When you find yourself at a party where there’s a doctor, do you ask him/her to look at suspicious mole on your shoulder? Do you pick the brains of psychiatrists you meet getting drunk at bars, asking them if they think you are depressed or if you need to go on an antidepressant?
I hope you don’t.
Instead, try making small talk or asking them questions like…
“If you had to legally change your name to Dr. Shit-Sandwich or murder one person a day for the mob, which option would you choose?”
“If you had to listen to the song, ‘La Bamba’ for twenty four hours in a row or the soundtrack from the hit movie, “Frozen,” while masturbating, which thing would you choose?”
The docs I know tell me that they prefer that nonsense to being bombarded with bullshit questions for medical advice when they are off duty. Everyone deserves a break! But sometimes, let’s face it, a conversation about masturbation can turn into a conversation about suspicious moles and depression in the blink of an eye.
When I’m at a party or in a bar, people don’t ask me about moles, but they ask me if I think they should consider taking antidepressants for their depression. I say that the medical assessment and treatment of depression is best left to medical doctors, but I also say that if the lifestyle choices a person makes everyday are a depression courting mess of fuckery, why bother even considering antidepressants at all?
Man, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I though they should start taking an anti-depressant, I’d have enough cash to put a swimming pool in my back yard. God…I really want a fucking swimming pool in my back yard. Swimming is exercise and exercise is one of the best ways to treat depression. Regular exercise is a healthy lifestyle choice. People should start giving me nickels. I really want a pool! But I digress…
Should YOU consider antidepressant medication to treat your depression?
After a thorough medical and psychological assessment, this is a conversation worth having with your doctor and therapist at the right place/ right time. Don’t approach a doctor in a bar or at a party or pick the brain of a therapist at a barbecue who has a serious case of the meat sweats. Make appointments. Time and place, people!
After the medical stuff is squared away, working with a good therapist will assist you in getting educated about your options, to gain insight about yourself and how to decide what options would work best in your situation, and to give you the non-medical tools and tips that are just as important part of treating, stabilizing and managing depression as any pill you can take. Once you have the facts and support you need, the choice won’t seem so overwhelming and difficult. You will just know.
In the meantime, ask yourself these questions:
1) Do you eat well balanced meals and engage in regular, gentle exercise?
2) Do you abuse or overuse drugs, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or any other substance that alter your mood?
3) Are you willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes that are used in conjunction with antidepressant therapy?
Is your lifestyle amok with what the fuck?
The answer to that question can be answered with the answers to the three questions I asked you to answer before.
Treating and stabilizing depression requires significant effort and always requires implementing some specific lifestyle changes, changes that a pill or a psychiatrist or psychotherapist can’t make for you. If you aren’t willing to stop living a life that is a depression courting mess of fuckery, simply taking an anti-depressant and expecting it to make a difference is a logical as swallowing a tic tac and wondering why it didn’t cure your headache. Your time would be better spent helping me clean my garage today. At least you will know why you have a headache and feel depressed, because OH MY GOD, it’s a fucking nightmare!
I realize that answering your question with more questions is tricky and sneaky, that the title of this post was possibly misleading, but it’s the only way I could think of to get you thinking about a choice only you can make! I don’t know you, but you know you. Good luck.
P.S. In the future, if you see me at the bar or at a BBQ, have some nickels handy if you plan to pick my brain. I’ve decided to charge by the minute now, because I’m saving up for a swimming pool.