Fluoxetine, Citalopram, Venlafaxine, Mirtazapine, Bupropion, Olanzapine, Sertraline, Lamictal… An endless list of old and new medications designed to dampen and cover up symptoms of depression, anxiety and in combination with other drugs for multiple disorders. A society constantly growing a reliance on synthetic pills to function through the day, yet is this really the right route to take? Surely more acts of compassion and talking therapy should be top of the list, yet a trip to the GP for symptoms of a mental illness almost certainly ends in a little slip of paper that will lead to the possibility of a lifetime of prescription drugs.
One cannot deny the necessity for some to have a chemical ‘pick me up’, even for myself having been on and off medication for years and trying a variety of brands and types; I have again, returned to what is perhaps a safety net of biological treatment. However treatment should not be about prescribing a cocktail of drugs and releasing individuals into society, in many cases there is nothing more empowering and motivating then simply having someone to offload to, to be responded to with genuine care and concern for your needs and welfare and ultimately feel that you are not alone and that there is validity in your emotions.
Having experienced a sense of being restrained by a ‘chemical straight jacket’ when dosed up to the point of blurry vision, sleeping through days and having the inability to form a sentence, I feel that this method should never be the first point of call when treating someone so vulnerable or at risk. The unfortunate truth is that the first point of call for many GPs is to prescribe an antidepressant which can strip someone entirely of their identity and sense of self.