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Depression & Self Medicating

shutterstock_108101000It’s the second weekend since I’ve seen some changes in my behavior since I started my antidepressant, most specifically, my social life. Last weekend I went out dancing and this past weekend I really went out dancing. A friend of mine invited me to some DJ dance party in the Arts District in Downtown LA. It was one of those warehouse parties where you walk down an unknown alley and a bouncer stands by a door, stamps your hand, and the doors open to the scene. I am not a “scener.” The last time I was at a huge house dance party I was in my early twenties living in New York. I was not yet diagnosed with Bipolar II so found myself going out all the time and dancing out all my mania. I didn’t need much sleep back then and had chronic insomnia so exhausting myself on the dance floor was a great way to self-medicate. Usually when people think of self-medicating they think of drinking or drugs but for me, it was dancing. And here I was years later at a dance club with a whole dance floor waiting for me.

I’ve never been one to really care what people think and no one was dancing. Maybe it was too early. I don’t know. I wasn’t planning on staying out very late so I started the dance party, by myself, which can be a considered a symptom of hypomania. So there I was busting a move all over the dance foor while people stood and stared.  I think it was at least fifteen minutes before someone joined in, and then little by little the floor became filled with people. Usually I would spend my Saturday nights dancing alone in my loft so it was a big social step for me to find myself dancing around a bunch of strangers. At one point I saw this guy STRETCHING before he stepped onto the dance floor. That I have never seen before, but, except for last weekend, it was the first time I actually made it out of my place on a Saturday night for years.

I guess the antidepressant is working.

Dance party image available from Shutterstock.

Depression & Self Medicating

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2014). Depression & Self Medicating. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Nov 2014
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