In Response to the One That Told Me “You Have to Face Your Problems, Not Rely on Meds”

Published April 30, 2012 by Laitie

When I was diagnosed with Depression and prescribed antidepressants, I was shocked and nervous. I went to a friend hoping for support. She gave me “you have to deal with your problems or the symptoms will just come back.” I’m too chicken to ever address this to her face, so I’ll just stick my ranting here and hope to bring some support to all of you looking for it.

“You have to deal with your problems.”

I -have- been dealing with my problems. For four months. They’re not going away, so obviously I’m doing something wrong. I need to try something else.

“I could understand if there’s a chemical imbalance or whatever, but that’s not what you have.”

I don’t know if my chemicals are out of stock or not, but I do know my “temporary” Depression is just as physical as others’ “permanent” Depression. My body and mind are exhausted. I’ve been dealing with my issues for too long. My body wants to give up. The meds are an attempt to convince my body to keep going.

“I can’t even force myself to get out of bed or do homework.”
“You have to.”

No, it’s really almost impossible. Apathy is an extreme emotion that you have no control over. It controls you, really. To not care about the world existing around you. To not have the least interest in doing something to benefit yourself or others. I mean, if you can’t even get out of bed because you just don’t care, it’s really incredible and horrible. Forcing yourself does not happen anymore.

Depression is real. It’s as real as AIDS and Schizophrenia. As real as pimples and the bed I’m sitting on. She has no right to say these things to someone admitting to their diagnosis of it. She never experienced it first-hand. She barely experienced it second-hand. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be told “your sudden apathy sounds like Depression” after doing so well for four months. She doesn’t even know what apathy feels like. How impossible it can be to get out bed—and I’m not talking physical impossibilities. Even I didn’t understand how people could let themselves get so down until I realized how your attitude has nothing to do with it. Not until I experienced it. But I respected it. I never would have told someone admitting something like that to me about my real opinions on it. Why would you do that? Why? It’s not at all thoughtful. Telling someone that their doctors are dead wrong (when you’re not even a doctor)? Telling someone that’s obviously upset that they “need to face the issues on their own?” Could you be that stupid, thinking that person hasn’t been, already?

Depression is a real depression. It’s a real condition and a huge obstacle for us humans. And when it comes about like mine did, I think it’s the sign that you are stronger than you think, because it took so long to take hold of you.

Now that I know what it feels like, I know how to relate to the others like me. I can appreciate your guys’ strength: getting out of bed, getting help, moving on with your life. I know my apathy was mild enough, because I still managed to go to class. I cannot imagine anyone going through it worse, though I know many are.

I’m here for you, guys. I always will be.

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One comment on “In Response to the One That Told Me “You Have to Face Your Problems, Not Rely on Meds”

  • Until someone has experienced depression, or clinical depression…they have no basis for understanding. It can be totally debilitating and personally mystifying. The feelings you try to cope with are real. Hang in there.

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