I was 14 years old when I was first prescribed antidepressants. At the time, I thought it would be a shortcut to happiness — until I experienced the side effects.
For many of my early teenage years, I struggled with depression and anxiety. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, and when I met someone new, I assumed they only saw my faults.
I became desperate for something to bring me out of the fog. So when my doctor first suggested taking antidepressants, I was excited. And they helped a bit. But after several months, I started getting tremors and nausea. If I happened to miss a dose, I was ambushed by physical discomfort.
Over the next few years I tried many different prescriptions, but I wasn’t happy with any of them. I found myself valuing my therapy sessions more. They taught me how stay in control when I was feeling upset. The progress was slow, but the lessons I learned in therapy felt more permanent than a pill.
Depression is different for everyone. But in my experience, meds don’t have to be the first option for kids who are still developing their identities.