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How I Reached Clarity In My Confusing Relationship With Antidepressants

Culture

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.

Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.

BREAKING: JON SNOW FINALLY APOLOGIZED FOR SEASON 8 youtu.be

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Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL - Official Trailer www.youtube.com

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Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

"I am honored to share this bonding experience with my own daughter"

In a heart-warming Instagram photo, Serena Williams shares the history of hair braiding and the importance of the tradition. The tennis player shared a photo of herself braiding her daughter Olympia Ohanian's hair and spoke about how "honored" she was to be able to "add another generation" to the tradition of the practice.

The photo shows Williams attentively braiding her daughter's hair while Olympia smiles, obviously loving the experience. Williams noted that hair braiding was created by the Himba people in Namibia, Africa, and that "we have been braiding our hair for centuries." "In many African tribes braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe," she continued.

Williams pointed out that braiding is a bonding experience. "People would often take the time to socialize," she wrote. "It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations, and quickly made its way across the world."

Williams closed her post with a sweet message about her daughter, saying that she's "honored to share this bonding experience" with her.

See the post, below.

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