Chemical Dependence

ZOLOFT® (sertraline HCl) is approved by the FDA to treat the following conditions in adults:

  • –Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • –Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • –Panic Disorder
  • –Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • –Social Anxiety Disorder
  • –Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

-taken from official Zoloft website

I’ve always been prone to Depression. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I feel so deeply, in full-blown colors and chaotic senses, but I remember first struggling with suicidal thoughts at age 13. Self-mutilation was my only therapy. I began a relationship with Christ at age 16. I remember the moment I truly gave my heart to the Lord, years of pain and anguish seemed to release from my pores and tear ducts. From then on, it got better. Though my immediate family members were on antidepressants and it was considered an inherited mental illness, I thought I had conquered it by putting my faith in Christ. Ashamedly, I carried a certain pride inside of me that I was simply relying on the Lord, and didn’t need modern medicine to cure my blues. I could pray, and everything was better, right?

Then came college, Freshman year. I felt inadequate and misplaced. The depression returned. I didn’t tell anyone, really. I vented thoughts on Xanga (the most popular blogosphere at the time) but outside of that, I felt admitting my sadness would only condemn me further. I was at a Christian college, where everyone was supposed to possess the joy of the Lord. I did, for the most part.

But I’m realizing more and more the only thing that prevented me from previous crippling depression were my life circumstances.

College included some of best years of my life. Stressful, yes. Terrifying? Sometimes. But epic memories replaced the negative. First came a degree, then came a professional job, then came marriage to the love of my life, then came a baby in a baby carriage…. or not. Struggling with infertility for five years wasn’t fun. It did a huge number on my self-esteem and identity as a woman. My body couldn’t do the one thing it was created to do. I had always felt my one true calling was to be a mother, and I couldn’t even manage to do that!  I threw myself into work, and then we spent five months overseas doing missions. We came back, intertwined ourselves into church, and I was happy. Then came the slow decay of the naive world I had built around me. The shatter of trust in a marriage, the resuming of self-mutilation, the deafening thoughts that told me I was better off dead. I was diagnosed with Depressive Disorder soon after. I took one pill of my antidepressant prescribed to me before I found out I was pregnant. I never took another, until after she was gone.

I’ve been on Zoloft, Xanax, and Ambien for a year and a half. The craziness of this month had me forgetting to get a refill on my Zoloft, then looking at the bottle and realizing I didn’t have a refill. Then remembering I missed my appointment with my psychiatrist last month. I spent a week without my medicine, and I cannot tell you how crazy I went. Crying all through the night, irritable beyond belief, panic attacks, paranoia… and I loathe that I am now dependent upon this artificial serotonin to make me semi-sane. I never wanted to be. I’m wondering if my lack of warm and fuzzies and my flat affect is partly to do with this as well. I don’t feel joy much anymore. It’s like a flicker of emotion, then it’s gone. Without taking my medication regularly, it’s an explosion of a million different emotions, as if I’m Bipolar. There is no in between. Numbness, or despair. These are what I teeter between.

I would love to one day wean myself from taking medication. I’m terrified that day may never come.

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