Friday, November 14, 2008

Antidepressants

In the last week I have had three friends who have gone to the doctor and have had antidepressants prescribed. I have seen children get antidepressants as young as 12 years old. I am not opposed to antidepressants, I feel they serve a very good purpose for many ailments, chronic depression, various mental illnesses, or a life crisis, to name a few.
What I am questioning is what seems like a rampant dispersal of antidepressant pills. Lord knows we have many things to be depressed (or discouraged) about these days. I hearken back to a time when treating the illness is a better solution than treating the symptoms. For example, if you are depressed about money and can't sleep, would you be better to take an antidepressant or get another part-time job to alleviate the problem?
If you are having a tough time in your personal life, is a pill the way to go, or would you be better off making an appointment with a therapist and talking it over to determine exactly what is making you feel the way you do?
Life is not easy. Sometimes we all can use a little help. When I was first married, one of the classes my husband had to take was a "support" class for students and their significant others. It was a short symposium that basically was on a Saturday morning. They had speakers and testimonials from various people. The one thing I took from that class is you go see a therapist not only to fix something wrong in your life, but to see from-time-time to keep you healthy and on the track you want to be on. For me, that took the stigma out of "going to see a shrink". Throughout my adult life I have taken that to heart and on occasion, seen a therapist to talk over things that were bothering me, things that I wanted an objective viewpoint on and things that I just wanted someone's undivided attention to listen to me.
I have wondered about taking antidepressants, but also thought, if they get rid of the lows in my life, do they also get rid of the highs? It's a risk I really will use as a last resort.

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