Sometimes, it is about just functioning..
I am not the most happiest person you’d find around you. I have always been slightly serious, sombre and grumpy. It has got nothing to do with the fact that I have depression and I deal with fluctuating levels of anxiety. I am just that kind of person. It really doesn’t mean that I don’t love to laugh or I don’t have a sense of humour. But my basic being is more on the serious side. Whatever be the reason for that.
Recently, I had this massive discussion with one of my friends. She claimed that I need to “up” my dosage of medication because I am always sad or worried or “in the dumps” or whatever. And I just didn’t know how to answer her.
Medication for depression or anxiety doesn’t magically make a person happy or cheerful or positive. These are bonus things and stuff that you have to work towards to achieve and make a part of your personality. There is no “up-ing” the medication just because I am sad.
There is massive misconception amongst many people I know that medication is a solution to everything depression. And then there is other spectrum of people that I happen to know as well. These think that medication is the devil. It will ruin how they function and they would never be the same again. No one seems to understand that it has to be a balance of both — your effort and medication. And absolutely no one seems to understand that anti-depressants aren’t exactly happy pills. You don’t take one and feel happy and optimistic about life.
Sometimes anti-depressants can only take you as far as helping you feel like a human being again. Helping you function enough to live life the way most people do. Taking it ahead, becoming positive or cheerful is your own journey to undertake.
I had my goals. I wanted to become who I was before I was hit with this particularly nasty bout of depression. In retrospect, I think I have had depression for almost 20 years. It hasn’t been the same intensity. It was only now that it got so bad that I decided to take help. But I went with a clear goal that I no longer wanted to be the person who doubted herself, spent hours/days/weeks crying over one bad decision, was so afraid of everything that she couldn’t move. I just wanted to function. The so-called pursuit for happiness comes much much later. And there is no magic medicine that is going to help me achieve it.