Okay so I know these kind of posts have been done before, but while the stigma still exists around mental illness and taking antidepressants, I think it’s important to get what is NOT okay to say out in the open. And trust me, people have had no concerns getting their opinions of antidepressants out in the open to me! However, I am lucky to be surrounded by such a wonderful support network, and it’s only ever a few people outside of these circles that have said these things to me.
- I know that you’re on them… but, I would never take antidepressants. Like ever.
Oh, well alrightyroo then. That’s very reassuring and supportive. You’ve made me feel really great about myself… said no-one ever. If someone doesn’t personally agree with antidepressants that’s completely fine – I get that we all have our own opinions and taking tablets is not for everyone. But, if you talk to me inferring that I am doing something incredibly wrong, then frankly, you don’t deserve a minute more of my time. *mic drop*
- I’d want to solve the problem myself, rather than relying on medication
Depression isn’t a Rubik’s Cube, Sharon; it’s not something you can pick up and solve or fix in a matter of minutes. Sometimes, antidepressants are needed to help put you in the position where you feel mentally strong enough to ‘solve the problem’ yourself. Plus, if someone were on crutches – would you just tell them to throw their crutches in a ditch and walk about until their leg is fixed? Exactly.
- Antidepressants just mask the underlying issue
Erm, no they don’t. I’ll jokingly call them my ‘happy tablets,’ but I know it’s not that simple. When you go on antidepressants, your doctor tells you that antidepressants work best alongside ongoing counselling or different therapies, and they make it clear they want you off the tablets in the future, if possible. We may be depressed, but we’re not stupid.
- You’ve got nothing to be depressed about
Just because I don’t have the sad sorry life of Fontine in Les Mis doesn’t mean I cannot be depressed. Anyone can suffer from depression, no matter their age, status, wealth – anything.
- You have to want to get better
And don’t you think that’s why I’m taking antidepressants? I really don’t know why, but some people genuinely believe that by taking the tablets, you have given up trying and are throwing the towel in. Yes, really.
- Wow, you’re XYZ age and you’re on antidepressants. That’s so bad. You should try and come off them.
Are you for real? This infuriates me every time because I was actually told this by someone and I cared enough to believe and try to change myself. If I could go back, I’d tell myself not to be ashamed in the slightest of being on antidepressants. It’s so unbelievably common nowadays and if they are what it takes to make you happy again, then do it! Just don’t yo-yo and keep trying to come off them because people make you feel like you have to. Part of recovering is having consistency and stability so girl, pop those happy pills every day if that’s what it takes.
Have you heard any of these? Let me know in the comments and we can play stigma snap! *sighs*
Written by Sarah Mullaney
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