I was very interested in the article, "My Depressing Antidepressant", which appeared on Salon.com recently, mainly because I have experience with antidepressants. If you read my welcome, you may already know that I've been through depression myself. In 1998, I started seeing a therapist because I felt paralyzed by depression and stuck in a horrible life situation.
Okay... so now that I've lived a bit more, I know that my situation back then was not nearly as bleak as it seemed. Back then, I had a place to live, a job, family, my youth, my health, a few friends and an education. But I still felt like complete shit, so I went to a therapist and he sent me to see a psychiatrist, who put me on Prozac. Prozac was a colossal failure for me. I took it for three months and eventually got up to three capsules a day. I didn't feel any better. In fact, I probably felt worse because I couldn't achieve an orgasm without focusing on it for a long, long time... not that I had a love life, anyway. When I started having suicidal feelings, the doctor put me on Wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin was a lifesaver for me. Within just a few days, I felt so much better. I was able to make plans for the future. It was like a heavy black cloud lifted and I was finally able to take action and change my life for the positive. I took a heavy dose of Wellbutrin, too... three pills a day at a total of 450mg. That was a massive dose, and I often got shit from pharmacists about it. No matter. It worked, even though I thought my psychiatrist was a bit of a jackass.
I went to graduate school, thinking that maybe I could get involved with helping people who suffer from depression. But you know how things change even when you have the best of intentions... I got swept up into another area or two and by the time I graduated, I was not only engaged to my husband-- on the cusp of becoming the overeducated housewife-- but I had also pretty much forgotten depression. I was still taking those purple pills, though. The last time I got a prescription for them filled, back in 2004, I was forced to get it re-written for the generic pills. They worked just as well, but cost a lot less.
Anyway, in 2004, I thought that perhaps I might want to have a baby at some point. My husband, who had a vasectomy when he was with his first wife, managed to get the surgery reversed for free, courtesy of the Army. I was still in my early 30s and figured that if I was going to be a mother, that was the time to try to do it. I got off the drugs and my husband and I tried for that baby in earnest. So far, we haven't been "blessed".
Once again, my plans got swept up in real life. Some things happened that made the idea of motherhood much less appealing to me. My husband got deployed. His kids with his first wife disowned/betrayed him. Our income started to rise as we recovered from financial hell and I started to realize that I enjoy being comfortable. I got older and fatter, in part because I had gotten off the drugs... I started to realize that being a mother wasn't as important to me as I thought it was.
And so, here I am... approaching my late 30s, not a mom, not a career woman, and not on antidepressants. On the other hand, I have a pretty damn good life... at least for now. And it all started because I took antidepressants for awhile. Maybe someday I'll use them again, but for now, I'm feeling somewhat content. Of course, I do sometimes wonder what my purpose is, other than to give my husband pep talks, moral support, and clean underwear.
For those who are interested in the article I'm commenting on... http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/04/05/is_my_lexapro_working/index.html