Long time lurker here, first-time poster.
I want to talk to that person who is considering bupropion. Maybe your mental health expert has recommended it to you. Everywhere you look, people talk about all the side effects, the rage issues, all the ways the medication can go wrong.
I want to share one simple phrase that has helped me: "What if it does work out?"
My journey will be familiar to most. A lonely childhood followed by a crisis in my early 30's that threw me into the panic-attack/depression cycle. Unlike so many here, I had the support of a caring wife who held my hand through the panic attacks and took me to the doctor. We got things under control in the usual sequence of events. Benzos, Prozac, psychiatrist, psychologist. I was somewhat better but still fragile.
One day I mentioned my anhedonia to our family doctor, a man I've been seeing for fifteen years. He looked thoughtful and then prescribed me bupropion XL. I spent days researching it, scaring myself with all the side effects and potential issues. What if (insert a thousand overthinking thoughts here)? Sleepless nights and exhausted days, fighting to keep running my business in the middle of everything. And then, a thought popped into my head. "Sure, it could go wrong. What if it doesn't? What if it does work out?"
I will never forget the moment I took my first dose. It was in the parking lot of a Walgreens, on a hot rainy day (this is the tropics - rainy days are stifling hot, not refreshing). I had a life-transforming experience. It's like one of those videos you see of a color-blind person putting on those special glasses. Light is new now. Colors are brighter. Sunsets are beautiful in more than a cerebral way. I can feel. For the first time in my life, I feel! Love. Joy. Peace. Anger. Sadness. Pity.
I never realized till that moment that I had been walking in this desert for a lifetime. Till the crisis, I was able to "fake it till I made it." Outwardly I was a stable, even kind, person. But my heart was dry ashes. It is embarrassing to say that, especially as a person of faith, but I never felt a thing. Ever. Now try confessing that to your wife.
Did the heavens open and a dove descend upon me? Did I retroactively invest in Bitcoin and become a millionaire? No. But life is completely different. Awful days, better days, even the occasional good day. I'm not saying bupropion will have this dramatic of an effect on everyone. Perhaps my chemical imbalance was precisely the one this medication treats. The difference now is that I feel. I'm not acting out the pantomime of my observations of how other people to act in this situation. I'm reacting to my feeling.
"What if it does work out?" What if, just for today, you choose to assume it will work out - whatever it is?