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“Keely, I’m not going to prescribe you any medications. It would be unethical for me to do so. You need to stop looking for the ‘right’ med & instead focus on changing your life.”

There it is: my key to liberation. Right out of the mouth of a psychiatrist…who’s refusing to write me a prescription for new antidepressants.

Earlier this week, I shared about my experience during a typical med change: in June 2014, I spent part of each work day hiding in the bathroom, crying & dry heaving as a result of side effects from my new medication.

I was trying a new medication because my old ones didn’t work. They left me with plenty of undesirable side effects, but no real benefits. For better or worse, that was my story: despite 6 years of trying to find something that worked, antidepressants never did much for me.

And, although I didn’t know it at the time, I wasn’t alone in my conundrum. Depending on which studies you read, antidepressants do not work for 30-50% of people who take them.

Depressing, eh?

Except…not really.

Here’s what I think is actually depressing: believing that the only way you’ll get better is if you finally find the right antidepressant…without anyone acknowledging that antidepressants might not be the right solution for you.

This is my entire philosophy about mental health: we get well when we become empowered to pursue the solutions that work for our unique circumstances.

There is no one size fits all solution for wellness. There never has been & there never will be.

If meds work for you, great. If meds don’t work for you, try something else.

That, to me, is the real key to liberation. And it’s exactly the one my psychiatrist offered me.

He wrote me the permission slip that I didn’t realize I was waiting for. And I’m grateful on a daily basis that my past self acted on it, because, thanks to pursuing alternate solutions & discontinuing antidepressants, I’ve now lived in depression recovery for years.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This story isn’t about stopping meds. That by itself isn’t even remotely a solution. This story is about becoming empowered to pursue the solutions that work for your unique circumstances. Never stop any psychiatric medication without professional help; they are serious medications & need to be treated as such. I personally took months to wean off my medications because the withdrawal period was very intense for me. If you believe you might need something other than antidepressants to treat your depression, I recommend starting your journey by reading Dr. Kelly Brogan’s “A Mind of Your Own.”