(When I first started this blog, I wrote this. It included a web address for an opinion piece from the New York Times, which I can no longer reproduce here for some reason.)
If you’d like you can read the article posted above. It’s an opinion piece published in the New York Times about the “overmedication” of women who suffer from anxiety or depression. I confess I haven’t read the whole thing because as I read it, I began to feel I would have a stroke from the escalating rage.
The person who wrote this is a woman. A psychiatrist. And what she says is that anxiety and depression are healthy and adaptive and we should “appreciate” them. Oh, the long series of expletives I could put here. Instead I’ll just say, Fuck you, you ignorant, willfully stupid waste of air.
Depression and pain are the least understood and most commonly ignored and berated problems that people bring to their physicians. Many physicians are understanding of the life-threatening implications of these two issues. Some even understand that sometimes physical pain is the result of traumatic emotional events that haven’t been adequately addressed. Example: When you see your husband and child killed in front of you, and your house burned to the ground, and then you are raped, and you finally end up in the United States by some miracle, you may go to the doctor with physical pain. And of course there may be good physical reasons for your physical pain, but the pain may also be a manifestation of the devastating emotional trauma you have endured. Does you doctor understand that? Does he or she even know, or ask, about where you’re from or how you came to be here? Probably not. Tests are ordered, procedures endured, myriad approaches are tried and fail. Simply because physicians are not attuned to the emotional suffering of others, they are not trained to deal with it, and most of all, they ignore it altogether.
If this wounded person does end up seeing a psychiatrist, let’s hope she doesn’t see the person who wrote this article. And those of us who have not endured this level of trauma should also hope we don’t end up seeing a psychiatrist like this one. Because this woman has clearly never been depressed or paralyzed with anxiety. And she’s not alone. I have known some wonderful psychiatrists, and all the good ones have had some personal experience with anxiety or depression of their own. On the other hand, I’ve heard so-called experts say things like “You want an antidepressant for seasonal affective disorder? Go out and take a walk for God’s sake. You’ll feel better.” Well, Sweetie, if I can’t get out of bed, I can’t go take a walk, you miserable stupid excuse for an “expert”.
The people who hold your life in their hands probably don’t have the first clue what it’s like to be depressed. And they don’t even realize they’ve got your life under their control. If I could not get my antidepressants because my psychiatrist believed that I should embrace my feelings rather than medicate them, I would die. Simple. I would die because I would be in so much psychological pain that I would kill myself. End of story.
So all I can say to this ignorant, condescending non-expert is Fuck You.