I’m not a person who is a stranger to taking medications – I’ve been taking it daily in some form or another since I was around 16. With my current combination, I’ve been going mostly steady for almost 4 years. However, as with most things in life, it’s time for things to change again. 


I’ve hit a point where one specific side effect of my antidepressants is starting to take a greater toll on my life. It has been bugging me for years, but I felt that I could handle it, since the medication works perfectly for my personal combination of mental health struggles. I’m so grateful for the help it’s provided me in finally feeling level-headed, and able to feel other people’s care for me, but I’ve come to see that I shouldn’t give up on finding something better without even trying. 


This decision is scary for me. While I’ve never experienced truly horrendous medication side effects before, I’ve heard many stories from friends and people in my support networks. I’ve always been aware how lucky I was that the first antidepressant I tried seemed almost perfect when other had experienced all sorts of bizarre and awful symptoms.  


On the other hand, I have experienced trying different medications for my other health conditions, and this has often been a source of anxiety in its own right. as I start to obsess over my every thought and feeling, wondering how my body and brain are reacting to the newly introduced meds. It takes weeks for me to calm down and accurately assess the effects of the meds, once the constant hypervigilance has eventually died down. 


I’m proud of myself, for finally speaking up and demanding that my doctors take my side effects seriously. I can be a very passive patient at times, and hate to cause a scene when there isn’t anything drastically wrong. I’m glad that I’ve grown enough to not just accept my life with this annoying deficiency, and that I’m willing to overcome my fears of potential change for the hope of a better, more side-effect-free life. 


This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.

To book your first call visit: https://my.efriend.org.au/preregistration/