health and wellness, Treatment for depression

My first visit with a psychiatrist

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What is a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are physicians who treat people with mental illnesses. These illnesses include major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. They may prescribe medication or special treatments that are beneficial to their patients. My first visit I didn’t know what to expect. I thought that you are supposed to tell the doctor all your problems and they would have a solution as to how to overcome difficult situations. The doctor prescribed Prozac and I had to be monitored because I was a teenager and it is sometimes risky for teens to be taking antidepressants.

The effects of antidepressants

After a few weeks of taking Prozac I felt like a zombie. I didn’t feel immediate relief, but this is how many antidepressants work on people. It can take some time to get the right medication combinations before relief is felt. I lost weight and I didn’t mind this, but I experienced a few traumatic events in a short period of time and I’m not quite sure that any medicine would lessen the pain that these events caused. I appreciated the kindness that the doctor showed me, and I trusted his judgement. When I told him of my symptoms he weaned me off Prozac and prescribed Paxil to me. This pill worked better than the Prozac; I went to counselling sessions and took the medicine which was helpful at the time. More side effects of the medicine upset me, so I was prescribed Zoloft.

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Getting used to the fact I need medication

After years of going on and off medication I have reached a point where I have needed antidepressants for a few years. It has been a matter of finding the right medication with minimal side effects. The funny thing is that some of these medicines have side effects that are like depression. It is a little bewildering that some antidepressants can intensify suicidal ideation. Some of these medicines made me tired and one altered my menstrual cycle. Once I tried St. John’s Wort for a little bit, but it didn’t work for me. I didn’t think that depression would be a life long ordeal that needs to be tended to every day; I don’t like taking the medicine, but I know I need it.

Regular appointments with my psychiatrist

For the past few years I have had mornings where I wake up in despair thinking about suicide. I have needed to see my doctor monthly for quite some time. The past few months have been much better in terms of thinking about suicide the moment I awake but I continue to go every month. It is a little frustrating that all my symptoms have not been alleviated no matter how hard I try to do everything I know how to do to combat depression.

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