The most common question I am asked at speaking engagements and on social media sites is have I considered the long term effects of taking antidepressants. Here’s my answer.

If I don’t see tomorrow, I don’t have to worry about long term effects. Taking daily medication is the reason I am today and the day after and the day after that. Medication is the reason I feel positive, enjoy life and know I am the co-creator of my life giving me the ability to change my life and my attitude when I need to. Without medication, I am depressed, believe life is out to get me, is unfair and if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.

So the question for those of who suffer from any form of depression, is do I want today to be a good one knowing that I may not have as many tomorrows, OR do I want a guarantee of many, many tomorrows but with live those tomorrows with misery and harmful and detrimental thoughts.

A year from now, when my psychiatrist says I can taper off my medication, I will definitely give it all my effort and hope for the best. If, however, I feel myself sliding downhill, thinking of harming myself or chronic anger sets in again, I will opt for medication again. I would rather live 20 years of great, happy, peaceful life that live another 40 years unable to find joy or being mad at everything and everybody. I know what both feel like. I choose to life anger-free. Don’t get me wrong, I continue to seek self-help therapies like meditation, yoga and affirmations. But if they hit and miss without medication, I will choose an anger-free life no matter what that takes. I’ll try acupuncture, exorcism, hypnosis…whatever it takes, but I want what years I have left to be happy and anger-free.

I do realize that daily medications are hard on the body’s organ and that one day my organs might fail. With a positive attitude, knowing I can get through what I need to get through and that my life does not always go the way I want it, I can get through illness, tough times and even early death. With a negative, pessimistic, self-loathing attitude, I will not get through even the mild, trivial times much less the difficult, stressful ones.

Everyone must make their own choice; weigh the pros and cons regarding the difference those medications are making in your life. If medication only makes a small improvement and the side effects are worse than the mental illness, maybe medications are not the best option. In my case, I have very few side effects and they are mild, I can live with them and still be happy. What I can’t live with and still maintain happiness is depression.

Those who suffer from depression need to consider the moment, what is working today, and not what may or may not happen 30 years from now. If you do not conquer depression today, you may not have tomorrow much less 30 years in the future. The choice is yours. I choose the power of now, the current moment, my life this day. Our earthly life is temporary. That’s a guarantee. So I can make whatever life I have left a good, positive, enjoyable one or I can fear what medication might do to me 30 years on when I may only have 20 years left anyway.

Author's Bio: 

Robyn Wheeler was diagnosed with a mild depression known as dysthymic disorder in 2010. After receiving medication that tramatically improved her quality of life and she copes with tough situations, Robyn wrote Born Mad in hopes of helping others with mental illness.