I met my new therapist last week. As expected, she said I’m depressed (duh) and that I should go see a doctor (duh). She thinks maybe if it turns out my headaches are not caused by a brain tumor, which they’re probably not, I might need feel-better pills, also known as anti-depressants.
I am not a fan of pills.
I don’t even like to take over-the-counter pain-killing pills, although I’ve been eating them like candy lately. I don’t like to take pills because taking pills means my body is not functioning correctly. I would rather do what needs to be done to make my body work right than mask the not-working-right symptoms with drugs.
Diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes come before drugs, in my view. Drugs are capitulation and abdication. (Full disclosure: I do have one drug of choice, which is caffeine. If it begins to look like I need to quit the caffeine to feel better, I will do that before I take feel-better pills. But it will be hard.)
Don’t get me wrong—medicine has its place. When you are ill, physically or mentally, in ways that cannot be remediated via lifestyle changes, by all means, avail yourself of modern pharmaceuticals. I know people who owe their lives to anti-depressants and other psychoactive medications. But I don’t think I’m that sick. Unless I really do have a brain tumor (probably not).
There is another argument to be made here. Once you’ve descended too far into the pit of depression, it can become impossible to muster up with the will to address it without mother’s little helper. For example, I can’t sleep more because I’m not sleeping well. I can’t eat better because my appetite is minimal and often I can’t be bothered to eat at all. The nice weather is helping, because I’ve been out walking much more than I do in the winter. Walking briskly for a few miles feels kind of like blasting a cleansing wind through my body and blowing the toxins out.
Other changes in the works may increase short-term stress but improve long-term prospects for finding inner balance. I think I can get through this period without pills, but if I end up taking them, I guess I will thank the chemists for their assistance and keep moving forward.