I dread waking up every morning


Photo by Kellie Casburn

This is the bottle containing the antidepressants I have been taking everyday for 3 months.

Voices talk around me, but I can’t comprehend a word they’re saying. I’ve lost myself in a diagram of the human brain hanging to my left. Tears start to dry on my skin alongside slowly crumbling mascara.

The last thing I wanted to do that warm Wednesday morning was sit with my parents in front of a psychiatrist, but somehow, that’s where I ended up. I remember her asking me all sorts of questions about my biological family, my feelings and any medication I was currently on.

Words can’t describe how it feels to be told there is something wrong with you when you feel there’s not. Only those who are a danger to themselves or others should be forced into a cold room and coaxed to speak their mind. One of the worst possible feelings I’ve ever experienced is helplessness, and the day I was told I was being put on Zoloft was the day I was put in a permanent position of helplessness.

Many people can overcome depression without the aid of medication, which is what I wish I would’ve been given the opportunity to do. The only person who knows how I feel is me, just as you are the only person aware of how you feel. Antidepressants, for some people, are a life-saver. They can display no side effects and improve some people’s mood and mindset immensely. For others, antidepressants can push them further into depression. There can be nauseating days, sleepless nights and constant, intrusive reminders that the person is unhappy.

I dread waking up every morning, as most teenagers do. I dread feeling the weight of the pale blue pill in my hand. I dread having to put it in my mouth, raise the cup to my lips and swallow. I dread the whole rest of the day, knowing tomorrow, I will repeat the steps: hold, place, drink, swallow.

To be a psychiatrist is to help your patients feel the best they can through whatever means available. A large part of understanding what your patient needs is listening to what your patient has to say. Yes, medication works for some, but others, not so much. What is the point of forcefully medicating someone who wants the complete opposite? What kind of progress can be made from piling the feeling of helplessness on someone?

Depression occurs more frequently than anyone realizes and can be overcome with and without medication. If you feel as if your medication is not only ineffective, but also hurting you in some way, mentally or physically, never feel as if you can’t speak up. You are in control of what goes in your body and what alters your mind. If antidepressants help you, that’s amazing, and I’m happy for you. But for me, antidepressants have only made me more pessimistic. They have only made me dread tomorrow that much more.

Medication can be wonderful, but isn’t for everyone and should never be forced upon someone who is not a danger to themselves or others. I plan to continue making my feelings known to my doctor, parents, and other adults. I hope to someday cope without medication, as that has always been my goal.

Don’t get me wrong, medication works for some people. In fact, 1 in 6 people take antidepressants daily. Depression is not always visible from the outside, and each person has their own story. Coping mechanisms are unique to each individual, and no one should feel bad for what makes them feel better.