“A month without Prozac” by Joseph Vasquez

I could wrap up this entry with two words: “It’s hell” I deal with anxiety, thankfully, it has not been unbearable, but it can make life difficult. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I knew it was an issue that was affecting my well-being. Two years ago, during my annual exam, I told my Doctor what’s been going on, and he recommended Prozac; Fluoxetine 20 mg, to be exact. He told me about the possible side effects, and also all of the symptoms that the drug treats. He told me that I will not notice a difference for two or three weeks. I started to feel better that day, just because I finally sought out help.

I read over the paperwork that came with the prescription, there were at least ten full pages. I was nervous, but I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of getting better. I prayed over it, like I do most things, and within a couple of weeks, I noticed I felt better. I had one side effect, and it was something that I didn’t see listed, I started having the most vivid dreams, being a writer, this is actually a good problem to have, so I did not mind this at all.

I took my pill every morning, and I was pleased with the results, it’s not a magic pill that takes all problems away, but it does help. I was to the point where I started skipping days, I did not feel any changes, and my Doctor told me that this medicine will not cause withdraws.

I lost my health coverage for around two months, and I had eight pills left. I thought since I was losing coverage that I could not fill the prescription anymore, so I did not take a pill until I knew I could get more. Weeks one and two felt just like any other time while I was taking the pill, week three was rough, week four, I called my ex-provider to see what we can do, thankfully, they told me that I can still get the prescription, I would just have to pay full price, I did not mind at all.

I’m back on schedule, and I’m getting back on track. I decided to do something about my problem. Far too many people that have invisible diseases suffer in silence, maybe it’s shame, maybe it’s a lack of understanding, whatever the case, there’s help, for me, that help comes in a pill.

Let’s erase the stigma of mental health issues, let’s provide an open environment that encourages overall well being.

I live in beautiful, sunny Southern California, the longest I’ve gone without a dog is two weeks, and I’m going to write until I can’t anymore.

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