The Happiness Pill
A pill that could bring you happiness. Is there such a thing? The answer may surprise you as it did me. In this article, I will be discussing the effects on antidepressants and will be revealing the truth behind the medication itself.
The main purpose of antidepressants is to fill your brain with serotonin (aka the "happy chemical") which was otherwise lacked. The pill balances the chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. There are many types of antidepressants, Though SSRIs are the most popular choices given by professionals to their patients. I didn't even know there were many varieties of antidepressants until I had to start taking them myself.
I still remember the first time I started taking antidepressants. It was Friday, the 21st of December 2018. I had to leave school early but that was okay since it was going to close due to Christmas break. My psychiatrist gave me a prescription and I was on my way. Immediately upon taking the medication, I began to feel ill. Every day that I swallowed the pill was every day I felt nauseous, lost weight and experienced headaches. After a month, I told my psychiatrist the side-effects and he gave me a new prescription for another antidepressant. The new medication was worse than the first. This time, I gained a lot of weight and had to take multiple trips to the bathroom.
As they say, third time's the charm and finally I was given a medication that was effective and had no side-effects. Now I could concentrate on the benefits of the meds. However, the benefits did not last that long. Although I was feeling bright and cheery, my mind felt numb. It was like no other emotion other than happiness could enter me, which in some circumstances was not the proper mood to display. There were times where I wanted to get angry and there were times where I wanted to cry, but I could not. For Pete's sake, I had to fake cry at my own graduation. (Sorry to anyone who I went to secondary school with.) Do not get me wrong I wanted to cry because I was upset that I was leaving a lot of great people behind, but my mind would not let me.
As of right now, I have been off my medication for a year now. However, due to recent situations, I was recommended considering taking them up again. I have yet to come to a decision. Although, do not let my experience question if you are debating whether you should take up antidepressants. Everyone's bodies are different so you might not even experience the side-effects like I have. Some people experience no side effects at all, these medications are not a one-size-fits-all. Nevertheless, medication should be the last resort depending on how severe your depression is. There is an alternative way you can be treated such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). With CBT, you can manage your problems with changing the way you think, and helping your thoughts to be more positive. It also helps with balancing your life whilst dealing with depression.
In the beginning I asked if there was such a pill that would bring happiness. The answer: it depends on who is receiving it. According to the HSE, at least 50-65% of those who take antidepressants have helped through them. I do not know if I fall between that percentage due to having mixed feelings of my own but in the end, this is my opinion which you do not need to follow. Prior to what I said, medication should be the last option when dealing with depression. Try CBT or other talking therapies and see how that goes before making any other decision.
If you want to learn more about antidepressants, then I recommend visiting. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/antidepressants/about-antidepressants/
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