Antidepressants – happy or (un)happy pills?

Millions of people in the UK are prescribed antidepressants every year … But what impact do they actually have? 

With names such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, nitroxazepine and zimelidine … You would be forgiven if you mistook antidepressant medication for offering you some type of intergalactic space-powers … Unfortunately such powers are yet to be reported…but I’ll keep you posted on that one!

According to the world health organisation one in 11 British adults take antidepressants. So who is monitoring the consumption of these drugs?! Is this the responsibility of a GP who more often than not prescribes them?

I heard of a scenario recently where a general practitioner told an individual in the solemn depths of despair grasping onto the life they dearly missed that it was JUST life’s ups and downs.

My question to that doctor is … Do you know how many months/weeks/days/hours it took that individual to gain the courage to share such sensitive feelings and emotions with you? Do you know how many times they battled with the deepest darkest cloud following their daily movements before visiting you? My assumption would be that if you did then such a remark to belittle a very serious condition would not have been made!

The detrimental impact such language from a medical professional (or anyone for that matter) can have on an individual is colossal.

I also spoke to an organisation who specialise in mental health (one which I believe reflect the most important values in the world) who told me they were setting up a new initiative to support individuals visiting their doctor in distress with frequent check-in calls until an appointment for cognitive behaviour therapy or counselling became available. Amazing!

This would be on offer to those individuals BEFORE medication is prescribed! However, my fear is that individuals who go to the doctors are fairly advanced in their feelings of distress and medication will almost certainly be prescribed in that instance. Thus, I absolutely think this initiative will be fan-ta-stic as long as the calls of support are catered accordingly.

Side effects

It is fairly well known that many antidepressants which are deemed to reduce chemical “imbalances” have side effects of enhancing or bringing on suicidal feelings?! WHAT?!!! This will have been included in the literature to cover the pharmaceutical companies but it’s still very concerning! Especially if it’s someone already feeling levels of this. Another reason for a need for external monitoring of consumption.

Do whatever makes you happy

Saying that, I am the biggest believer that if you find something that makes you happy …. then just do it (thanks for the slogan, Nike!) if that’s antidepressants; counselling; hypnotism; running around the house naked….do it! Some areas can be frowned upon or even judged but only by those who may not have experienced the same, so I say do whatever makes you feel better 🙂

“I cannot tell you how much I wish we did not all worry about the judgement of others!”

If it makes someone feel comfort or happiness in travelling around on the same bus 10 times a night or even eating 1000 strawberries with ketchup on a day then hey why not?! As long as they don’t get travel sickness or have a fruit intolerance. Certain behaviours and actions may seem different to “the norm”, but challenging this only causes extra distress for that person… If it’s not of harm to them then let’s embrace it!!!

Being different makes us special so we don’t always need to understand what everyone else is doing … That’s the magic 🙂

X Rebecca x

One thought on “Antidepressants – happy or (un)happy pills?

  1. Rebecca Shaw says:

    Hi Rebecca

    Lovely piece. Most of us understand the social model of disability in terms of physical ability – so why not mental health? What are the statistics? One in four of us will experience a serious bout of mental ill-health at some point in our lives. Everyone will experience a time when our mental health is shaken by external or internal events, such as bereavement, anxiety or trauma. Maybe there is far more wrong with society than with individuals who travel this road alone and, at times, injured either physically or psychologically.

    Rebecca (2)

    Liked by 1 person

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