I’m Not Ashamed of my Antidepressants

antidepressants medication stigma not ashamed

In an age where everyone is encouraged to talk about mental health, it seems to be recovery that’s our biggest problem.

The media portrays therapy, rehab, and medication as personal failures, and a total dependency on an outside force in an attempt to be ‘fixed’. The damaging stigma surrounding antidepressants has led to people feeling ashamed to admit to having them; or even refusing to take them at all because they feel it makes them weaker.

In an age where suicide rates are at an all-time high, it’s time we stopped demonising the use of antidepressants.

I was one of those people; I was diagnosed with depression and generalised anxiety disorder in 2014, a time when doctors were practically throwing antidepressants at you at the first sign of a psychological problem. I didn’t want them – but what other choice did I have? I wasn’t referred to any counselling, or told about other treatment options, just “Take these pills and you’ll start to feel better.”

The attitude surrounding medication and the ‘happy pills’ scrutiny that followed made me view mine in a negative light; ‘I don’t want to become reliant on these – they’ll turn me crazy!’

People were misinformed; and misinformation led to fear.

For years I never admitted to anyone that I took antidepressants. It was bad enough opening up about a mental illness, never mind the pills. Sometimes I even tried to wean myself off them so I didn’t have to lie any more (Which is definitely not advised – please speak to your doctor if you want to stop taking your medication).

The important thing to know is that you’re not alone, most people with a diagnosed mental illness would have been prescribed antidepressants at some point. And while it might not work for everyone, we mustn’t forget the lives that have been greatly improved (even saved) because of medication. For some people, they need antidepressants; sometimes a chemical imbalance can only be controlled with medication, and that’s okay. What works for one person doesn’t have to work for everyone, and that doesn’t make it wrong.

I have a much more positive attitude towards taking antidepressants now, and I’m happy to say that I’m not ashamed of them, or myself for taking them, any more.

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12 thoughts on “I’m Not Ashamed of my Antidepressants

  1. I take antidepressants as well and for so long I felt embarrassed but I’ve learnt (like you said) there is nothing to be ashamed of. They have helped me recover and if they help you, then there’s no shame. Thank you for this post x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have taken three types of antidepressants in my life and have done the weaning myself off them all three times. Out of shame. Out of “not wanting to spend my entire life on antidepressants”.
    Recently, I’ve started to realise that I think they’re what I need to help me recover.

    There shouldn’t be any shame in this at all. It’s because of stigma that people feel afraid to admit that sometimes, pills are what they need to help them through.

    It’s people like you, however, that help them realise that it’s okay. This is what we need.

    Loved this, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad my post has helped people open up. You absolutely shouldn’t be ashamed, and I know how it feels to not want to feel reliant on medication, but it’s there to help you get better! It’s really great to hear that you’re comfortable with antidepressants now. Keep fighting!

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  3. A very sensible, well-written post, *thumbs up*!!

    I agree completely. I hated being on them for so long. Now, though, I know that they are necessary for me at this point in my recovery. It’s because of public awareness campaigns and things like your post that have helped me accept this. Which is why it’s so important to keep talking about it- good job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shame is such a fluid emotion. Seems like it was made to remind ourselves of our values and the difference between right and wrong, but for some of us, it’s morphed into a representation of “society’s bad ideals” which sucks! So glad to hear about your journey toward not feeling ashamed of getting better. Thanks for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great comment, you touch on a point that I never even considered. You’re definitely right, we’re conditioned to feel ashamed of things we shouldn’t, and I hope that by more people speaking out about it we can change it. Thanks for reading!

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  5. For me, antidepressant or mental illness talk is often avoided. Other people try to empathise or negate impact of mental illness – as if health and ill health is a competition.

    Only so many “I have faced/or tried those during…” stories I cam tolerate, from well-meaning people.
    Easier not to discuss how or where I was prescribed medications (inpatient section 2), because someone will always have an opinion that ignores specialised prescriptions (and their own “facts”).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, everyone has their own ideas and stories. Some of these people do mean well, but maybe it’s not executed in the best way. I hope you have someone in your life who you can talk to, it’s so important to not keep these issues to yourself.

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