The Stigma Behind “Artificial Happiness”: What It Really Means To Be On Antidepressants 

Current Vibe:

  • 7/25/17
  • Art by Laura Callaghan (see more here)
  • 11:34 P.M.
  • Mood: less alone.


Well, well, well. Look what we have here. Another stigma in the field of mental health.

For a society that praises people for being happy and mentally fit, it sure does foster  dangerous, harmful, and seemingly hypocritical views of mental health and mental illnesses.

I think society often forgets that we aren’t robots. We aren’t just programmed to be happy, bubbly, and full of all of this positive energy ALL the time. Even for people who thrive on social energy, that shit gets exhausting eventually. Which is why sometimes, some of us need a little help.

Enter THE HAPPY PILLS. Those could range from antidepressants to anti-psychotics. Whatever your flavor, we’re all just trying to find a little more sanity out of ’em.

Ah, who am I kidding? It’s not that simple. It’s not a matter of just finding “a little more sanity”. Some of our lives thrive on the medications we’ve been prescribed to level out the chemicals in our brains. That’s just the way it is, and we’re doing nothing but trying to better ourselves and become happier, even if it’s viewed as…artificial.

I’m sure the phrase, “He’s/She’s off her meds right now, so he/she might be pretty off” (or something to that affect) isn’t new. That’s something that’s said nonchalantly so often that people no longer realize how damaging that mindset is. One statement like this speaks volumes of how society views the people who are medicated for their mental illnesses.

These views show that because others feel that medication puts “artificial feelings and stability” into a person, it means that, without the medication, they’re totally out of control again and have no ways of handling their emotions themselves. On top of that, taking medications seem to be a signal that a person has reached an all time high in the insanity department. A person must have MAJOR ISSUES if he/she has to take a medicine to straighten out emotions and mental states.

But, here are a few things to remember that go against what society’s conjured up:

The person with OR without the medicine is still you. No person’s opinion or pill will ever change that. Nothing will. You don’t miraculously change into this magical, model human being when you start a new medication. You already are that magical, model human.

Your feelings are still yours when you’re taking medication. The medicine doesn’t take the authenticity of your emotions away. They may throw, twist, and flip them for a little bit, but a medication doesn’t change your personality or the reasons why you react to things the way that you do. Plus, the medication doesn’t put new things into you, despite what others think. It works with what you already have. And yes, your emotions are still valid.

Taking medications for your mental illnesses does not mean you’ve gone crazy. You’ve actually made a very sane, sound decision just by deciding to take it. You assessed your mental state, realized that you felt that there was more that could be done to cope with it, and did what was necessary to set those measures in place. Even if it wasn’t exactly like that (like your therapist had to push you a bit to take medications), you still did it. You’re still doing it. You’re more sane than those motherfuckers that called you “insane”. Look at you GO. 

Most importantly, taking medication does not take away the control you have over yourself, your actions, and your life. With or without the medication, you are fully capable. 

You’re bettering yourself. Take your medicine today. You deserve it. 


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