A to Z Challenge | H is for Happy Pills 11

Day 8 of my mental health themed A to Z Challenge is H for Happy Pills aka antidepressants.



I have been taking antidepressants for 6 years. I’m currently taking 150mg of Sertraline. The dose has varied depending on what’s going on with life, it has been low as 50mg.

I resisted taking antidepressants for a very long time. I had a breakdown at university in 2008. A doctor prescribed some diazepam as a short term measure. Even after I had got the prescription I only took them because I couldn’t stop crying. I felt awful on them. I felt like a zombie, I didn’t feel any emotion, happy or sad.

It wasn’t until 2011 that I explored taking medication again. I was doing a Masters and experienced another crisis of confidence and extreme low mood. To be honest, the counsellor I was seeing at the time was pretty rubbish but he and the doctor recommended that I try antidepressants to lift me out of the dark, dark place I was in.

As I’m becoming more open and honest with myself about mental health I’m becoming more confident about the fact that I take antidepressants. I call them my happy pills! I even made myself a happy pills bag to keep them in.

Recently I’ve been reflecting on my medication. The counsellor I saw last year suggested that if the Sertraline was working I wouldn’t be as up and down as I am. I need to really think and reflect on my mental health and be open and honest with a doctor. I need to be open about how I feel and what antidepressants can do for me. But to be honest, that terrifies me. I’m super scared of changing the status quo. I have no side effects. Yes I’m up and down but generally I am more up or middle than down. I’m scared of that changing. I’m scared of being always down.

Thankyou for reading,


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11 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge | H is for Happy Pills

  • beetleypete

    After an awful year in 2016, for many reasons, my wife was prescribed Sertraline. It restored her stability, and made her feel like herself again. Like you, no side effects, and she is happy to continue with them. I do notice she tends to get anxious when she is running low on the tablets though, and she mentions that she must get more soon. But she says she is not aware of that.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • LaurenEph Post author

      Thanks for sharing Pete. I’m exactly the same as Julie, I do get anxious if it’s coming up to the time that my prescription is due. Even if I’m not consciously worrying about it I feel more stressed around that time. Now the pharmacy reorders for me so I don’t have to remember to hand the form in but I do have to trust them to put it in, and there have been times I’ve had to phone them up to say oi! I now have a 2 month prescription which helps with the stress. Perhaps your wife might be able to do that? X

      • LaurenEph Post author

        Is your wife’s name Julie? Somehow I thought it was but then realised you hadn’t put her name in this comment! I apologise if I’ve remembered that wrongly!

      • beetleypete

        She has now managed to set up an online repeat system with our surgery. Because of her Diabetes medication, it is important for her not to forget her prescriptions. I generally collect them for her.
        Best wishes, Pete.

  • Ann

    That’s good advice about being open with your doctor about how the medicine is or isn’t working. Adjustments can always be done to fit where you are mentally and how your body is reacting to the various dosages.

  • lorigg

    I have heard that Sertraline helps reduce the lows but can push a person toward the highs. Sometimes it can be stabilized with a lower dose, other times it needs to be used in conjunction with something else. It is definitely something to talk with your care team about.

  • ann bennett

    It is a fact that depression is a disorder like diabetes. The more treatment becomes viable for more, the less shame there will be associated with it. I did not inherit mental illness. However, schizophrenia runs in my family. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed of my diabetes. It’s called being human. And if there is a medicine to help, why wouldn’t you use it. I don’t like people being told to pull themselves out of depression. You wouldn’t tell someone to stop that dang cancer.

    Hey, It’s Ann visiting from A to Z So Much to Choose From and
    Science Ladybug

    • LaurenEph Post author

      Thankyou Ann, it’s something I’m coming round to. The more I accept it, the easier it is for me to open about it.