If you’re on antidepressants, chances are, the person you’re dating will find out. (If they don’t, then you’re really good about keeping a secret, and maybe they should be worrying about something else.) Maybe it’s not a big deal, and maybe your partner is even on medication. But for some women, this discovery can become a pivotal point in the relationship. As someone who has been on antidepressants for more than half of my life, I’ve dealt with this confrontation on several occasions. Some of the men I’ve dated have appeared to not care, or just didn’t feel like delving into the emotional side of why (that’s fine—not like I enjoy explaining these things). Others have suddenly looked at me differently, as if the confident, charismatic woman I am didn’t come from within, but from a pill.Even in a society that’s become more and more accepting of mood-stabilizing meds (and recently, even questioning if they do jack), they can become game-changers in relationships. Several of my female friends have identified with this, in the most extreme cases citing “freak outs” from their boyfriends, or new behavior in which they were treated as “fragile,” or the treatment of smaller issues as much larger because of her “questionable emotional health and issues.”
In some instances, uncomfortable moments have come about simply from ignorance or a lack of understanding. Says one 20-something female friend:
“After three weeks of dating someone, he saw me take my meds, Wellbutrin, in the morning—two pills from two separate bottles. The bathroom door was open; I wasn’t trying to hide anything. As I was swallowing, he said in a scared and worried voice, ‘Wow … you take a lot of pills.’ I replied, ‘No. I take one medication, two capsules that have different doses.’ He seemed relieved, although, who really knows.”
On the other hand, I’ve also heard stories of discovering a common ground and understanding with partners, and even in some circumstances, reaching a new level of trust.
So we want to know—both from men and women—how/if antidepressants change your relationships or conceptions about the person on them. Have you ever been with someone who has said outright: “Sorry, I can’t date a girl/guy on antidepressants”? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.