So, in my last post, I said I wanted to let you in on the struggles I’ve had after taking antidepressants. Some of you probably know that they do have a lot of side effects, and even though they help a lot, they introduced me to some new issues I need to gain control over. Before I get started, I just want to say that I’m no expert on this topic, and I can only talk about my personal experience with this.
The first thing I really noticed was a change in my hair. I always had very long, very thick, wavy hair, and I loved it! Once I started taking antidepressants, however, I began shedding hair way more than before. It used to grow insanely fast, which it doesn’t anymore. I know this also has something to do with getting older, but dammit! It’s hard! I love my hair! My friends always say I still have a crazy amount of hair, and I do, but it’s not as much as before, and I very much feel the difference.
(Left is in 2014 and right is last week)
I recently decided to start following some different advice on how to grow out my hair again, and since I’m done with medication, I’m really hoping this will help! I also decided to cut off a good chunk of my hair, which I’m also hoping will help a bit.
The other big thing I noticed, is weight gain. I’ve always been very skinny. Throughout my life, people actually thought I had eating disorders because I was so skinny. But I never did, I just had a faster metabolism, before antidepressants. After, however, I gained a lot of weight and compared to what I used to look like, it’s quite different.
In some ways, I’m actually really happy about gaining weight, cause now I have curves, I look healthier, and I don’t get the questions about my looks that I used to anymore. But the medicine really increased my appetite, and I think it got out of hand. When I’m not conscious of what, and how much, I’m eating, I’ll almost always over-eat. Something I never used to worry about. This has led to times when I would not be satisfied with my looks and is still something I am currently working on – learning to manage my eating and accept my body.
(Left is in 2012/13 and right is 2 weeks ago)
From my point of view, I need to be comfortable in my own body, in order to completely recover from everything. I’m an expert in telling myself that I’m not good enough, and instead of actually doing something about it, I’ve used excuses. For a long time, I would say “I’m not feeling well today, I need to sleep instead”. And I wasn’t feeling well, but I should’ve gotten up and done some exercise! And not used an excuse.
So many people have told me how much it can help your mental state if you work out. I always thought it made sense, but I just wasn’t ready to actually do it myself. I would always have those excuses. But I’m trying this new thing now, where I actually get my butt out of the house and go to the gym! Luckily, I’m right next to my gym here in Canada and that really helps! Especially now that it’s -16 degrees out – ew!
The third thing I noticed a difference in, is sleep. After I stopped taking my medicine, I would wake up a lot more and have a harder time falling asleep. I’ve asked my doctor about this before, and because these pills help you sleep better, it can really affect you after. Recently, that has gotten better, mainly because I’m so active throughout the day that I’m exhausted at night. So hopefully my sleep will keep getting better!
These are some of the issues that affect my everyday life after taking antidepressants, and I will let you in on my progress, as I continue tapering off of them. Next week I will post something my friend Mie wrote, about traveling with a person who has BPD, and how she dealt with me and our friendship. I hope you’ll keep reading!