“Maybe it’s time for you to consider treatment with an antidepressant.”
The words weren’t exactly a surprise to me, but they still made me cringe. Antidepressants were for two kinds of people: the lazy ones who took the easy road of popping a happy pill and ignoring whatever was wrong in their lives and the weak people who just couldn’t handle life. Either way, taking these pills represented some kind of character flaw, a moral failing even. I should be stronger. I should be able to cope. I shouldn’t curl up into a ball and cry when I get stressed about work or when I can’t find my other sock. If I needed antidepressants just to feel normal, I must be bad.
Too many people view the body and mind as two distinct entities, when they really aren’t. They’re irrevocably linked, if not one and the same. My brain is part of my body, after all. My brain does not make enough serotonin, and that makes me, at times, physically incapable of being happy. But there’s a treatment, and once I stopped listening to all the bullshit and took antidepressants, I felt like the person I had actually been all along finally got to come out.
Still, some might say I shouldn’t need these pills, that they are a crutch in the worst sense of the word. “Happiness is a choice,” the saying goes. I should just make myself be happy out of sheer will. Just be stronger. Just be more positive. Just be happy!
Just start making insulin.
Just stop releasing so much histamine when you encounter pollen.
Just build stronger tooth enamel.
Just stop refluxing acid into your esophagus.
Just stop breaking down cartilage in your knees.
Just stop growing tumor cells.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Originally published in the Journal of Ordinary Thought, April 2013