Are we over-medicating due to a shitty world?
I’m just going to come right out and say it. Sometimes, we need to feel.
I am well aware that for many sufferers of depression, drugs are a necessity. Although in my opinion, there are just as many sufferers for whom drugs are not the right answer. Today, I’m talking about the latter, and asking: are we missing important cues that we need to take from the universe to do something to change our lives?
It’s pretty scary, but I don’t know many people who haven’t suffered from either depression or anxiety at some point. Of course, that includes myself.
If the problem is so widespread, what does it mean? More drugs? Or is there a deeper issue at play?
I believe I have had depression 3 times in my life, although I have only been diagnosed once. The other two times I did not bother going to the doctor – I knew all they had for me were drugs, and I didn’t feel like that was the right option for me at that point.
The first time was with post-natal depression. I was provided a script, but didn’t take the drugs. To be honest, I possibly should have. That’s right, I’m not anti-drugs. I’m anti ‘it always being about drugs’.
The second time I believe I had depression was during a period of reflection over my childhood in my very early 20s (and let’s face it – we all have childhood issues). It was basically me questioning why my mother put my alcoholic, abusive father before us kids. It affected me so much I concluded I was unlovable, and toyed with the idea of suicide. Unfortunately (or so I thought at the time), I had a son to take care of, so could not knock myself off. Adding to my woes was a difficult relationship that left me walking on eggshells.
This period of my life was bloody awful, but it forced me to figure some things out. I eventually understood my mother – as a completely flawed human being, rather than just a mother – and why she was the way she was. I learned to forgive her. I also had the state of mind to get out of the unhealthy relationship. The third time my partner said ‘he wanted a break’ I replied ‘sure, but don’t come back’. (Note that his ‘breaks’ were code for ‘I’ve met someone, and you know this because I haven’t been coming home until 3am. I’d like to be with them without the attached guilt for a little while, please’).
The period of depression I had most recently – say around 2 years ago – was mainly due to a really shitty career choice. I guess some people like it; but public practice accounting is not for me. After 10 years in the profession, I had a cancer scare and was disappointed when the results came back negative. That’s when I knew it was time to make a change. It’s unfortunate that it took me so long to make the change, but that’s my own doing.
I’m not saying we should avoid drugs at all costs. But in cases of mild to moderate depression that are due mostly to our circumstances, are we reaching for the pills before truly considering what would best serve us in the long-run? Are we avoiding the normal light and shade of life?
Sometimes, there’s no denying that we do need to just take the drugs. And other times, we need to either change our situation, or change ourselves.
As Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star”.
Denise is an imperfectionist, life enthusiast, reformed Chartered Accountant, and NLP Practitioner. She’s passionate about dropping fear and ego, and being a creator in life – not a bystander.
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