I was recently watching a Ted Talks video for my Human Sexual Behavior college class called Helen Fisher: Why we love, why we cheat. Its a very informative video on a study on the effects of love on the brain. However, what really threw me was the last few minutes of the presentation where Helen Fisher expresses her fears on the increased use of SSRIs medications in the treatment of depression. For those who don’t know what that is, SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. What it does is blocks the communication between of the neurotransmitters, which changes the chemical balance in the brain and results in a mood boost. That being said, SSRIs do not just block Serotonin, other chemicals are also effected such as Dopamine. Dopamine is neurotransmitter that plays a major role in sexual gratification and when someone falls in love. In a nutshell… ability to orgasm, and love. That is worrisome.
I suffer from Major Depression. It is a side effect of a medical disorder I have had since birth. I have been in and out of bouts depression since my early twenties and have been steadily taking antidepressants for the past two years. I do not foresee being able to discontinue using them as I cannot function day to day without them. Now with this new information, I am extremely concerned. I like sex….I like to orgasm.Tell me someone who doesn’t! Also how is this going to effect my relationships?I am recently out of a 4 year relationship, did antidepressants play a role in it not being successful? How strongly does the medication effect my ability to love? I have all of these questions, and no answers. I don’t know what to do. I feel like i’m stuck between a rock and hard place. If any readers have suggestions, I would welcome them.
In a year so much has happened, for the best I must add. I signed up for a drawing class. It was AMAZING! It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made in my adult life. My teacher, Lorna Mulligan was simply inspiring. The class helped re-affirmed for me what I have known for so long about myself, but was too scared to admit. I am an artist. I have been given a gift, the skill of drawing. I must embrace that.
My next challenge on my journey of realization was to figure out what to do with this knowledge and how to implement my skills. I have struggled my entire adult life financially. This has not only affected my life, but it has affected my parents with the constant worry that I don’t have enough to eat, or can’t make my rent that month. It has been a burden for them; I have been a burden for them. This struggle affects the balance of our relationship, and our emotional well-being, particularly mine. Part of my goal is for this to change. That being said, I am aware the life of an artist can be a struggle, and not very lucrative. So I played around with my options, researching careers within the arts that had some stability. I finally came to a decision. I wanted to go back to school to become an art educator.
My first step toward this was to finish what I had started back in the late nineties, my DEC. For those of you who are not familiar with the term DEC, the equivalent in the United States is attending a junior or community college, earning an Associates Degree. Those who are aware of the Canadian education system might be wondering why as person over the age of twenty-one didn’t go directly to university as a mature student? That is a very logical question. I came to the decision to complete my DEC simply due to the amount of time it had been since my last time in school. Eleven years. I decided to take baby steps. I am now in my last semester of CEGEP. I graduate this May. After 16 years I will finally attain my DEC. My next step will be university.
This past March, I applied to Concordia University with Art Education as my 1st choice, Studio Arts as my 2nd and Art History-Studio Arts as my 3rd. I had to prepare and submit a 20 piece portfolio using a variety of mediums. My sister came by the week before and helped me make the selections that I had been collecting for the past year. I am very grateful that she was there to help. I don’t know if it was due to her help or not but I was accepted. INTO ART EDUCATION! I am totally amazed. I truly did not believe that I would be accepted. The Art Education program is extremely competitive, and only accepts fifty applicants per year. I am on cloud nine!
Keepin’ busy and stayin’ outta’ trouble!