Monday, December 13, 2010


When I was 24 I decided, not for the first time, to go on anti-depressants. My boyfriend at the time told me I was weak, that a strong person could fight off depression without resorting to "happy pills". He killed himself 8 years later.

The first meds my doctor gave me was generic Prozac. I was on that for 5 days when I lost my coordination and had to go off. A coworker asked why I couldn't seem to assemble small pieces and I told him it was the Prozac. He told me mood was a direct result of outlook, and outlook is a choice. He committed suicide 9 years later.

I have been hospitalized as an inpatient for depression. I have been in and out of therapy since I was 4 years old. What I have learned is that depression is very often a physical organic illness which requires medication. Medication helps put a person in a position to benefit from therapy, to learn to seethings from a more optimistic viewpoint and cope despite the depression. That said, some depression is situational and doesn't require medication. Grief, fear, boredom, or addiction can all influence a person's outlook on life. But, refusing (or resisting) meds is not a sign of strength. The people I've heard tell me that are all dead now, of depression, so I beg anyone who is depressed to try whatever it takes, and keep trying new things if the old don't work.

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