I just had lunch with a good friend today. She owns a small business that she has been growing, slowly, over the past five years or so. She's someone that I really think is brave, confident, positive and who can do no wrong.
Today she told me she's been seeing a therapist. No big deal, in my book. We all need to bounce our thoughts and emotions off someone else, to validate them. This is healthy. Actually I think she already told me this last time we went to lunch.
Then she told me, in hushed tones, that she had asked for some anti-depression drugs. This sort of shocked me, because this friend is one of the most upbeat, happy people I know. Well, I guess she is in public, at least.
I tried not to look as shocked as I was. It's really not that uncommon anymore, but it still shocks me when someone I know believes that they need drugs to solve their problems. What really bothered me next was when she told me that she finally asked her therapist for the meds when she had a day where she was so down that she didn't want to get out of bed. And didn't, until 1:00pm. She just didn't want to face anyone. My thought was, "Doesn't everyone have days like that?!" Isn't that what a Mental Health Day is for?
Then I had mixed feelings:
Was she looking for an easy solution to a normal problem? Or was this just a little help she needed to face her "down days"? Was there something wrong with me, that I'm not on mood elevation drugs?
In the past year or two, I've had no less than six (that's a 6!) friends tell me that they take some sort of drug to change their mood. I've also had a few friends that have turned to legal drugs (aka alcohol) to help them with their problems. My mindset has always been that if you can't handle your problems on your own (meaning without drugs or alcohol), you're just not trying hard enough*.
So I am just naive to think that most people don't need chemical help to get through the week? Has life gotten that complex and stressful that we all need to medicate ourselves to get out of bed in the morning? What about the message this sends to our kids? Even without the meds, is social pressure to be better, stronger, faster too much for our brains to handle?
Damn, this whole post depresses me. I think I'll go have a drink and take a nap.
*Yeah, I know this belief doesn't fit my personality. I don't know where it comes from. Freud would have a field day with me, that's for sure.