In mid August, I had my first "real" negative episode. I had extreme feelings of guilt, generalized anxiety, specific anxiety about going crazy, depersonalization/derealization, etc. I was able to manage my life somehow and got by without too many people noticing something was wrong. It was severe enough that I started therapy at my college, but was still feeling horrible daily. As soon as I was about to throw in the towel and let a psychiatrist I paired up with prescribe me an antidepressant, I started feeling better. Maybe in part because the episode faded, or maybe in part because the psychologist was really helping. So I got Ativan prescribed instead of an SSRI, to take when the anxiety got particularly bad.
I was feeling normal again for a little over a month, with only little bursts here and there of the old feelings. Last week, however, it all started up again in nearly full throttle. I am not sure what to classify this feeling that comes over me, but I can tell it's not normal me. The fear of losing my sanity is probably the scariest part. I can never stop thinking about how this all must be some "pre" sign to psychosis.. as if somehow I'm going to stop it before it happens by worrying so much about it.
Now as I am contemplating asking a psychiatrist for medication, I am realizing how terrified I am of trying SSRIs. I always get the worst side effects of whatever medication I go on. And as much as I don't want to be one of "those people", I'm scared of having to rely on something to feel normal. I also wonder how I would feel coming off it, if I'll need to rely on it for the rest of my life, etc.
Maybe some of you with experience using antidepressants could give me your experience and quell this fear. When times are really bad, I feel desperate enough to deal with the side effects they may bring me, but as soon as I am feeling normal, I couldn't imagine getting on them and feel very grateful that I could get by without medication.