Things I wish I’d known about taking anti-depressants

  1. Don’t expect to be ‘fixed’ straight away. It can take months for some people to start responding to antidepressants, so give them time before saying they don’t work.
  2. If you really don’t think they’re helping, tell your doctor.
  3. Stick to one doctor who you like and who you think ‘gets’ it. Some doctors are rubbish at understanding mental health, it’s sad but true. But that’s not the case for the majority of them! If you find a doctor who you can talk to and who listens to you, try to see them every time you go back.
  4. You might have side effects which mean you have to start taking even more medication.
  5. Don’t act like they’re going to magically fix you to other people. Otherwise when you admit the medication isn’t actually helping they’ll be shocked and struggle to understand.
  6. The insomnia’s most likely going to get worse, and it’s going to suck.
  7. Don’t just stop taking them without talking to your doctor first.
  8. You can still have days of feeling rubbish when you’re on anti-depressants. The main thing is that you get through it and can notice the small changes that are happening to you from taking them.
  9. Just because one type of medication works for your friend doesn’t mean it’ll work for you too.
  10. Some medication will give you really bad nightmares – this one’s really tough, but they’ll begin to level out eventually, it just takes a long time and a lot of stressful sleeps.
  11. If you’re feeling worse, see a doctor sharpish and tell them.
  12. The internet doesn’t know the answer to everything.
  13. Even if you do stop taking medication, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never get depressed again or have to take medication again. If you do relapse, you’re not a failure.
  14. Medication on it’s own isn’t going to ‘fix’ you. You’ll probably need to go to counselling or therapy or something, and that can be scary too.
  15. You can joke about your medication with your friends.
  16. Loads of people are on anti-depressants! It’s not just you.
  17. You’re going to become an absolute light-weight when it comes to drinking alcohol, but it’ll be worth it.
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