Yesterday I picked up my medication at the pharmacist, and my husband and I continued our research into possible side effects of Citalopram, the pill I was prescribed. He’s been looking at the physical side of things, while I’ve been looking at how people report feeling and any biases against them by others they may experience. For example, I read that some people feel ashamed that they’ve needed to turn to medication to help treat their problems. But why should I feel ashamed over my depression and anxiety? Would becoming an alcoholic be more traditional? Would that be more acceptable, as a writer
James Joyce apparently had a fart and scat fetish, and he’s regarded as a great writer (thanks so much to my husband for that early morning knowledge). I’m pretty sure if that man could have his kinks, my taking pills for depression and anxiety is going to be bland by comparison.
I haven’t read of anyone taking Citalopram reporting that they’ve lost their creativity (this seems to be a more common complaint amongst those who have bi-polar disorder and are taking different medications), but I do see some complaining about having vivid dreams. I’m already having those (I dream entire books) and I’m not even taking the medication, so I doubt I’ll see any changes there.
The most dramatic of the side-effects, at least according to a vocal minority, is that it may cause you to gain weight…or lose it? This suggests to me that the weight gain/loss has almost nothing to do with the drug itself and more to do with how the person handles their depression: if they eat when they’re sad, they’ll likely stop eating so much and lose weight, but if they don’t eat when they’re sad they’ll probably start to eat more and gain weight. What alarmed me much more were people’s reactions to the possibility of gaining weight.
“I’d rather be depressed and suicidal,” they said, “than risk getting fat.”
Really? Suicide is preferential to being fat? You’d rather wake up every morning and think about slitting your wrists than get stretch marks or go up a few sizes? You’d rather spend all day in bed, sobbing into your pillows and convinced no one has ever truly loved you, than no longer be considered “a 10” in the eyes of some orange buffoon?
Now, I realize that as a fat woman I’m biased, and I certainly have no right to tell you what your priorities should be in life, but damn, I reject this so hard. I LOVE life. I wouldn’t miss a hot cocoa on a cold day, a good book, a hug from a friend, or a new plant discovery for anything in the world, and certainly not because of a few pounds.
What is it about being fat that makes you think suicide is preferable?
Do you think you’ll never find love? I found and married my husband when I was at my heaviest. Do you think you won’t have any friends? I know more wonderful people now than I ever have. Do you think you won’t look good? Honey, you’re always going to be ugly to someone and beautiful to a million more. Is it the health risks? Sweetness, you can lose the weight, but this depression is going to kill you (faster than fat if you have a gun on hand) and it isn’t going to go away on its own.
I’ve never been inclined towards thoughts of suicide, and I love life a great deal, so again, I’m probably biased. But I think if you care enough about your life to go to a doctor, then you should care more about your life than to base its value off something arbitrary like your looks (which, let’s be honest, aren’t going to last anyways). Don’t live for the number on a scale, love, live for the difference you can make in the world and the simple joys that come to you.