Monday, March 30, 2015

On Depression and Mental Illness

I am copying and pasting this from my Facebook post.

On Depression and Mental Illness:

Meds: Yes, there are side effects. No, meds aren't perfect. Yes, they require a lot of communication between patient and doctor to get it right. No, it doesn't always stay right because body chemistry changes. No, meds aren't for everyone. But that is for the doctor and patient to work out, not an armchair therapist.

Doctors: Doctors are people, too. Remember that. A good doctor works with the patient, listens, and makes adjustments according to the patients needs - not textbook answers. Because nothing with depression and mental illness is black and white. Ever.

Therapy: Therapy rocks. A good therapist makes handling life, med changes, and down days so much easier. If it's covered by insurance or is available through other means, take it, use it, live it.

Psychiatrists: Mine manages my medication. He doesn't do the therapy bit, he mixes up a cocktail of meds specific to my needs and my brain. He listens, he makes adjustments, he coordinates with my doctor, he is there when I feel I need him.

Alternative treatments: Oils, exercise, diet change, sunshine regiments, natural light lamps, etc, etc - ALL of these have their place. All of these work to different degrees with different people. None of them are a cure-all for every single person.

-- I saw a comment earlier today that said "Depression is as real as the idiots who believe in it make it to be." Along that line were other comments about how it's a made-up disease so pharma companies can profit from it. How people are using it as an excuse to be lazy. 

Blah, blah, blah. I've heard all that before, but it is frustrating to see how many people out there believe this.

Do pharma companies profit from it? Sure. Do some doctors overmedicate? Yep. Are people perfect? Nope. Don't like what your doctor is telling you? Then change doctors.

Depression is real. it is debilitating, life-threatening, and paralyzing. Telling someone who has sought help and is on meds that they are stupid for taking those evil, horrible drugs is harmful in so many ways. Words are such powerful weapons, and the depression twists and turns them into a cancer that eats away at resolve, logic, and belief in lovability and worth.

Just because you might not understand brain chemistry - just because YOUR brain functions correctly so you cannot comprehend living inside a head that's depressed - doesn't mean that it isn't real. Doesn't mean that person isn't fighting to stay alive, to actually LIVE life, to not give in to the overwhelming blackness that wants to suck them in.

Have some empathy. If you can't have that, try sympathy. If you can't have that, then at least try to be open minded enough to understand that not everyone is going to treat their illnesses the same way.

I know some people who just drink cranberry juice for a bladder infection. Others immediately get antibiotics. Some creams work to treat eczema, other skin clears up by eliminating eggs and milk from the diet.

There is no One-Cure-Fixes-All, so please, please, please show some humanity to those around you. Stop trying to fix them, and just love them.

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