It was 18 years ago, and I had hit bottom. Paralyzed by depression, ridden with guilt over being unable to get out of it and suffering high anxiety because of the guilt, I told my counselor that I really didn't know what to do. Over the years I'd developed a slew of tricks to get myself moving again - but this time they'd all failed. I was in trouble at work, too. She asked me if I thought it was time to try antidepressant medication, and I nearly cried.
So off I went to the doctor, who prescribed Prozac and told me to come back in two weeks. Nothing much happened, though the morning of my follow-up appointment I had a moderate panic attack. Told the doctor this, and he prescribed Xanax in case that happened again. The following week, Prozac kicked in.
It was awesome.
I went from being racked with the inability to make even simple decisions, paralyzed, anxious and guilty, to confident and smiling. Prioritize tasks? NO problem. My entire demeanor changed. When I walked, I looked ahead, not at my feet. I could handle disagreements that cropped up. At another follow-up, the doctor called me "the poster child for Prozac."
I thought this was the way normal people felt all the time - and it was something I'd never felt before. I'd never heard of hypomania, anyway.
It lasted a full year, but then, gradually, the Prozac effect lessened. I also started gaining weight again around that time - 20 pounds in two years. (Prozac was new then, and nobody knew the long-term effects on weight.)
Eventually Prozac stopped working altogether, but for that first year - oh lordy, it was wonderful!
But - I still don't know how normal people feel.
Published On: May 29, 2012
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