A myth, if not the myth about antidepressants is that they are “happy pills.”
Hearing this makes me want to punch people. Guess my happy pills aren’t working.
Seriously though, it doesn’t work like that. Sure, if you take a pill that’s not meant for you you might feel “up” but if it feels unnatural – well it is.
Antidepressants – the right antidepressants – get you to normal. Not rose-colored normal, not happy fluffy normal, not normal where all day long you are snuggled by tiny non-allergenic kittens, just normal.
This concept is hard to understand if you haven’t been there. People who don’t know what depression feels like don’t fully understand what not having depression feels like. Likewise those stuck in depression don’t know what not having it feels like either.
So let’s think of an example.
Ever had a sore throat? That oh my g-OW feeling that comes when you swallow? And it’s so painful that at a certain point you try to come up with ways not to swallow ever again, even if that means no food and almost certainly no sex life?
And then you’re better. And you can swallow. Just… swallow. No pain, no agony, no needing to spend minutes if not hours debating if a particular bite of food is really worth your time. You can just eat, and drink, and breathe.
That’s what the right antidepressant is like. Depression is an illness that makes you hurt, and when you beat it back it doesn’t make you hurt anymore. It takes the cloud away. It pulls back the spikes. It lets you be you again, good, bad, and all.