bed everyday and then you start some pills that make it almost impossible. I remember when it was last Ramadan and it had been a couple of months since I started taking an antidepressant and a mood modulator and I would spend most of my day in bed. Since I was previously also spending most of my days in bed, it didn’t make a difference to anyone else. Initially what happened was I started having trouble driving. I felt like the cars would suddenly pop up from right or left (yes I use my side mirrors If anyone is wondering XD). I got a consultation from eye and from my psychiatrist and they suggested I change the timing of my medication and if the problem still persists then we can look into it further. I used to take my medication around 9pm and I just shifted it to 7pm and things got better Alhamdulillah.
Then started Ramadan :3 It was the toughest Ramadan of my life. I was fasting even though some people suggest that I don’t. But my energy levels were zero. I know it sounds cliché but I couldn’t move. I would get out of bed just to make it into the next room and fall back into bed. I literally felt like a living dead body. I couldn’t even think of studying and within a week I was crying just from the frustration of feeling useless. I used to try to study at night (iv always been a night own as I have 4 younger sisters and I can never study during the day) so I talked to my psychiatrist and she reduced the dose for the time and we shifted the timing from 7pm to sehri time so I would feel more awake at night. Now it didn’t work wonders, but it still made things better.
Then came final year profs :3 I don’t think I need to paint a picture on how it is the most dreadful exam ever XD. Anyways, I shifted to the hostel because my therapist could see my exam going to shit. She told me to shift to the hostel the very next day and that she would talk to my parents if needed. 2 months fast forward, the writtens were over but I had gained 10kg over the course of that year. I wanted to change my medication but my psychiatrist thought it was a bad idea because the vivas were left and exams are a tough time so changing medication could potentially make things worse. We decided to postpone this till the end of exams. After exams and spending about 3-4 months in the hostel I was doing quite well so my psychiatrist decided that instead of changing the medication, we should start tapering it and if there is ever the need of starting it again, we can start another one. And I can work on reducing weight with exercise as the dose was not high enough to affect my weight much at that time.
This post was just to let everyone know that anti depressants are not magic happy pills.
I have had people ask me why I still feel suicidal if I am going to a therapist and taking pills. I have also had people ask me if taking antidepressants make me feel 'happy'. For everyone who has questions, please try to be sensitive while asking them. And for everyone who is struggling, this is to let you know that this is a journey where you need to keep sharing your struggles with your doctor so they can help you wherever possible, be it your eyesight or weight gain. And at the same time therapy is equally important. Your thinking is distorted at the time and its important to have a person who can show you the flaws in your thinking so you can solve most of your problems just by changing the way you think. Depression is something you learn to cope with. For some people, it completely goes away in a year or two. For some people it gets better only to come back again, but remember that at that time you are more prepared to deal with it than the first time. And for some people it keeps lingering in the background, with them having more bad days than good ones. And for those people, I cannot tell you its so so important to have someone you can share your true feelings with. They might not have a solution to all your problems but they can always show you that no matter how hard things get, they will always be there for you. And also that you matter. You make a difference. And that they need you too. Just like you need them. So never give up <3 and always celebrate small things. I had a really shitty week but I just found my lost watch and my lost stamp in one day and I was happy dancing at home ^_^ don’t let the bad moments ruin your good ones. And if you look hard enough, you will find the good ones everyday, trust me on that.
Someone who might not know you but still cares about you.