Even though I've had depression for more years than I can count, I've never taken any medication and now I'm wondering if  that's been a big mistake.

I was very depressed when I was a teenager but my mother always refused to take me to see a doctor.   Her attitude is "once you're on medication you're hooked for life" , "medication does more harm than good", "no one will ever employ you", "look at Mrs …., she has tablets from the doctor and wallks around like a zombie", "the doctor will send you to hospital for ECT".   So, all through my teenage years my depression went untreated.  

When I was old enough to see a doctor by myself, my doctor who was a very blunt, elderly man, just said to me "it's a phase, find a hobby and it will go away".  

Well, the fact that I am sitting here writing this now, looking back on over 30 years of mental pain and struggle, shows how wrong he was.  I never have found that magic hobby.   But I suppose I must have absorbed the messages from him and from my mum , because I haven't been back to see a doctor again about being depressed.

As I've got older and meet more people I find out how many people do take antidepressants. But that hasn't reassured me into seeing my doctor.    I think my concerns still are:

my mum might be right – people will think I'm weak and  I will end up like a doped up zombie

the people taking anti depressants don't seem to feel less depressed because of them, so why bother

I hardly ever see my doctor about anything so I don't have a nice, trusting relationship.  I don't know if I can sit and explain, face-to-face to a person who is practically a stranger just how awful I feel. 

1 Comment
  1. ancientgeekcrone 11 years ago

    I guess, how much help you get, how fast depends on how it's expressed.  I tend to go catatonic, well, just sit and watch the grass grow, or cry hysterically, or get to the point that the hygiene goes to hell in a handbasket.  These kinds of depressive reactions bring you to specialists attention in a hurry.  I'll be the first to admit that gp's are not very good at managing depression.  In my case, when my marriage was relatively new, with two young children and a husband in graduate school and in-laws here from Greece.  I would up wwith a 3 week stay in the psych unit. So needless to say, I got a therapist and medicstiond immediately. Over the next 25 years I learned to coexist, but to this day, I take medications.

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