- The Brighter Side of Social Media: #EndPillShaming
- The Brighter Side of Social Media: #ItsOkayToTalk
‘Everybody hates me. I hate myself. What if I mess up? What if they think…’ Until February 2018, these were my constant thoughts. I became my own worst enemy by inhibiting this stream of consciousness and not allowing myself to get the help I need.
When I reflect, I realise that I have suffered from depression on and off since I was around 7 years old, yet I did not know that at the time. However, it became more apparent through my teenage years when it all of a sudden became unbearable. In that moment, I reached out to those around me because I needed support. Yet, I did not receive it…
Instead, I was shamed for my depression by those closest to me. Their reasoning? ‘Tablets aren’t the answer. They are addictive and mess with your body’.
So from then on, I changed my diet and exercised, and it did benefit me for a while. Nevertheless, it came back at university. I was in denial about my depression for months, but it came back with a vengeance. The amount of stress I felt really got to me, but thankfully I had amazing friends who got me to see student services and the doctor all in one day.
The doctor went through all the options, but I decided to try the tablets since I had tried different methods prior to taking medication. I admit that it took me months to tell people that I take anti-depressants because I feared the stigma attached to it. Whilst a few people did comment on them being addictive, that is not the case for the ones I take.
I do not claim to know the effects of other anti-depressants, but mine have helped me massively. If you or someone you care about takes them, read up on ways to support them and don’t question their choice of taking tablets to help them get better.
Just because people take pills, it does not make them any less of a person than someone who tries different methods to cope with depression and vice versa. University is a stressful time for many, so let’s care for one another.
The one thing that makes me proud of millennial and gen-z culture is our willingness to end the stigma surrounding anti-depressants and depression. We may not be superheroes, but we can do little things to help our fellow human-beings out. Mental health is nothing new and the NHS services for it are improving year upon year, so don’t shy away from it; let’s continue it.
Let’s talk about it, let’s #EndPillShaming.