This has been on my mind lately because I have seen in it several places and it really grinds my gears, as they say.
I take medication for my depression. There I said it.
It does not make me weak.
Big Pharma is not shoving pills down my throat I don’t need.
They are not ‘Happy Pills’ that gives me a false sense of happiness. Or, the opposite, dull my sense of self.
I’m not tuning out reality. Or not ‘dealing with my emotions like a normal person’.
Here is the thing about my depression and medication:
I did therapy for more than a few years and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I went to therapy after a suicide attempt. Therapy is a useful endeavour and I highly recommend it. It helped me with coping strategies and to work through those depressive irrational thoughts.
I still had another suicide attempt. Very spontaneous one. Not nearly as well thought out. And it scared me. It was then suggested I should consider medication, of which, there are few options for me since antidepressants sort of boost that suicidal intent. But they found one. And I took it. It worked.
In the sense that I do not have extreme, mind-blowing, horrific lows anymore. Or suicidal ideation even. It evens me out. It doesn’t dull me. Or change me. Or make me happy. Or zone me out. Or anything like that at all. Just me, without the plummeting emotions. I am just me. With normal mood swings. A bit of leftover ennui I would say that I deal with like I dealt with the depression, but I can cope with it. And some situational lows, like from pain and such, but I deal. Not Major Depressive Disorder sort of stuff. More like chronic pain sort of stuff.
So my brain was serotonin challenged? Not neurotypical. I needed medication to balance it out. And now I function. This in no way is a bad thing. It is a good thing I have a medication that works for me so well and I do not have to exist in the hell I was in.
In no way should I be medication shamed on this. In no way should I BE shamed for this. In no way AM I ashamed of this.
Depression medication stigma
This stigma does actual damage. People are ashamed to go to their doctors for treatment. People feel weak for thinking they need treatment. People struggle to deal with it on their own. People resist medication when they need it. People suffer immensely because of it. Sometimes in situations where it is a danger to their wellbeing.
It is something that truly has to stop. This stigma is dangerous. There are many ways to treat depression. Many ways we utilize when we are depressed from exercise to meditation to therapy. And sometimes that includes medication as a part of that treatment. Not going to lie, I don’t think there was an actual off button to my suicidal ideation other than medication. And listening to that broken record all the time isn’t fun. Had I been shamed into not taking that? I don’t know if I would even be right now.
So stop the shame.
I have seen it with all medication, to be honest. And I don’t get it. You want to ‘go natural’ go right ahead. No one is stopping you.
But do not shame those that need medication to function in this world. Not everyone is you. Not everyone has the same situation. The same body. The same biology. The same brain. The same response to treatments. The world doesn’t revolve around you and what you did to treat yourself.
It is like a depression I had when I was younger. I didn’t need therapy or medication to treat it. But you don’t see me telling Anyone to treat it the way I did treat it, that it is the only way to go and I am right and they should only do it That way. That would be utterly insane and irresponsible of me. What I did then, which was a sort of self-cognitive-therapy, worked for me and that was good. But it sure wouldn’t have worked for me the second time, because I tried it, and it definitely failed. We are all different and complex.
There is nothing wrong with sharing what is working for you. There is something wrong with shaming people for taking medication.