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The Epiphany I Have After Missing a Dose of Antidepressants


Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

A beautiful thing happens when I realize I’ve missed a dose of antidepressants: I realize I’m not “crazy.”

I can have some pretty bad days with depression. Days when I wake up and I’m just feeling heavy and can’t get out of bed. Days when the world seems so dark and nothing has even happened yet. Days when death seems like it would be such a relief. During those days, I wonder, “What is going on with me?”

Sometimes I think, “It’s just a bad day.” But it confuses me. I ask myself, “Why is it this bad?” over and over again. Nothing has happened yet to make me feel like this. But when I realize it’s because I forgot to take my medicine, relief washes over me.

My depression has never had a clear explanation. There’s no concrete moment or event I can point to and say, “There. That’s when it started, that’s why it happened.” And it took me a long time to realize that was OK.

But when I can correlate those feelings to something tangible, like a missed dose of medication, it’s so relieving. Doctors have often told me that missing one dose shouldn’t affect you that much because it builds up over time. But for me, missing one dose is hell.

I remember one day a few months ago; I had completely forgotten to take my medicine the night before and I was feeling so terrible the next day. At first, I couldn’t figure out what it was. I was sitting in my dorm with my roommate and we were listening to music and doing homework. And it just hit me.

Once I realized I didn’t take my antidepressant, I had a verbal epiphany, loudly exclaiming, “Oh!” I then closed my eyes and got up to take it. My roommate asked what I was talking about, and I told her, “I’ve been wondering why I’ve felt so awful today and I just realized I forgot to take my medicine last night.”

It just made so much sense. It’s obviously not rocket science, but it is a clear explanation or reason when I feel like I’m drowning and I don’t know why — and it’s so comforting. So yes, I hate missing doses of my medication, but realizing I’ve missed them makes it a bit easier.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Thinkstock photo via liuzishan