Emerging Blogger Series: Brenda

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Depression and Medications

The emerging blogger series is a way to give mental health bloggers who are early in their blogging evolution the opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience.  It’s also a way to introduce you as a reader to some new bloggers you may not have discovered yet.

To start the series off, this week we have Brenda from Aergia’s Daughter.

 

“If I have to take medication, is that medication making me more fully myself, or someone else?”

This question is posed by Andrew Solomon in his lecture Depression: The Secret We Share .

All medications, including medications for depression, change us. If they did not change us, we would not be using them.

Is that change for the better? If I am a diabetic and and insulin enables me to function and live a good life, then the change the insulin makes in my body and to me is good. Is it making you someone else? I’m sure the diabetic would never think so. It is just making a better, healthier version of you.

I think the same can be applied to medications treating depression. If it makes you a happier, healthier person who is better able to function, then the change is for the better. You may seem like a different person, like someone else. Depression can manifest itself as a personality flaw, and anything that counteracts that can appear to be a change in personality rather than a change in health. But really aren’t you just a happier healthier version of yourself?

The value of anti-depressants continues to be questioned, mainly by those who have never had life’s essence seep away from them, have never had joy and awe and wonder leave them a husk of their former selves, and have never known the overwhelming feeling of gratitude which follows their return. We would all like to think that we are strong enough to overcome depression by sheer will. But does one think, “If I just try hard enough I can force my pancreas to produce insulin”. No, we take that hormone from the outside and with the increased strength and health that gives us, we make decisions which result in us becoming even healthier. As much as we would like to think that friends, family, counselors, love, exercise and general self – castigation can subdue the noon-day demon, many of us come to the realization that we need some other form of help and will need it for a long time.

Are antidepressants perfect? No

Do they have side effects? Yes, many.

Do they work for everyone? No.

As Erin Brodwin says in Business Insider, medications are not a panacea. They do not work for everyone. But if they start to make you feel okay and give you the strength to reach out to others and do things you always enjoyed, if they start to make you feel “normal”, then perhaps they have a place.

So the question is still unanswered. Does medication make one fully oneself or does it make you someone else. I can only say that it has made me more of the person I want to be, and, in the end, that’s all that matters.

 

Thanks so much to Brenda for participating in the emerging blogger series!  You can find her on her three different blogs:

 

The emerging blogger series logo

Every week I’ll publish one or two emerging blogger mental health-themed guest post(s) by a blogger who’s early on in their mental health blogging evolution, with priority given to those whose blog has less than 50 WordPress followers.  The focus is on community-building rather than just a one-off guest post.

If you’re interested in being featured in the emerging blogger series, email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com with a brief description of what you’d like to write about and your blog name/URL.  I’m looking for bloggers who have already had some form of connection with me or my blog, who have blogs that are focused on mental health, and who will contribute posts that are relevant to a broad mental health blogger audience.  Although I may make occasional exceptions for bloggers that I have an established relationship with, generally blogs that serve a primarily commercial purpose will not be considered.

 

Visit the Mental Health @ Home Store for premium mental health resources, guided journals, how-to guides, and my books Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis and Psych Meds Made Simple.

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16 thoughts on “Emerging Blogger Series: Brenda

  1. BeckiesMentalMess.wordpress.com says:

    I think that the medication that I take stableizes me and presents a calmer me. I’m sure as heck not going to say it’s the “Cure All” – It takes a great deal of work utilzing coping skills, and creativity to push through and be the person I am now.
    If I could turn back the clock, I wish I was the funny, outgoing person I was when I was much younger though. I miss her.

  2. brendablagdon says:

    Antidepressant medications work differently with different people. The happy, funny outgoing me occurred only after medication. In my case I would never long for the pre-medication me. The me I now am is not the person I was the first few years of treatment but thankfully I have not regressed to that earlier me. I have learnt to live with my medications and with how they make me feel. I long for a day when the perfect drug comes along. But until then I am grateful for every (most ) days and do what I can to get by. I’m so pleased for the comments!

  3. Meg says:

    I definitely agree with her insights. I think it’s awful how no one’s ever judged for taking insulin, and yet if you take an antidepressant, you’re immediately seen as someone who has no will power. AARGH!!

  4. Invisibly Me says:

    Love this series, and thanks for sharing Brenda. It is a tricky one, but I love how you sum it up with “it has made me more of the person I want to be” – that is the most important part to consider.xx

  5. brendablagdon says:

    Medications for depression, even if it wasn’t called that, have been around for hundreds of years. Hippocrates recommended mandrake and hellebores for melancholia in the fifth century AD. The Aztecs used hallucinogens to prevent depression among prisoners. Menodotus of Nicomedia, in the first century A D, recommended hellebores but also gymnastics, travel, massage and mineral water. So in the end, I say stand on your head every day if you want to. Until we have a definitive treatment and cure for depression, do what works for you.

  6. seaofwordsx says:

    Love this series! I think she wrote it very well. My father has diabetis too so he has to take insuline and medication for it. It feels like there’s still a stigma surrounding taking medication for mental health illnesses. In many cases it works well and it even saves lives so I think it’s important

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