To Medicate or To Not Medicate... that is the question

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This isn't a discussion; it's more of an argument.

On this website I've seen SO many people advising others to take medication or to proceed with medication, and in my mind, I honestly cannot think of anything worse to say to another individual (whose condition you don't actually know, or the severity of it)  than to advise them to do something without giving any of the precautions, and this is so irresponsible that it's not even funny. Not only that but it shows the weakness in some people to have accepted that there is no other alternative to medication.

"I take medication because I have a chemical imbalance in my brain"

Listen, if somebody says, “you have a chemical imbalance in your brain” I'd say to them, “you can see that just by looking at me?”

Which is odd because one of the greatest stigmas within the scope of mental illness is the fact that nobody can see what is wrong with those who have mental illnesses. A doctor may have a lot of qualifications but I've never seen a degree in clairvoyance hanging on any GP's wall.

There is nothing immediate about any standard of care nowadays unless, of course, you go private, and bearing in mind a lot of people's depression is heavily rooted in financial woes, it's just not sustainable. This is where medication comes in - it is a short term solution that often takes week to get into your system that creates a long term problem because it often takes years to get the damn thing out, and then when you try your best to get it out, you suffer such terrible withdrawal symptoms that leave you feeling as though you need something else to compensate for it.

If your life isn't depressing already, then f**k me medication definitely makes it so.

“Studies have proven...” - studies on me or others? People aren't all the same.

“Depression is linked to...” - ...if anything, a chemical imbalance in my lifestyle more than anything else.

“The medication will...” - ...not sort out my life's problems.

“Talking therapies...” - ...are not available today when I have a problem, nor tomorrow or the day after that.

“Which forces you to...” - ...stand up on my own two feet and learn to be self-sufficient. Examine myself. Examine my routines, my habits, what is good and what is bad; what sense of achievement I get from something, how it affects my mood and what pleasure I derive from it.

“So the answer is...” - do more of what gives me pleasure; do less of what doesn't.

“And if you have nothing?” - Then it is necessary to create it.

Six months later, you're climbing up a mountain because you always wanted to be a mountain climber but never managed to do it in the past, for whatever reason. A year later, you're playing guitar because you always wanted to learn how to play an instrument but you never did it before.

THAT is CBT in a nutshell, the 'go-to' therapy for most of those who have mild to moderate depression or have symptoms relating to anxiety. This is not available to most until possibly, what, a month in the future? 2 months perhaps?

Pathetic.

I'm convinced that a lot of people who experience depression suffer from a form of grief related to the loss of self – we're confronted by a lot of sociological and cultural shifts that we've been forced to conform to but aren't what we've naturally evolved to accept.

Proof of that is in the fact that more people now than ever are diagnosed with depression; it's not about 'increased awareness' or the fact that 'depression didn't exist before; we just got on with it' – it's about the fact that we are simply reacting, naturally, to a cultural shift that is opposite to our being in a hunter gatherer sense/the need to build/to 'create'.

In this day and age, in our culture, most people are either worker ants or not, consumers working for whatever reason until we reach the age of retirement, and then just die, and if you start becoming self-aware of this, it can be immensely depressing to look at yourself, years before your planned retirement and say, “who am I?” and not be able to provide an answer.

Lifestyle changes, investing time in hobbies, doing things, being creative – that's what humans are good at. That's what we 'do'. When we lack that, we have nothing. When we sense we have nothing, we become depressed.

Create something for yourself to prevent the depression. Look inwards at what sense of fulfilment you lack. DO something about it.

6 likes, 6 replies

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Just want to say thank you to anybody who has taken the time to read this smile
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    • Posted

      It's a good informative message. Thanks for taking the time to share it. You are right to highlight that the drugs shouldn't be used to mask our problems - those problems won't go away until we actively find solutions.

      Not everyone struggles to come off the drug. This can be managed well if you & your GP have regular progress meetings and you are happy to gradually reduce your drug steadily over 6-8 weeks.

      CBT is terrific and hopefully, will be available to all NHS patients in the very near future.

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  • Posted

    Boing firstly your attitude did give me a laugh. Esp the f word sentence. So thanks. .You sound so passionate about what you are saying and there is a lot of truth in what you say. And the world we live in now is for whatever reason or reasons more depressing than it used to be. I just dont think its as black and white as that. I wish it was
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    • Posted

      A frequent topic of discussion I've had with counsellors over the years is 'injustice' and one the biggest injustices I've had, personally, applied to me is that 'no other option' policy of medication. So many people - SO many - are given this option; most before they are even aware of what their conditions actually are. They see a doctor, they describe their symptoms - a GP is somebody who can be trusted and so will often consume what they are given by them without question, and it's morally reprehensible for a doctor (most of whom are untrained in treatment for psychiatry) to give somebody treatment for an illness they do not understand without explaining the risks and long-term implications.

      I am not adverse to medication - it should be used in exceptional circumstances - but it should never be given without confirming, without empirical proof, to somebody whose condition is unknown or not so severe they require medication.

      Passionate is one word; practically foaming at the mouth for those with mental health issues to get the right care could also be used smile

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  • Posted

    Fantastic post! And add to that the puppet mentality of those who are trained by and serve unquestioningly the pharmaceutical mafia lest they be 'struck off' for modern day blasphemy!! 
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