I am not a qualified medical professional and cannot help with mental health problems, this is simply my journey thus far and why I believe fully that everyone should take the time to have that inner dialogue with oneself and not just listen to what society blasts.

I suffer from depression, I have my whole life. Due to naturally low serotonin levels that appear to be genetic from my dad’s lineage. No one in my immediate family suffers though so I always dismissed it as simply being down. Depression is NOT “just being down”, it’s not something that you can snap out of or get over. Fortunately, I was a fully functioning depressive. No one really looked at me and thought oh she’s depressed. I never even went through the “Emo” phase at school. Paris and Nicole and their love for pink and lipgloss were more idolised than the dark, angsty look.

I have always been petite and because of that, I was worried that taking ant-depressants would make me put on massive amounts of unnatural weight. You’d hear stories of people ballooning and putting on 20kgs. At a mere 48kg I really didn’t want that. Yes, I know what’s worse being “large” or feeling like a dark heavy door is closing in on you every couple of months or even weeks and not being able to push it open. Superficial, I’ll admit it. But, looking back it was always from those who supposedly “loved me”. Boyfriends who’d say why you so down and when I’d say I’m considering anti-depressants they’d be like “No, no but then you’ll get fat and be like a zombie”. I was stupid okay. I needed to grow to figure out this journey for myself and to ANYONE who says they care about you but would rather have you possibly kill yourself than not fit their little box of perfection needs to get the F*ck Out of your life!

I’d had blood tests and all showed very low serotonin levels and doctors suggested I go on anti-depressants but I was already on ,heavy-duty heart meds, if you follow this blog then you’ll have an idea, and the thought of more daily medications just didn’t feel necessary.

After the break-in I saw a psychologist who was very helpful and also suggested I go on meds. A whole year later, my emotions were at the lowest they’d ever been. I’d been consuming over 6000 (yes, for real) calories a day the past 6 months and reached 55kg. I had the most intense cravings and felt weepy all the time. I went to yoga at Life Retreat Studio which helped centre me a lot. I’m forever grateful for them being in my life. This helped me to realise that I needed to get help. I went to my GP who understood me from day 1. He and I discussed meds, he clearly told me that anti-depressants will not make anyone gain or lose weight. They basically put you back to your natural state, so if you overate before when stressed then you’ll lose. Also if you take benzos then they can have a zombie-like effect but when taken correctly and usually at night only they should have no change on your persona.

I will not sugar-coat it but the process of going onto anti-depressants and dosing up is grueling. You will not feel good for the first couple of weeks. It is a process but wow is it a life-changing one.

6 months later and I feel amazing. Within the first two months, I naturally went back down to 48/49kgs. My intense cravings stopped. I found myself more cheerful and appreciated everything and everyone around me more.

I still need to dose up one more time, which I know will be tough but if you need medication and help. Find a doctor who listens and cares. Doctors are expensive and not everyone has the luxury of going to several doctors before finding the right one, so ask around. Don’t be afraid, people are often more willing to help than one thinks they are.

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4 Comments on “They’ll Make You Fat Though” My Story on Anti-Depressants

  1. Lizna Erkelens
    August 27, 2018 at 11:37 am (5 months ago)

    You look so fierce in those photos! When I started on lexamil I lost my appetite but it slowly came back as the chemical levels in my brain stabilized. I’m so grateful for you opening up about your journey xx

    Reply
    • Abby
      August 27, 2018 at 1:40 pm (5 months ago)

      Lizna, you have been amazing in your support. Thank you. Yes, meds affect everyone differently and as long as they are helping then it’s that own person’s choice whether to continue or not.

      Reply
  2. Saajida
    August 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm (5 months ago)

    You are so brave to talk about your journey so openly and truthfully. When I first met you (at the Canon Photographers meet up/tour of CT), you were so approachable and humble, and I really wouldn’t have thought that you were/are depressed – which goes to show, anyone can suffer from depression, and it doesn’t manifest itself only in one way. I’m so glad that you are doing and feeling a lot better now. Wishing you only happiness and success <3

    Reply
    • Abby
      August 27, 2018 at 1:37 pm (5 months ago)

      Thank you Saajida and yes you are so right. Few people knew or could tell and it wasn’t because I was hiding it or being insincere I’d just become used to the ups and massive downs. It truly goes to show everyone has their own personal battles and one should always be kind and practise that kindness every day and with everyone.

      Reply

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