If you are a person who is battling with depression or has previously experienced the dreadfulness of being clinically depressed, you would probably understand how heavy every day feels. Sometimes when things seem gloomy and time runs dry the only outlet is to visit your local psychiatrist. When you get prescribed the first dosage of antidepressants, you think that this would be the answer to all your questions only to find out the ugly truth. It is obvious that we would all prefer an immediate fix for all our problems but unfortunately, nothing in life works that way.
In fact, being on antidepressants is one of the most painful journeys anyone can go through. Let’s start with the side effects that your doctor never mentions:
1- Shivers run down your spine.
Do you remember the last time you felt feverish? Taking antidepressants gives you the same internal shivers from time to time. Your fingertips and toes are always cold and blue. Your hands and limbs are always shaking. No matter how many layers of clothing you have on, it feels like your soul is frozen and nothing seems to melt the snow – literally! Not to mention the infinite number of blankets that help keep you warm at night! Can we just say that the sun and its warmth are your best friends when you are on antidepressants?
2- Upset guts and digestion problems get in its all-time high.
You know what it feels like to not eat for days or to have a stomach cold? The bloating and growling is louder and more painful than ever! Running to the toilet becomes so frequent because of annoying diarrhea that develops. Some doctors try to remedy that by prescribing medications for irritable bowel syndrome…but they do not really help.
3- Insomnia becomes a new problem that needs a remedy.
The irritability that develops as a side effect of antidepressants cannot be described. The tosses and turns develop into a bedtime time routine. It literally takes hours to fall asleep and even when you finally manage to close your eyes down, the thoughts come rushing like a ton of bricks. Upon waking up, it feels like you simply haven’t even slept at all. Your body feels like it is craving just a little bit more sleep only to realize that this feeling of tiredness never goes away!
4- Yawning goes on autopilot.
How embarrassing is it to be in a business meeting and have the deepest yawn ever? That is exactly what antidepressants do! You yawn and yawn and it is never enough. You cannot even control it. it is not really the lack of sleep type of yawn but it rather a ‘my soul is exhausted’ kind of a yawn. However, it feels really good after you yawn which makes you not want to hold it in the next time a yawn approaches!
5- Food is no longer a part of your life.
The loss of appetite is extraordinary! You no longer feel hungry or even enjoy the taste of food. You find yourself turning to fluids like juices or tea and coffee because they just seem easier to digest. Whether you like it or not, you develop a favorite drink which becomes your breakfast, lunch and dinner. But that’s not it! Hunger does hit you at night just when you are about to fall asleep. If all this is not sad enough, the painful part is when you actually force yourself to eat only to feel nauseous!
6- Welcome to Zombie land!
If you been on antidepressants long enough, you start to feel your emotions getting slurred. From foggy thoughts to raging anger, it all takes place inside of you. What makes the situation worse is that you feel unable to express your feelings. You may feel extremely happy but seem bored to death or you could be in extreme emotional pain but fail to let a tear down. You start to look tired and detached that people continuously start asking if you are fine.
Going through the described side effects, a lot of them are actual symptoms of depression. If you go through the pamphlet of any antidepressant, you would notice these side effects mentioned – the same symptoms you are trying to get rid of! It is worth saying that a pill is never a solution to any problem. We need to go beyond the chemistry of depression and analyze the triggering events that provoked a depression to happen.
Positive psychologists are proving that depression is more of a lifestyle illness. It is a wiser approach to simply assume that depression is a result of genetics in action. In fact, antidepressants have been proven to be as effective as a placebo and those who get off antidepressants go through a bunch of painful withdrawal symptoms and sadly, relapse.
Can you stop and think about why do they relapse? The whole concept of healing revolves around turning a negative event into a positive one and learning a new set of coping mechanisms that help you make it through any future challenges. A pill does not do that!