anti-depressants?

My counselor asked me to consider the idea of taking an anti-depressant in the future.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I know that there can be .chemical imbalances in the brain and all that jazz, so taking medicine is kind of necessary. And my mom told me of several family members and friends that I know who take them and are just fine. They need to take them to function.

My dad immediately says to be cautious, because there can be side effects–as if I hadn’t thought of that. I wish I could make him understand what it’s like to feel this way. How dark it is. How absolutely exhausted I feel all of the time. Or when I don’t, how restless I get, like my thoughts are racing a mile a minute, and the only thing that calms me down is driving for way too long while listening to the Hush Sound or the Avett Brothers.

And how in those times, I can’t slow down to really process any of my thoughts. I know some people pre-meditate suicide for a long time, but for me any danger of that or thoughts of that always come in a frenzy. The time I almost killed myself was almost four years ago and I didn’t know Jesus back then. I just remember something trivial triggering this overwhelming rage at myself (I spent my most of those days in self-loathe, but this was rage), seeing that bottle of pills, and almost going for it before my mom knocked on my door needing help with the laundry. Once I calmed down, I could think clearly and was freaked out at how close I had come.

I’m starting to get that way again, have episodes where I just can’t think straight. Not as extreme as back then. There’s something completely different with struggling with depression now that I know Jesus. I still have hope even when I feel hopeless. I know that the Holy Spirit can intervene and slow me down if I’m getting out of hand (it’s hard to put into words). But I’m still scaring myself a little. I mean, I’m not having serious suicidal thoughts, but I see the pattern emerging again.

I want explain on this to my dad, because if I don’t I’m scared he’ll think I’m being dramatic. If I do try to explain it to him though, I’m scared I’ll scare him.

But what if taking an anti-depressant would really help? What if there is a life for me that doesn’t consist of exhaustion and hopeless out of the blue coupled with these irrational attacks of anxiety and frustration?

I know some people in the Christian world say that taking an anti-depressant means you aren’t trusting Christ. I don’ t think I buy that. I’m sure there are people who cop out of facing problems that way, but if depression really is a chemical imbalance in the brain…then taking an anti-depressant is no different than taking any other kind of medicine for your body. Right?

I guess I’m just scared. Scared of side-effects. Scared of what people will think. Scared of feeling like a burden financially and emotionally to my family. Scared of feeling like I gave up. 

I know I’m going to be okay either way. God (or as I’ve taken to calling him recently: Papa) is something so extraordinarily mysterious and wonderful and peaceful and good.

“Good” seems likes such a elementary word, but God encompass everything that is good–when I think of that, I grin from ear to ear. Sometimes that’s the only time I feel alive and free all day.

And even if all the rest of my days are like that, then I will live them. And I will live them with the intention and hope of opening up someone else’s eyes to that goodness and love.

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2 thoughts on “anti-depressants?

  1. I am loving reading these blogs and getting the Alissa I know in such a deeper way. Totally understand where you are coming from in this post! Don’t know if I was in the group of family that your Mom talked about, but I do take anti-depressants just to survive and function through the day. On the few times I mistakenly didn’t refill a prescription and had to go without for a day or 2, now that is scary to me. How out of control I feel. Praying for you my dear niece!

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