If You Can’t Make Your Own Serotonin, Store Bought is Fine
The other day, I was talking to Dissy about how I still chuckle to myself a bit when I think about the day my doctor gave me my antidepressant prescription.
After some trial and error, my doctor decided we were going old-school, and prescribed me Prozac. Why is this funny? To answer that, we have to jump into our wayback machine. The first antidepressants came out in the mid-1950s, and they had a terrifying list of side effects, that essentially took over the lives of patients on them.
When Prozac hit the market in 1987, promising all the benefits without the problems, it became hugely popular. Depression was slowly shedding the massive stigma that comes along with mental health issues, mostly among women. Which would have been a great thing, if not for the fact that people suck. Like, all the time.
Starting within a year of its introduction, Prozac became the go to joke for every mediocre dude who wanted everyone to think he was funny. All you have to do is make sleazy, sexist remarks about how middle-aged white women were all drugged out of their minds because they’re all crazy, and you’re suddenly a comedian.
When I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression in my mid-20s, I spent most of my formative years being flooded with the message that these weren’t real illnesses. Instead,they were proof that women were, by their nature, unstable nutcases.
Naturally, I resisted these diagnoses, not wanting to believe I was one of those useless broads who couldn’t handle reality. Interestingly enough, mental health issues don’t just go away if you ignore them hard enough. Especially not when you’re in a horribly toxic relationship with someone who likes to deliberately make things worse. After all, if everyone knows your wife is a nutjob, who’s going to listen if she’s ever brave enough to seek help for the abuse you’ve been inflicting on her for years?
Fortunately, I was finally able to get rid of the dirtbag, and eventually started dating, then married Jay. Being the amazing human being he is, Jay started pushing me to take better care of myself. Apparently, running yourself into the ground trying to do everything for everyone isn’t particularly healthy. Imagine that!
So first came therapy, and then I came to the realization that life would suck a lot less if I had medication to help my brain do the things it couldn’t do on its own. I tried several other prescriptions, which didn’t work well for me, and so the doctor decided to try out old faithful.
Bottom line, we’re all fucking disasters. Everyone goes through shit, so if you’re having a really hard time, get some help. Maybe you need to see a therapist. Maybe you need medication. Or maybe both. There’s no reason to stubbornly continue suffering for years, because you think you’re supposed to just deal with it. Anyone tells you different? Fuck ‘em.