I didn’t think I would start writing about anti-depressants, but it is all I can get started to write about. For various reasons, I’ve been taking antidepressants for the past 2 years of my life. While it has helped me a great deal and allowed me to live a ‘normal’ and mostly happy life, I now realise– after a month and a half not taking them– how my emotions have been hibernating for 2 years.
I was on a kind of average mood all the time: never completely depressed nor exhilaratingly happy. I was functioning well. As Freud said, mental health is the “ability to love and work”. So I was working, and loving. I can’t even complain too much about the side effects of the ADs: I didn’t gain weight, nor was I extremely sleepy. I could have gone on through my whole life taking them; that was actually what my doctor suggested. It is quite hard to get off ADs, as they cause strong physical and psychological dependence. It is not impossible though.
While I wasn’t sure whether I was able to or if the decision to quit was the right one, I knew deep inside that I wasn’t experiencing the highs and lows that are part of experiencing the present moment. Something was missing, the strength of my emotions probably.
Today, I can feel intense joy or begin to cry while listening to a great song. During the same day, I go from being very excited, to nervously giggling, to feeling intensely emotional, or just eventually being fine; I kind of like it. I am also overwhelmed sometimes. Those mood swings remind me that I am vulnerable to the world I live in. Back on the same life roller-coaster everyone else is riding.
As I look at the last 2 years, I feel like I’ve been asleep and I am now slowly waking up.