You may (!) have noticed I had a piece in thejournal.ie last night. I am quite literally blown away by the response that it's gotten, in numbers alone never mind the comments. For the most part responses have been extremely encouraging, although I did get a couple of trolls. I'm actually quite amused by the fact that someone went to all the effort of coming over to my blog from the journal and then leaving not one but three incredibly offensive comments. Or at least they could have been taken as offensive if I was in a more sensitive frame of mind. Thankfully I've been wandering around the interweb long enough to recognise deliberate shit stirring so it didn't bother me.
There were a few issues raised as well that I think are worth considering. For example:
'Fiona mentioned coming off antidepressants. I want to know why anyone would want to come off them. I wasn’t, or didn’t think I was, depressed when I went on them. I had problems sleeping and a doctor thought it would help. It did help. It also made me a happier person. 6 years on, I’m still taking them and can’t understand anyone wanting to come off them.'
'When a person describes themselves as “mentally ill” they are taking on all the stigma, discrimination and misinformation that society associates with such a label.'
'The reality is that physical / mental health requires daily work. For some more than others. And routine is very important.'
'For me, I’ve accepted that there is no getting over it. I’ve been on and off with meds for years. When I’ve been off, I’ve accepted that it’s not really a big deal to be on – I just shrug my shoulders about it. In some ways, depression is a big deal – in looking at it another way; it’s not. We all have things going on; not everyone can be all chirpy all the time. It’s not a switch that you can turn on and off. If it was, it would be easy.'
These are just a few of the comments that appeared over on the journal, and I think they really serve to highlight the widely differing opinions and ideas out there around mental illness. I've talked before about how difficult I found it to accept
that depression is an illness, and on occasion I still deny it. For every professional who would convincingly argue that it's an illness, there's another who will equally convincingly argue that it's not. At the end of the day, I'm not sure that there actually is a definitive answer, and to be honest, when I'm feeling bad, I couldn't care less which it is. The end result is the same. Medication can help, there's no doubt about that, and for some it's absolutely essential. For others, it just doesn't work out, for any number of reasons. I'm still on the fence about that one. To date I haven't had massive success with medication and I seem to be particularly sensitive to any potential side effects, so I have to look at different ways of managing. I think the next couple of months will be very telling as to where I'm at, as this will be the first time in almost two years that I've been off medication.
For now though, today, I'm mostly just really happy to have caught the interest of so many people, for whatever reason.
|Trending - my 5 seconds of fame :-)|
Maybe they've experienced it themselves, or someone they know has. Maybe they think I'm talking utter shite, but they still took a look out of curiosity. The stigma around mental illness is very real, and a massive hindrance to those who are struggling. But if the response to that one piece is anything to go by, regardless of what people think of mental illness, it's still being brought out into the open and into conversation. As far as I'm concerned, that's a win.
Labels: acceptance, Medication, mental health, recovery, sharing, stigma, tapering, treatment