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Nicole's Soul Story: My struggle with postpartum depression and longterm anti-depressants

Mindset: I acknowledge the greatness inside me and believe in the value I can contribute to the world.

I will admit that since becoming a mom (particularly a stay at home mom) I struggled with believing this mindset. Did I really add value to the world when I was “only” a stay at home mom? Here’s a Soul Story for you:

My sense of value diminished greatly after becoming a first time mom at the age of 26. I soon became depressed, lonely and hopeless (not to mention extremely exhausted), and I turned to my doctor for help. While they did suggested talk therapy, I remember specifically asking for a pill, a quick fix, something that would take little effort on my part. I felt like I had nothing left to give. She obliged and onto anti-depressants I went.

Guess what? They worked, and soon the fog lifted. I became pregnant with my second child and asked if I should try to get off. They told me no, it would me more detrimental to my health to try to get off of them, than to stay on. I listened. 

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized the extended side effects of staying on this drug ( 8 1/2 years later). I woke up one day and realized I was a walking zombie. No emotions, whatsoever. No feelings of sadness, but also no feelings of real joy or happiness. I came to the conclusion after speaking with my therapist, doctor, and coach that I wanted to get off of the medicine.

For the last 6 months I have been lowering my dosages, slowly weaning myself from the medication. It’s been challenging, and now I understand why the doctors told me to stay on it for the rest of my life. And yes, that’s what the doctors told me! 

I have been experiencing side effects such as dizziness, increased anxiety, depressed mood, out of body experiences, and the list goes on. However, I am determined to get there. Free from the emotion numbing madness of the pill. I am currently only taking 1/4 of the medication that I have been on for nearly 10 years! It’s progress but some days I question if I am making the right decision. Those are the days when all of the feelings begin to resurface. The ones that the pill numbed for nearly a decade. But then I remember the mindset: I acknowledge the greatness inside me and believe in the value I can contribute to the world, and I know I am making the right decision. I do know, the greatness inside me only  exists when I can tap into the full expression of my being. Something I could no longer do while on an anti-depressant. 

I would like to mention that I do believe anti-depressants are necessary for some people. Always, always, seek medical help to make decisions about pharmaceutical drugs. However, create an action plan with your doctor and be your own advocate.  Seek alternative methods such as talk therapy, yoga therapy, meditation or adjusting your exercise and eating habits. I am no expert, I can only share my personal experience. 

I would love to hear your soul stories on postpartum depression and anti-depressants. Contact me at: [email protected] if you have a Soul Story to share!

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