Found the following video in this post.
This is an incredibly accurate summary of my obsessive fears about medication before I started taking it. Emily can testify to that — she was there. These exact things came out of my mouth.
But you know what? For me, in my life, they weren’t true. I didn’t go numb. I didn’t stop being creative. I didn’t become a different person. I just stopped cutting myself. I stopped wanting to die.
At about 00:39, the man in the video says “Well this isn’t me. This is Paxil. This is me on Paxil.”
I believe, truly and unreservedly, the anti-depressants are the wrong choice for that man. He should stop taking them. I hope he recovers from his experience completely, and finds some other way to be a healthy human being.
But I really, really resent the dichotomy* between “me” and “me on Paxil.”
I sure as hell hope that “me on amitriptyline” is “me,” the real me. If it’s not the real me — if it’s the drug talking, some impostor, a pharmaceutical cuckoo — then the real me is not someone who can survive. The real me is someone constantly on the verge of a nervous break. The real me is someone who can’t sleep, someone who can’t eat, someone who hallucinates that the subway station is Hell, someone who hallucinates she is vomiting the serpent from Eden. The real me is someone so obsessed with her sadness she can’t form relationships. The real me is someone who hates herself so much she tries to cut pieces out with scissors. The real me is someone who sobs for hours when she spills coffee, who burns herself for getting a B. The real me is someone who has to down three glasses of vodka in order to stop hating herself for long enough to kiss the person she wants to kiss.
“Me on amitriptyline,” on the other hand, doesn’t want to die, doesn’t want to hurt herself, doesn’t hallucinate, can learn for her mistakes, can kiss someone sober, sleep through the night, eat three meals a day, be trusted with sharp objects, take care of herself. Anyone who’d like to think that version of myself isn’t real can step on her glasses, throw out her birth control, stop buying aspirin, stop buying toothpaste, and start picketing hospitals and medical schools.
Edited to add: I don’t know whether depression is a chemical imbalance. And I actually don’t care.
* I resent it as an idea that was in my head for years, preventing me from getting treatment, not as a description of this man’s experience.
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