For some obscure reason, I am finding that more and more persons seem to think it is appropriate to joke about how rampant mental illness is throughout society today and how many individuals make use of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. It is an acknowledgement that is difficult to deny or ignore considering the topic of mental health is being discussed more frequently and consistently, which I personally believe to be a step in the right direction.
While I do find it concerning that the amount of persons using anti-depressant medication is escalating, I definitely do not interpret this finding as unnecessary or insignificant. I feel as though individuals who deal with mental illness and take medication to allow them to cope with their illness often encounter scrutiny and judgment for doing so. They are accused of being weak and furthermore lazy for choosing to use medicine to control their anxiety or depression, and I think these accusations are absolutely preposterous and ignorant.
An additional argument associated with the use of anti-depressants is the idea that these medications have the ability to impede on an individual’s personality or character traits. It is arguable that many persons who take anti-depressants do so in order to participate in everyday living and day-to-day activities, and claiming that individuals who experience mental illness are diminishing their personalities by taking medication to provide them with aid is a tremendous generalization to advocate for.
Rather than dictating who should be making use of anti-depression and anti-anxiety medications, why don’t we as a society choose to listen to their needs instead? Encouraging conversation in regards to mental illness and allowing persons suffering to have their voices heard is an effective way to provide aid to individuals who require it.
The most important component of mental illness is listening, and I encourage everyone to open their ears.