Clinical depression is defined as: a depression so severe as to be considered abnormal, either because of no obvious environmental causes, or because the reaction to unfortunate life circumstances is more intense or prolonged than would generally be expected.
I started experiencing panic/anxiety attacks towards the end of January when I started my new job. Most times they would happen when I was in the car. I commuted 40 miles to and from the office and I tend to get my best thinking done in the car. So I would drive and think about all of the problems on my plate and I would just get so overwhelmed. My heart rate would increase, I would start to sweat, it became difficult to breathe, tears would run down my cheeks, and I'd end up pulling the car over until I could gain control. I went to the doctor and he suggested I talk with the psychiatrist on their staff to help me gain some perspective on my situation and to learn some coping techniques. I reluctantly agreed and made an appointment.
To be honest I thought it was a waste of time. I have always been a "solve your own problems" kind of girl. I'm a reserved person so the idea of paying someone to discussing my inner most thoughts with me just seems so vain. But I went and we discussed the things I am struggling with in life and how to cope with them. I left the appointment feeling like the doctor just confirmed everything I already knew about myself, which wasn't all that helpful really. But I decided that if I didn't want to continuing feeling so down and confused I should try to follow through with the treatment. The soonest I could start on a regular weekly appointment was 3 weeks out. The therapist suggested I start on an anti-depressant. So I went to my primary care doctor a few days later and he wrote me a prescription for Lexapro. I ended up having a reaction to that and so I couldn't take it anymore. You can read about that experience here. We changed the Lexapro to Prozac and I didn't have any reactions to it.
Prozac takes approximately 5 weeks to absorb in your system to fully take effect. Well it has definitely kicked in and I am so pleased with the way I am feeling. It is incredible to wake up in the morning and not feel like "ughhh ANOTHER day". I'm content again and looking forward to the future. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel like it's easier to express myself.
My question is, if this new found happiness is based on a medication, is it real? How does everyone feel about anti-depressant medications? For me, I think the medication has been a blessing. Being depressed can be debilitating. There were days when I just couldn't get out of bed. Literally. Everything is exhausting and you have absolutely no joy. But now I wake up excited for the day and I feel like I can handle the problems in front of me, instead of avoiding them. I am excited to move and I am excited for the job search ahead of me. I want to get back into a healthy routine. I am happy to have the weight of depression off my shoulders so I can get back into a more normal cycle.