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.