Antidepressants

Another sad day today but this time it’s glorious sunshine. I’ve got my running gear on but I honestly don’t know if I’ll make it out the door today.

I wanted to do a little post on antidepressants. Mainly because BlissChick has been writing about the definitions ‘mental illness’ (or mental injury) and the pills that are prescribed to ‘help’. I have always shyed away from talking about these issues because I believe I’m ‘not ill enough’. There’s only 2 or 3 days out of the 7 in the week when I feel the effects keenly of the depression, it’s been 2 weeks since I had a debilitating depressive episode, when I get an episode it only lasts for hours, not days or weeks, some days I don’t feel sad at all…. blah blah blah. Enough! Now I can only talk about my experience but my experience is not worthless. There are people on medication who do things that I can’t even imagine, like hold down a job or go on holiday. I can’t do these things, is that not debilitating?

I have never been on antidepressants, I have never wanted to go on antidepressants and I hope I never will. When I was first ‘diagnosed’ in December 2007 I just wanted to go to counselling but I was offered the pills. My doctor, who was an incredibly good doctor, referred to them as like a ‘course of antibiotics’. But… I got depressed because I was alienated, isolated, bored, lonely, in horrible living circumstances, unfulfilled, NOT because there was anything wrong with any chemicals in my brain. So my thinking is why would I need pills? So I didn’t take them and he was ok with that.

To be completely honest I haven’t had too many bad experiences justifying my not taking pills, mainly because most people don’t want to talk about depression. I wanted to heal my mind properly, I somewhat naively thought that when I came home after university I would get better. I didn’t, my mind was damaged already. I thought about pills then but I didn’t go for it. I wanted to know why my mind wasn’t functioning like it used to. Plus I didn’t trust the pills, not since it came out that they were no better than placebos. I could have started taking sugar pills in the hope they’d help me.

At the root of it all, I don’t believe that my depression is due to a whatever imbalance, or that it’s genetic. I had a bad time, I got sad, I learnt bad thought patterns that made my sadness persist. I do believe I will get better and I don’t believe (now) that I’m condemned to either be depressed for the rest of my life or that it will reoccur.

I think my stubbornness and my thinking (the same thinking that many people believe has caused my depression, more on that sometime) has saved me. I am the only person I know who has been through something like this and cured themselves. I say that with no pride, just wonder.