Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prozac Nation

What do you know about depression? Did you know that over 3% of people who have depression in the United States alone commit suicide? I did. I was one of them who tried.

I was always a happy child. I did the normal kid things. I laughed a lot. I ran around and had way too much energy. I didn't actually show signs of depression at all until I was about 13. For whatever reason, my whole world shattered then.

To cope with the depression, I would write poetry. Dark poetry. I rarely let anyone read them because they were so personal and "scary." When the poems wouldn't work, or if I had writer's block, I had other methods of coping.

One day at school, the nurse called me out of class into her office. The guidance counselor was also in attendance, as was my mother. The look on my mom's face said it all. She had finally discovered my secret. The nurse informed me that someone (I can't remember who, now) had come to her because she had seen my arm and was concerned. The nurse began to monitor me without my knowledge, and noticed that every few days, the scratches on my arm were multiplying. She then "took the liberty" of calling my mother and they had set up an intervention of sorts. Because they had caught me off guard like that, I didn't have any stories to tell. I couldn't talk my way out of it. Instead, I became angry. REALLY angry. Whoever that girl was had no right to interfere like that and I hated her for a long time. The stupid nurse should have talked to me first before calling my mom. 

At least, that's how I felt then.

Shortly after that day, my parents began sending me to a therapist. I hated him, too. For the first month's worth of sessions, I just sat there. I wouldn't talk. I wouldn't even look at him. He didn't even care about me. I was just a paycheck to him. 

I was wrong.

Eventually, I opened up enough to allow him to see that I needed help. Medical help. So, that's when I was first prescribed Effexor as a means to treat my depression.

It didn't work at first. I was still depressed. I was embarrassed because I had to take medication. I felt crazy. 

I kept cutting.

Eventually, though, the medication was adjusted enough so that it worked. I could smile again. I was lifted up through the fog in my head. But, the damage had been done.

My scars made appearances in my senior pictures. They followed me to Europe, prom, and even my wedding. They will be here forever. Whenever I look at them now, I'm reminded of a Linkin Park song, "Figure .09"

I took that medication for nine years. Nine. Years. Only after I became pregnant did I realize that I needed to stop for the sake of my child. So, I began to wean myself off. 

That's when I found out that Effexor was a narcotic.

I had cold sweats. I was shaky. I had migraines and "brain zaps". I was dizzy. I was emotional. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But I did it for her.

I did it because I loved my unborn child enough to know that I didn't want her to ever have to experience these withdrawal symptoms after she was born. She didn't deserve that. So, I suffered through it for seven of the nine months of my pregnancy.

I am proud to say that I've been medication free for two and a half months. The process of removing the medication from my life had made this pregnancy a LOT harder than it should have been. There's a good chance that the lack of this drug has increased my weight gain a bit. But, I don't care. As long as Alexa is born healthy, happy and without complication, it was all worth it. 


  1. This takes courage to write, I applaud you on your strength, love and will!


    1. Thanks Melissa! It's been so long since I've seen or talked to you! We miss you.

  2. Wow. I haven't known you as long, so I didn't realize all of this. I think that is very impressive you've gone for 2 and 1/2 months. I think your perspective of weight gain is great. As someone who always, always gains more--I think how healthy you were before will make the most impact for how you lose the weight after. As long as you aren't expecting to be back to normal ridiculously soon. But, maybe you will. Good luck with the last couple weeks--or should we go for very optimistic and say hours? :)

    1. Hey, thanks! Somehow, I really doubt that it'll be HOURS. But I'll keep my fingers crossed. :)

  3. Michelle, I love you and think you are amazing, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Alas, even the top of my heart as well. Well, let's just make that every part of my heart. You're already showing symptoms of being a GREAT mommy. <3

    1. I love you too, Emmy!! Thanks for reading and giving me warm fuzzies. :)

  4. That's really inspiring Michelle. Thanks for sharing. That's a big sacrafice to make and I'll bet Alexa will be thankful...once she understands, of course.


Hey! Thanks for commenting! I just love reading your input. Don't forget to post a link to your blog so that I can visit you, too!