30 Till 30 | Anti-Depressants are So Not a Big Deal

Jason Credo
4 min readJan 9, 2023

I am unwell, and that is okay.

Press play and enjoy today’s post:

10mg of Buspar, twice a day and 150mg of Wellbutrin, once a day.

That is my magic cocktail—one that took me two years, several breakdowns, and five attempts of trial and error to discover. People love to romanticize how much therapy helps them with their mental health, and I am absolutely one of them. But for too long, I owned the mindset that “because I was in therapy, I didn’t need any other kind of help.” Don’t get me wrong, therapy is a powerful tool; one that gives us the legend to the roadmap of our brains and allows us to dive far deeper than people who aren’t in therapy. But for some people (maybe most people), therapy just isn’t enough; and it is in our perpetuation of the idea that “therapy is all you need” that we begin to see people claim that “therapy isn’t helping.”

Let’ also address that taking medication for our mental health is shrouded in so much stigma. It’s associated with a “mental ward” or “insanity” or any other off-color depiction of mental illness in a horror movie from the 1980’s. For so many generations, taking medication (and even going to therapy) is something you just don’t do, and if you do, you don’t announce and hope that you can manage on you’re own. It’s a last resort. I was in the same boat for a while! “Oh, I don’t need medications! I’m not THAT depressed.”

It wasn’t until a terrible night during quarantine that I even bothered to consider reaching out to my PCP. I had trouble sleeping through all of 2020, as most of us experienced. But one night I became fixated on the thought that “all my friends hate me and they’re going to abandon me in the middle of quarantine.” An unfounded and outrageous claim from my depression, but a strong one nonetheless. I called my friend Shawn and expressed how much I love him and how heavy the thought sat in my head.

That’s when he pointed out the pattern. Each month the same pattern—a really good week, followed by two very bad weeks, and ending with a week of malaise and ennui. When I lingered on the revelation, I realized that it had been going on for months, long before 2020 even happened. I knew that I had to dig deeper and put in more work to parse out the detritus of my brain—I knew that I had to reach out to my doctor.

Initially, we started me off on Zoloft, an SSRI that was “what [he] started all his patients on” to help deal with depression. Flash forward one year, and you would be able to find me on the couch emotionless (and experiencing bouts of anorgasmia, but I won’t go into that because this is a family blog).

“Oh, I would usually cry at this part in the movie,” I said one night to my cat at the end of Blue Valentine. The medication had overcorrected my emotions—why feel all of them in extreme doses when you can feel nothing. Thus began another leg of my mental health journey of: testing a new medication, waiting on a month, realizing it’s bad, trying another medication, waiting a month, adjusting the dosage, waiting a month, then hoping and praying that you don’t have to live in this vicious cycle forever. I don’t mean to gloss over that, but so much of my experience was repetitive and waiting for something to kick in only to realize that it just didn’t work! And that’s the reality of it—sometimes it won’t work, but you have to hold on to the idea that you will come across something that will.

10mg of Buspar, twice a day and 150mg of Wellbutrin, once a day.

An anti-anxiety medication and an NDRI. Two small pills, and suddenly the world feels less scary; suddenly, life is easy to grasp. But my story is just one experience of millions and I cannot stress this enough: everybody and every body is different. What worked for me may not work for you and what didn’t work for you might. What I can say is, if you’ve tried everything else, if you’ve put in all the work you can to deal with your mental health and medication is a box you’ve not yet checked off—please consider it.

If you do, it will take time. It will feel like nothing is working. But one day, you’ll wake up and realize that “anti-depressants are so not a big deal.”

Jason holding up a bottle of Wellbutrin and a bottle of BuSpar
Take care of yourself!

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Jason Credo

Consistent lover of the first acts of most musicals and someone who has been keeping his draft for a novel alive for the last year and a half. Enjoy my musings.