I saw a post on Facebook recently that showed a picture of nature with the title “This is an antidepressant” and next to it was a photo of antidepressants with the title “This is a lifelong addiction.”
I can’t tell you how wrong this is in one blog post.
Because of ignorant people making this, posting it, and other ignorant people sharing it, the stigma of antidepressants remains strong. People, like myself, who take antidepressants are already embarrassed or ashamed that they have to take them, much less get called out on something like this. I don’t speak for all people; some may not be ashamed, and that’s great. But for those who are, posts like the one I am talking about make us feel so much more insecure about our mental illness.
Yes, I agree that nature is a natural antidepressant. But some people can’t go outside because of other disabilities, so antidepressants are the right solution for them. Is there anything wrong with that, or is it just that some people are so ignorant that if that person has to take a pill for their mental illness, that they are going to be lifelong addicts? Do you see how stupid that sounds? If it helps that person, what difference does it make to you? Why go around stigmatizing the thing that helps millions of people?
I’m not saying nature doesn’t help, because it does. We all know that serotonin levels rise when in the sun and outside and in nature. But what if it doesn’t help someone as much as another person? What if the antidepressant helps them more? Does that make them an addict? A crazy person? No, it doesn’t.
Some (actually, most) people who suffer with clinical depression can’t just “get up and go outside” like others think they can. It’s not easy at all. If you haven’t suffered from depression, you have absolutely no say in how someone takes care of themselves during a depressive episode. You don’t know what it feels like to hate yourself so much that you want to die. You don’t know what it feels like to hate yourself so much, you don’t feel as if you’re worth even getting out of bed. That feeling, that empty, worthless feeling, is real. “Getting up and going outside” is not easy, and people need to stop saying it as if it is.
Stop making people feel bad for what works for them. If a pill is what makes them feel normal, then so be it. Antidepressants are designed to help people feel like getting out of bed and trying to live normal lives. Antidepressants are not a “lifelong addiction,” so stop spreading those lies to people that will believe you. Nature is not an automatic fix for depression, but it helps a lot. I can speak for it. But it may not be an automatic fix for other people, so stop making them feel bad about it.
What works for you may not work for others. Stop judging people for it. Millions of people in the world take antidepressants, but people who spread the horrible stigma surrounding them and mental health as a whole truly are scum of the earth.