Nothing can change the person you are except you. Life’s challenges mold you into the person you are, medications help you with illnesses, and friends influence you, but only you can change your personality. Some believe once you are put on antidepressants and antipsychotic medications you will become a totally different person and you would also become a zombie, but that is untrue. The question you must discover is what do antidepressant and antipsychotic medications do?
In “How Antidepressants Work in the Brain,” Rebecca Gillaspy writes,(https://study.com/academy/lesson/how-antidepressants-work-in-the-brain.html) “Generally, antidepressants work by increasing the concentration of certain neurotransmitters within the brain, which, in turn, improves mood. While there are different types of antidepressants, each one works to manipulate one or more of the brain’s neurotransmitters.” In other words, antidepressants work with the brain to help ease the symptoms of your illness and help your mood so you can work hard at reaching recovery. Antipsychotics also work with neurotransmitters that help ease symptoms of such illnesses like bipolar.
In other words, they aren’t personality–altering drugs. They do not change the person God made you to be inside. They don’t change you from being a kind–hearted person to a mean and hateful person. I’ve been on antidepressants for many years and I am the same kind, caring, and loving person I have always been. When I was ill, I lost track of who I was and my moods made me sad and angry, but deep down, beyond my illness I was still the same person. Antidepressants helped bring me out of hiding. It brought who I was out from behind the dark cloud and helped me fight harder. They helped me climb the walls of my hole.
When I was placed in a mental health hospital, I had a roommate who talked little and walked the halls like a zombie. It frightened me. When she wasn’t walking, she was sleeping. It was like there was nothing left inside her. She seemed like an empty shell just existing. In the hospital we each met with a psychiatrist who managed our medication and decided on the proper medications. The more my roommate saw the psychiatrist the more she came alive. I soon learned she had been over–medicated. Too much medication made it impossible for her to function.
I saw my roommate later at a mental health support group outside of the hospital and she was full of life. Her psychiatrist was keeping her at a proper level of antidepressants that the symptoms of her illness could be treated and she could live a normal life. She was no longer a zombie. Instead she was working hard towards recovery.
One time I was put on an antidepressant that made me feel like I was sleep walking. I couldn’t do anything without taking a long nap. Work, social activities, housework, and so on became too exhausting to do. I went on a trip with my husband and I spent most of it sleeping. When I told my psychiatrist, he took me off that antidepressant right away. Once he started me on a new medication, I started to live again.
Antidepressants don’t change your personality, but instead part the clouds of your illness to let the true you shine. They give you that extra strength you need to climb up out of your hole to recovery. For what medication can’t take care of, therapy and hard work will take you the rest of the way to the light. If you start sleeping a lot and begin feeling like a zombie, tell someone, because you’re either on too much antidepressant or on the wrong one. You should be able to function better on medication. You may not be a hundred percent yourself, but enough of yourself that you can start working on the things that are holding you back. Remember, recovery can be reached by a combination of medication and therapy.
Antidepressants and therapy helped me climb up out of the hole of sadness and reach the light. I am still me even on medication. Nothing will ever change the person I am inside. I may have to be on antidepressants the rest of my life, but I am standing tall in the light.