Taking drugs to relieve depression can be very helpful and positive for some, but for others it's a different story. Helen Ogden interviews three people who had very different experiences of taking antidepressants.
"I have suffered depression for most of my life. My doctor suggested medication but I really thought people who used meds were weak. As time went on my depression began to affect my relationships. I felt unexplainably sad and hopeless all the time and had horrible mood swings. I've been on antidepressants for two years now and it took me a while to accept that my need for them didn't make me weak but rather made me strong. I had a chemical imbalance, a sickness and since taking them I know how to be rational, something I didn't have for years. I'm not ashamed of myself now and know how to deal with my emotions in a productive manner."
"I suppose they (antidepressants) have their uses but when I was depressed what I really needed was to talk to someone who understood my problems and offer me some support. Unfortunately psychiatrists don't do that anymore because they think pills are the best way to relieve stress. There was some relief with the pills but my cure didn't happen until I made myself stronger. The pills helped a little but not enough. The only way to relieve depression is by finding the inner resources to crawl out of it."
"I took antidepressants over two years ago and I can honestly say I would never take them again. My doctor prescribed them because I was showing symptoms of depression. I felt useless, guilty and I was suffering mood swings all the time. I was so afraid to tell my parents because I was in denial about my illness and I was crying all the time about nothing, or so I thought. Taking antidepressants seemed like a good idea to me because there was nothing else I could do and I went blindly into it. When I started taking the pills I had terrible insomnia and sickness.
The horrible part was that it took me almost eight months to get off them. I couldn't wean myself off them too soon because I suffered spasms and withdrawal symptoms and I went back to my doctor who told me she could put me on another type or I'd have go cold turkey until I was free of them. So I went cold turkey for three weeks. It was then that I realised what I'd done was a mistake and I'd wasted eight months on the tablets. It took me a while but I managed to recover and haven't taken any since. My depression is still there in the background but I would think seriously about taking antidepressants again to help it."