All of us know someone who has faced or is facing depression and we know how society supports and deals with those with depression is all too diverse. Today, one woman has thrown her voice powerfully and poignantly at a meme that was designed to motivate people with depression to find a natural solution.
It is common for people with depression to be told they need to get outdoors, get more sun, or find ways without medication. It seems some trivialise what is a very serious and difficult to manage medical condition with the frivolity of social media. Today we want to know what you think.
This meme, with the first picture showing a tranquil forest, with text over the top saying “this is an antidepressant”. The next picture says “this is shit,” over another picture, this time of a antidepressant pill.
The writer of the Facebook post that critically cuts the meme down is Jenni Chiu. Her post poignantly reads:
I’m Jenni Chiu and this image pisses me off.
May is Mental health Awareness month and I can’t think of a worse way to raise awareness than with this irresponsible image (recently posted by the page Earth. We are one.)
I find the top part of this image to be absolutely true. Meditating outside, breathing fresh air, taking a break from the blue light of my electronics – that all helps my brain and body tremendously.
I find the bottom part of this image to be stigmatizing, and extremely harmful to those who struggle with mental illness. It is irresponsible and IT IS FALSE.
Disclosure: I’m a damn tree hugger. I’ve hugged the hell out of trees. I’ve felt their energy. I’ve sat beneath a redwood and exhaled up into it’s branches, asking it to lift some of the weight off my shoulders. I believe that our modern lifestyles have disconnected some of us from Mother Earth and that by spending time outdoors we are reminded of the balance between us and nature.
Disclosure: There were several years of my life where I was on a cocktail of meds (prozac was one of them) and they literally kept. me. alive.
Depression and anxiety are mental ILLNESSES. Not all illness can be cured with fresh air and sunshine. Sometimes chemical imbalances in the brain need to be supplemented. It may not be the answer for everybody, but it is definitely a life saver for some.
Are meds overprescribed? Possibly.
Can simple lifestyle changes improve our mental and physical health? Certainly.
Should a drug that could keep someone from wanting to die be described as “shit”? Never.
If you manage your mental illness by taking medication, I AM PROUD OF YOU. If you are considering talking to your doctor about medication, I AM PROUD OF YOU.
If you are able to manage a mood disorder naturally, I AM PROUD OF YOU. If you are considering talking to your doctor about weaning off of or changing medications, I AM PROUD OF YOU.
If you have an entire arsenal of mental health tools that include a combination of prescriptions, meditation, art therapy, exercise, sunshine, multiple yoga poses, and several flavors of gelato, I AM PROUD OF YOU.
If you wake up to live another day… If you open your eyes and face those same demons that left you so exhausted the day before… If you continue to grace us all with your existence, I AM PROUD OF YOU…
and I thank you.
When you are drowning and someone throws you a life preserver, you take it. Pay no mind to the people off to the side judging and telling you it’s not the right size or color… or that it couldn’t possibly work. You take it. You grab it and hold on like nobody’s business.
When you get to shore and dry off… then you can take a breath and figure out a plan. Change things up if you need to. Ask for help if you need to…
Anyone telling you not to grab that life preserver is a dick…
and if you accidentally kick them in the face while you’re paddling your way out of the stormy waters, no big deal…
Tell them to go stop the bleeding with the warm breeze outside.
I love you.
Do whatever you need to stay with us.
Have you battled depression or known someone who has and do you agree with Jenny?