How I Reached Clarity In My Confusing Relationship With Antidepressants


My world, my words

I was depressed for a little over a decade before I sought treatment. It took a broken heart—a real broken heart—to lose my desire to do pretty much anything other than go through the motions after I'd pulled myself out of bed. I was a junior in college.

Up until my breaking point, I had grown accustomed to sadness, anger, and worry. The heaviness I felt and the overall sense of being "over it," often before anything began, was my norm. I knew it wasn't normal, per se, but I was doing really well and excelling. I appeared fine—fabulous, even—but I knew that at any moment, something or someone could send me reeling.

Pride is my hamartia and failure is my worst fear. They're a bold cocktail when mixed together, turning you into your own worst enemy and critic. Talking about my depression and seeking help was failure in my eyes. I knew I couldn't shake off whatever down feeling I experienced, so I worked on managing to live with it. 

We all know what happens after we internalize enough emotions, right? Nothing good. Eventually, and luckily, I found a psychologist through my university's wellness center, walked my ass up to see them, and described my history of depressive moments and suicidal thoughts, soon enough leaving with a prescription which I filled en route to class.

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an interesting drug. Consistency, I've learned, is the key to seeing any results with antidepressants. Although a lot of people say antidepressants numb them, that's not how the drugs function; they really just level you out and work to keep you from slipping too far into the sad. The rest, like happiness and all that fun stuff, is up to you to find and make. Sometimes, though, one drug may not work as well as another for you, or even two combined. 

"Often 'works' means reduced, rather than eliminated, symptoms," Omar Manejwala, M.D., of Catasys, says. With that in mind, Dr. Manejwala advises trying multiple forms of treatment before settling on one. This is a tip I didn't know until recently because (a) my pride (hi, again) told me one drug was enough and (b) I just don't like going to the doctor's office. But guess what? Turns out going to the doctor actually helps, especially when you're open and honest about how you're really feeling. Crazy! Now, with two prescriptions—Wellbutrin and a new SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)—that heaviness doesn't just feel neutralized, but a little lifted. 

"Again," author and doctor Scott Carroll says, "Antidepressants only work when you take them. They do not cure anything." 

Antidepressants are building blocks. They're the foundation for many depressed people's efforts to manage the disease. Both doctors Carroll and Manejwala speak highly of therapy as a complementary means of treatment. It's a safe outlet to talk about your feelings with an objective person. But it's also important to involve people in your regular life with your recovery because your friends often play a major role in treating depression. "People suffering from depression or anxiety need to make an extra effort get out and socialize," Dr. Will Courtenay tells me as "social support is strongly linked with improved mental health and decreased stress." From there, antidepressants can be seen as platforms for positive thinking rather than a crutch. You do not rely on antidepressants, you use them proactively. 

Dr. Manejwala says, "Depression is a treatable condition, but sadly, the vast majority of people with depression will not get help because of shame, stigma, not having access to treatment, not getting the right treatment, not believing that they have a condition or a sense of hopelessness that is often a symptom of the disease itself. But with the right help and support, most people with depression can recover and live happy, productive lives." Step one is, of course, accepting you're depressed. It gets better from there. I promise. And no, that's not just my pills talking.

Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Which one, though?

Kim Kardashian is suing fast fashion retailer Missguided, claiming that the brand uses her image to spark interest in and sell its clothing. This lawsuit comes a few days after a theory, that she may be selling her own vintage clothing designs to fast fashion brands so that they can rip them off, made its rounds on the internet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kardashian's attorney Michael Kump writes that "Missguided systematically uses the names and images of Kardashian and other celebrities to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing." Other celebrities that the brand has tagged on its Instagram include Cardi B and Dua Lipa, along with the other members of the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Kump uses the example of the Yeezy dress that Kim posted to Instagram, which was ripped off by the brand within a couple of hours. "Recently, for example, after Kardashian posted a photo on Instagram of a dress that was made for her... Missguided quickly responded with its own Instagram post... boasting that it would be ripping off the design within 'a few days,'" Kump continues. "Missguided purposefully inserted Kardashian's Instagram username (@KimKardashian) into its post to capitalize on her celebrity status and social media following in promoting the sale of its upcoming product."

Kump also draws attention to the fact that the brand uses Kardashian's name so much that it may lead others to believe that she works with the brand, which, he wants to make clear, she does not: "Missguided's U.S. website has included entire pages that are devoted solely to the sale of clothing inspired by Kardashian, and on which Kardashian's name and likeness are prominently used without her permission to promote the products."

Some are noting that it's suspicious that Kardashian is not suing Fashion Nova, as well, since the brand most recently ripped off a vintage Mugler gown that Kardashian wore. Though it may be harder for Kardashian to make any claims since timestamps have revealed that the dress was made before Kardashian premiered the dress.



Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

He previously claimed to be a victim of a hate crime

According to reports, actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested by the Chicago Police Department. As CNN outlines, he's facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report. If found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.

The Empire star previously claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime on January 29. He alleged that two masked men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and yelled, "This is MAGA country!" Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo were eventually arrested and brought in for questioning, during which news broke that one appeared on Empire and the other worked as Smollett's personal trainer. Now, according to both men and reports, it's being said that Smollett paid them to "orchestrate" the attack.

Smollett's attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, have issued a statement regarding their client's defense. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," they told Deadline. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If this is all true, this unfortunate turn of events should in no way take away from the fact that there is an abundant number of racially and sexually motivated attacks happening all of the time. They also still remain vastly underreported, so it's essential to listen to alleged victims, always.