I get quite angry at people who say “You don’t need drugs, you just need to cheer up” to someone with depression.. :) This is why some people refuse to take any anti-depressants at all, instead choosing to pretend nothing is wrong and falling deeper and deeper into that dark depression hole.
Would they say to a diabetic “You don’t need insulin. Just tell your pancreas to harden up and behave properly.”
Would they say to someone who received an organ transplant “You don’t need to take those anti-rejection drugs. Just tell your body that you accept the organ and everything will be just fine.”
Would they say to someone with high blood pressure “Just do some yoga, remove yourself from stressful situations, eat less salt. You don’t need to take drugs for this.”
Do they refuse to take paracetamol when they have a headache, too? Are they living a totally drug free life? When I ask these know-it-alls these questions, the answer to *all* of these questions above is NO.
With depression, sometimes the chemicals in your brain are out of whack, and no amount of pushing, hoping, thinking positive, praying to deities, cheering up, or pulling ones socks up and hardening up is going to fix that.
It is important for people with depression to know that it is ok to take the drugs their doctor prescribes. If their doctor feels those drugs are required, then THEY ARE REQUIRED. All busybodies and armchair doctors, step off, and drink a nice big cup of shut up. It is not your place to say anything.
Needing to take antidepressants is not a sign of weakness!
It is a fact of chemistry.
We are really lucky in Australia that people can see their doctor and ask to be put on a mental health plan, which allows them up to 10 sessions with a psychologist bulk billed on medicare.
I left most of this as a comment on this post recently – How to help the depressed person – but I felt it was important to post it here on my blog as well.
I’ve been seeing more and more bloggers speaking up about depression lately which is a wonderful thing because it is so important that people who are suffering from depression know that they are not alone in feeling that way. One that stood out in my mind is this one from Leslie Beslie – I’m functioning so I must not be depressed.
I have a friend who has a son with a kidney transplant. She’s talked to me about how terrified she is that at some point during his teenage years, her son will want to “rebel” and stop taking the drugs that are keeping him alive. She grew up as a diabetic, and she did go through a phase where she felt like that about her insulin injections.
She’s done everything she can to teach her son those drugs are not an optional extra, that the anti-rejection drugs are essential to his very survival here on this earth.
The sooner people can think the same of antidepressants – that they are not an optional extra for many depressed people. That taking those drugs when prescribed by a doctor is essential for their survival here on the planet – the better for everyone.
That’s my opinion, anyway. :)