Explore Coverage

Living Maxwell

Personal

Was Taking Antidepressants in College The Right Decision at the Time?

This is a very complex question that my father and I discuss from time to time. He insists that it was the right decision for me to go on it and doesn’t regret it at all. He also thinks I should never have gone off antidepressants when I did in 2001.  He and my mother were adamantly against this decision.

For me, the question of whether going on antidepressants was the right decision brings up many thoughts and additional questions.

* As I talked about in my last post related to this subject, there were tremendous and disastrous repercussions for going on Prozac. There is no doubt about it.

* Was I emotionally and spiritually strong enough to persevere through those dark times during college? Spiritually, I’d say no. Emotionally, I’m not sure. From what I remember, I was struggling in a major way and I didn’t see much hope in it getting better.

Would my grades have suffered? Would I have fallen into a much bigger hole that I couldn’t have gotten out of?

Would I have made it through my junior year and eventually have graduated? My sense is “yes”. Yet, but it would have been filled with a lot of pain and not easy at all. My college experience might have been dreadful.

* Would I have enjoyed the same level of success during college and after college?

While on antidepressants, I finished college without much of a problem. My strong friendships remained intact and grew. My grades were good.

From a professional perspective post-college, there is no doubt that my career was much better and my earnings were much higher when I was on antidepressants. My 20s (when I was on medication), versus my 30s (when I was off medication), were much more successful.

To be fair, however, in my 30s I was dealing with massive amounts of emotional trauma in recuperating from the 11 years of antidepressants. I was totally unprepared for this all and it took years for me to pull it together. The fact that I didn’t take my life is a major accomplishment. And, it was during these times that I learned how to be resilient.

* Would I have gotten to know myself and understood who I was at a much earlier age had I not gone on antidepressants? The answer is a definitive “yes”. Prozac prevented all this from happening.

This introspection and truly getting to know myself did not start happen until my 30s. Antidepressants severely stunted my emotional growth and development as an individual. This is without question.

—–

Professionally, I achieved much more when I was on antidepressants than when I haven’t been on the drugs, and unfortunately, it comes into play when I think about the decision I made when I was in college. When on medication, I had some great jobs and progressed a lot in my career. My 30s and 40s have not been good, from a professional perspective.

Nevertheless, going on antidepressants was the wrong decision. It did not allow me to learn who I was and develop that all-so-important resiliency. Being able to persevere and pick yourself up when things are tough is one of the most important skills that you can have. And, Prozac prevented me from developing this skill. Had I learned it during college, maybe I would have had an even greater level of professional success in my 20s, 30s and 40s.

Looking back and having a “what if” discussion is great for a blog post but it is not reality. What is reality is what is going on at this very moment. I went on Prozac in college, went off of it 11 years later and am here today. I can’t change the past.

The other thing that figures into this discussion is this. I truly believe that the reason I am here (my purpose in life) is to share my story about antidepressants with other people. And, this is something that I am very clear about. Very.

A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

Go deeper

Living Maxwell

Personal

My Morning Meditation and Visualization

I learned how to meditate in college when I took a Transcendental Meditation class and have maintained a very serious practice over the past 11 years.

For some reason, I don’t remember doing it that consistently in the 90s. Most likely, it was the hard-partying lifestyle that got in the way.

Anyhow, my meditation practice is something that I cannot live without. It calms me down, centers me and gets me more focused. Nothing makes me more relaxed or present.

So, when I get up in the morning I sit and meditate for 20 minutes. The meditation is Transcendental Meditation, which uses a mantra as a way to keep the mind from wandering.

And after I finish meditating, I do something called Creating My Day.

Go deeper Arrow

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Personal

How Organic Food Played a Crucial Role in My Decision to Quit 11 Years of Antidepressants

In the summer of 2001 and at the urging of my then-girlfriend, I went for an appointment to go see her naturopathic doctor in New York City, the place where we were both living at the time.

Having done acupuncture since high school, I had always been open to alternative medicine and was curious what this woman could do for me.

During our session, she asked me about all of my health and dietary habits – eating, drinking, smoking, drugs, exercise. Everything. In the midst of this conversation, the topic of organic food somehow arose. I remember that I had some notion about what organic food was but wasn’t overly familiar with it.

Go deeper Arrow

Living Maxwell

Personal

The Struggles I Faced in College and How I Handled Them

As I wrote about the other day, it was during college when I went on antidepressants. Each day was getting harder than the next. The sky was growing darker and darker. It was a major struggle just to survive.

I was overwhelmed with a variety of responsibilities — school work, in which I seemed to be drowning; the tennis team, which occupied several hours of my time per day, not including constant traveling to other schools for matches and tournaments; and my fraternity, something in which I was very actively involved.

With my voice becoming more heavy during each phone conversation, my parents suggested that I go visit a local psychiatrist to see if he could help. More specifically, they thought that antidepressants were the answer. After a brief chat with the doctor, he diagnosed me with a mild case of depression and believed that Prozac would indeed improve my situation.

Go deeper Arrow
livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink