Head Meds?!

Recently, I have been hit straight in the face by my old friend depression, out of the blue and almost from nowhere – it’s back again. The same fog I cleared only 2 months ago has appeared once again in a different form…

Whilst scrolling through facebook the other day – up popped this picture of a beautiful field and the caption “ this is an antidepressant…”

It made my think how yes, going outside for fresh air is a fantastic alternative to being inside for days on end – but then again how it is not always that simple for everyone.

I started taking medication for my mental health just over a year ago now after accepting I couldn’t ‘fix this’ without an extra added boost. 

See, Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It isn’t your typical sadness but simply, dopamine is your drive in life, your ambitions; excitement and enthusiasm whilst serotonin is in charge of happiness regardless of your actual achievements. 

Basically, without the right amount of these chemicals no matter how much love, support, money or family you have around you it is very difficult to feel ‘ok’.

Imagine a bottle filled with the most glorious, colourful, magical concoction, it sparkles and fizzes, it has a light of its own, when you drink it you are in love — let’s call it ‘joy’; now imagine a great selfish, hulking beast comes out of nowhere, it stamps and shakes the ground, roars, snatches the bottle with terrifying hands, and tips out all the joy, because if it can’t drink it nobody can. Depression turns you into that bottle, empty, held in the shadow of a beast; strewn on the shore, wishing for the tide to wash you away.

I can’t take away the effect of nature and healthy living, I mean going for a bike ride can be the best escape for me some days! And it has such a positive impact on my mental health. 

Despite not yet finding the right meds for myself I still have some positives from them which without I wouldn’t be able to enjoy. A flash of inspiration as I walk through my favourite field, have coffee with a friend or sit in the sun with a perfect breeze. Deep down inside in them moments I feel a relief that things will be ok.

So please detach the image of people with depression being selfish and the stereotype that taking antidepressants is somehow a sign of weakness… because personally without my meds I am more likely to hurl myself towards a tree than go for the ideological stroll this circulating photo portrays.

“A breath of fresh air is a perfect aid for recovery – but for some this can never be a replacement of these life saving pills.”

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10 thoughts on “Head Meds?!

  1. There are a lot cute little sayings that offer pat answers, however; none of them even begin to touch the depth of the problem. You have a good handle on what your dealing with and a clear conception of what you need – thanks for sharing.

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  2. Great post, thanks for writing it 🙂 I agree – different things work for different people. I think the anti-medication talk and images are dangerous and just increase stigma around mental health issues. I’ve been on meds in the past and held out this time around on taking them because I’d taken on some of the negative talk in the culture and I was operating off the false assumption that without the meds I was more purely me (!) the truth is we are never ‘more pure’ or ‘less pure’ because however we are at any given moment IS how were are. I find it is already difficult enough to trust mental health professionals without all of this extra noise about ‘big pharma’ exploiting people… I’m on meds at the moment and I do not regret going on them. I don’t feel they are altering my personality any more than my mental illness with all its fear, head-noise and extra-stress was already altering it! When friends of mine started saying things like ‘you don’t need to be on medication’ and ‘but they alter your ability to feel things’ and ‘the pharma companies just push the doctors into selling their medications’ I felt unaccepted as having a mental illness and needing medication… it also increased my sense of ‘not belonging’ in the world and of being disconnected from myself… as if I had to watch myself closely for signs that the medication was altering me… Now I just try and be kind to myself and accept myself as I am, yes I needs medication, time in nature, mindfulness and having compassion for my own needs is a way to extend my ability to feel compassion for others… None of us are lessened by choosing to take meds. Taking meds do not mean you’re weak or being exploited! XX sending support and appreciation to you XX Em

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  3. I wrote a post talking about this too. People who post those kind of statements are very ignorant and often have no idea what they’re talking about. Exercise helps, yes-but as you say, it’s not the answer to everything and it’s okay to have a boost. Well done, such a great and relevant post! Keep at it, you’re on to something here and you have the power to eradicate many misconceptions 🙂 X

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  4. I have seen people who could hardly function, move, or eat, because of their depression, and no, no amount of fresh air or exercise would help them at that point. Just because a mental illness is not visible from outside, it does not mean it is all in the imagination and it is just a matter of willpower to get better. I hope you find the right treatment. Take lots of care and thanks for sharing.

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  5. So eloquently written Kirsty and so very true. Meds are not for everyone but they should definitely not be dismissed in this way by people who are lucky enough to go for a walk in a forest & feel better!

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