My Life On Antidepressants1 min read

Model and writer Sydney Lima had hoped antidepressants would relieve her anxiety, but the reality was somewhat different. Here, she tells Vogue of her experience, and why so many people struggle both on and coming off antidepressants.

telling him I wanted to die. Convulsing through panic attacks, he found me hiding down the back of an alley, trying to keep out of sight. I hadn’t felt “good” in a long time and had hit the peak of a snowballing problem with anxiety. I was drinking a lot, unable to hold down any job due to a sporadic approach to attendance, the only consistency in my life being a maxed-out overdraft.

When I no longer felt I could laugh off the devastation around me, I tried to explain the all-encompassing fear I had been experiencing to a friend, responding to a “Wubu2” with a “TBH bit anxious ATM”. She replied: “Just go to the doctor, I had exam anxiety and they gave me some Citalopram. It really helps.”

Citalopram is one of a group of relatively new forms of antidepressant, collectively known as SSRIs or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. They are most commonly prescribed to treat depression and anxiety disorders and work by increasing levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which is thought to affect mood and social behaviour.

The ease in which my friend had received SSRIs for short-term exam anxiety shocked me. Five years previously, after having my depression assessed, answering yes or no to a flimsy list of questions, my GP concluded I suffered from moderate depression, but no drugs were offered…..

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