My Experience with Medication

I have been married to my husband for 12 years and together for 17. We have two daughters ages 8 and 11. He is a Chief in the Navy and is months away from retirement.
In 2006 when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I began having extreme highs and lows and was quite unstable throughout the later part of my pregnancy. I had shown signs of all this prior but didn’t acknowledge I had any issues. My spouse was also preparing for his IA to Iraq.

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I have been married to my husband for 12 years and together for 17. We have two daughters ages 8 and 11. He is a Chief in the Navy and is months away from retirement.
In 2006 when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I began having extreme highs and lows and was quite unstable throughout the later part of my pregnancy. I had shown signs of all this prior but didn’t acknowledge I had any issues. My spouse was also preparing for his IA to Iraq. My husband demanded I share how I was feeling with my PCM.
My PCM suggested that I get on Zoloft while still pregnant to deal with the emotional rollercoaster. I was reluctant because I worried about the effects it would have on my unborn child, but he allayed my fears. After my daughter was born and my husband deployed, my PCM recommended I stay on Zoloft to combat any postpartum that might occur and also to help me deal with becoming an instant single mother. I stayed on Zoloft and it helped. However, I was undisciplined when it came to medication, so I regularly missed and eventually I weaned myself off the medication. When my spouse returned in 2007, I was completely off medication and it was quite a challenge to reintegrate. Thankfully the Navy offered counseling to those returning from the theater and we attended appointments together. It helped us have productive, mature conversations.
In 2010 I had my second daughter and I also had some medical issues that led to a few surgeries. By the time my second daughter was six months old, I was becoming quite emotionally charged at just about everything. But this time in my life I was quite a bit more aware of myself. I knew it was not normal to be so sensitive and reactive to things and that it wasn’t fair to take it out on my four year old. I sought medical treatment on my own and was able to articulate my self-diagnosis to the psychiatrist who agreed I should return to Zoloft. Since I was experienced with the medication, I already knew the correct dosage for me and didn’t have to deal with the time it takes to get it right. As before, I didn’t work with my doctor to self-wean. I think I came off it in a much better way though. Or perhaps I was just more mature.


In 2017, we were living overseas where employment opportunities were limited. I had been unemployed for two years by then and I was starting to dwell too much in my isolation. I went to my PCM knowing exactly what I wanted – to return to Zoloft. She agreed that I should start on medication but wanted me to do more. She scheduled me with a nurse who helps with short-term solutions. When I met with that nurse, we discussed all the additional baggage that had resulted in me feeling the blues again – weight gain, self-isolation, lack of energy, emotional distance, etc. She prescribed that I make a plan to be more active so that I may have additional solutions to medication. I followed her directions and I did see improvement. I’m not good at maintaining this part of my care though. So I have to intentionally remind myself, if I go for a walk, swim, whatever, I’ll feel better.
Today, I’m still on Zoloft. In 2018, I moved ahead of my family’s PCS for a job. Just like all the other times, a family event was the catalyst for me getting the blues. I am much older now, and definitely more self-aware and logical. I no longer try quick solutions to mask how I’m feeling. I face them and try to use logic to determine how to proceed. I choose medication for stability. However, I am not at a high dose that drowns out my life’s problems. I still feel them and I still have my moments. My husband is currently doing a geobachelor tour and I work in a fairly high-level management position. Juggling my family duties is hard. I consider myself a success when everyone is fed! Basically, I don’t try to accomplish everything anymore.
Written by: –S
Thank you for taking the time to read my guest post.  I am truly thankful for everyone who contributed.
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45 thoughts on “My Experience with Medication”

  1. I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately. It’s like I was fine and then boom outta nowhere everything and everyone started aggravating me lol. I believe after reading this that I’m well over due for some meditation time.

    1. There is nothing wrong with being brutally honest with yourself. I’m saddened this post may have enlightened you to push fwd with pursuing medication, but I’m also glad S May have motivated you towards acknowledgment and treatment!

    2. Sometimes life has it way of saying, “hello, you may want to slow down.” Body clues are definitely an important aspect of treatment, whether professional treatment or personal self-care treatment.

  2. Life can throw you a constant supply of events to get you off course. Sometimes medication is the answer, but it’s not for everyone. We work so hard to take care of others which leaves very little time to keep our own health in check.

    1. Medication isn’t always the answer. However, it helps provide stabilization for those whose symptoms are more intense and prolonged. Sometimes you have to make the choice, medication or continue to suffer.

  3. Medications for our mental still have a stigma attached to them, but I believe as more people talk about their experiences with taking them that stigma will eventually disappear. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    1. Yes, S did a wonderful job of sharing extremely intimate details of her life. Medication for mental health is still a new outlook on treatment as mental health is a young study. The back and forth of medication behind S’s treatment is very courageous on her part.

    1. Yes! -S is extremely courageous thru her words, and her attempt to enlighten others on her acceptance and struggles through medicating her mental health struggles

  4. Thank you for your transparency! I think these topics should be talked about more In our community. So many suffer in silence. We need to let others know that it is ok to seek help when needed.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I love the openness that you have when facing this. The circumstances that you have been through have been so difficult but I love the fact you knew you needed help. There is nothing wrong with seeking help. Love it ❤

  6. I can imagine how hard it would be raising little ones basically on your own. Love this & a good reminder that it’s okay to ask for help!

  7. Wow! I can’t even comprehend what you went through. But for me, I really try to stay away from medications. I know I can’t always avoid it. Great post!

    1. I am thankful for S sharing her story with others, and myself. Yes, medication should be a last resort. However, it is important to distinguish between the “need” and “want” for medication.

  8. I am glad that you sought help when you were feeling down. I agree with you that you do understand your health better as you get older and have different medical experiences. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    1. I am thankful for the author. She allowed me share her story because her and I know, that there are so many others who are suffering in silence. Our ultimate goal is to open the mental health dialogue.

  9. This was such a beautiful piece and I loved your honesty. This article is inspirational for anyone who wishes to step outside of themselves and see the world objectively.

  10. Many of the symptoms described can be attributed to a thyroid problem such as hypothyroidism. I always tell those struggling to run tests first to ensure your thyroid is producing enough TSH and T3 etc. taking traditional medicine without first checking only masks the problems and not address the problem. I have a post on this if you would like to read it, let me know. Best wishes!

    1. Yes. This is true. Thanks for the helpful information. S (the author) was in check with her physical well-being prior to seeking medication. This is a snippet of her journey.

  11. “Basically, I don’t try to accomplish everything anymore.” – THIS! I think it’s a very important move and we should all stop trying to achieve everything in order to feel happier.

  12. It is good when you can incorporate medication for balance because what we read about and see usually is not the picture of balance. We have to do what we must to keep ourselves and family safe and grounded.

  13. Many people don’t think about the mental health aspect of overseas assignments. It’s a huge change and a lot to deal with even if you’ve not had prior mental health issues. Thank you S for bringing mediation. It can be a big help once you find the right one and the right dose. Also, what is it about overseas assignments that cause weight gain?!?!

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