Antidepressants is a loaded topic. With advocates for it and critics against it, there may never be a straight forward answer if antidepressants are right for everyone. There are articles written about its harmful side effects and just as many written about its benefits.
I recently came across Helen Rosner’s essay Not Everyone Feels This Way assuming it was a recent article circling the internet. In fact, it was from 2014, written in the wake of Robin William’s suicide — the suicide of a beloved comedian that brought many of us to reevaluate depression and the hold it has on so many.
While I am not taking any definitive stance of antidepressants, I’d like to share a poignant piece on one woman’s experience with them.
Until I started taking my antidepressants, though, I didn’t actually know that I was depressed. I thought the dark staticky corners were part of who I was. It was the same way I felt before I put on my first pair of glasses at age 14 and suddenly realized that trees weren’t green blobs but intricate filigrees of thousands of individual leaves; I hadn’t known, before, that I couldn’t see the leaves, because I didn’t realize that seeing leaves was a possibility at all. And it wasn’t until I started using tools to counterbalance my depression that I even realized there was depression there to need counterbalancing. I had no idea that not everyone felt the gravitational pull of nothingness, the ongoing, slow-as-molasses feeling of melting down into a lump of clay. I had no way of knowing that what I thought were just my ingrained bad habits — not being able to deposit checks on time, not replying to totally pleasant emails for long enough that friendships were ruined, having silent meltdowns over getting dressed in the morning, even not going to the bathroom despite really, really, really having to pee — weren’t actually my habits at all. They were the habits of depression, which whoa, holy shit, it turns out I had a raging case of.
Read the full essay Not Everyone Feels This Way