I read a blog post a few days ago, the gist of which has been bouncing around in my thoughts ever since. The author was lamenting a few days without caffeine, and justifying the longing for caffeine by listing a number of other vices of the modern world. And one of the "vices" was antidepressants. They were described as something people toss back casually...at least I think that was the phrasing...I went back to reread the post to be sure I wasn't over reacting and much of the post had been edited and was gone.
That resonated with me, strongly enough that I dreamed about it last night, which tells me I need to address it. I have a very live-and-let-live philosophy, and I rarely comment on, or criticize other blog posts. This comment troubled me, though, as it seemed so dismissive of something so serious.
Are anti-depressants a casual vice? Something needing to be justified and a little ashamed of? Are they something we know we probably shouldn't indulge in , but just can't resist, like cookies? (Jeeze, I know I shouldn't, but I simply can't pass up a tasty mood stabilizer!)
I just don't think so. It made me feel diminished to read that. In my experience, antidepressants help with a troubling illness. They are expensive and it's difficult to find the proper dosage and the proper "fit" and some of them have horrible, debilitating side effects. They're certainly not something I take casually or take for granted. I feel lucky to have access to them and to have access to medical care to try to get my brain chemistry working properly. The alternative is unfathomable. Desolate.
A good cup of coffee is a delicious treat. An antidepressant helps a person lead a normal (or almost normal) life. Yes, it would be "easier just to be happy". It would be great to be taller, too, or ten years younger. I'd do those on my own if I could, too.
'Til then, peace, love, joy, pharmaceuticals. Oh, and a good cup of coffee.