Eight years ago, I started taking antidepressants. I was single and in the thick of a Ph.D. program in theology. The combination of academic stress, a solitary lifestyle, and a spiritually toxic environment sent me spiraling into the worst depression I had experienced since college. Fortunately, I'd gained enough hard-bitten experience with depression over the years to recognize what was happening and seek professional help.

Within a few sessions, my Christian therapist recommended antidepressants. I had never taken them before and was initially resistant, but my depression was so intense that I soon agreed to try them. The results were nothing short of miraculous. Within weeks, my depression had lifted. I no longer felt overwhelmed or that God was nowhere to be found. I was freed from confusion and emotional paralysis to make vital life decisions that led, among other things, to the marriage and family I now have. Antidepressants (combined with counseling) dramatically improved my life. And because my depression is hereditary, my therapist's recommendation that I continue taking them—indefinitely, if necessary—seemed like wise counsel.

I continued with the same regimen for the next six years. But slowly, I began to notice that the medication was affecting me in ways I didn't like. I found myself becoming cavalier and impatient, insensitive and spiritually complacent. The antidepressants kept me feeling good even when I should not have. Like George MacDonald's The Light Princess, I felt as if I were floating through life unaffected, enveloped in a pharmaceutical sphere of emotional impenetrability.

And so, a little over two years ago, I stopped taking antidepressants. I'm grateful for the way they helped me when ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
When You're Depressed Subscriber Access Only
Three questions to ask—five ways to respond.
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickSasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
Ben Sasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
The Nebraska senator wants parents to get serious about shepherding kids into responsible adulthood.
Christianity Today
My Life with Antidepressants
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.