Jhilmil Recommends - Depression in our youth, the good and bad of psychiatry medicine
This month, she looks at how depression may often be overlooked in high achievers, if psychiatric medicines all they are made out to be, the good and bad of psychiatry medicine and how disease is culturally manufactured.
We don’t see the student with the 4.0 GPA. We don’t see the student who’s active in choir and theater or a member of the National Honor Society. We don’t see the student who takes on leadership roles in a religious youth group. No matter how many times we are reminded that mental illness doesn’t discriminate, we revert back to a narrow idea of how it should manifest, and that is dangerous.
This timely cover story from India Today discusses the issue of depression being rampant everywhere in India, but focusing on youngsters. With opinions from sufferers, those who have found their path to recovery, a lot of people will find it readable and get some advice from it. "Depression comes without warning. And before you know what's happening, you are already in its grip. I went through a cycle of severe depression after a failed relationship. I understood it was over but I didn't know how to work through the loss, move past the anger and take back my life. And I got sucked into a classic case of what's called anhedonia in psychiatry, the inability to experience joy. I had no appetite to speak of, lost weight dramatically, my memory was like a sieve, my self-esteem reached a nadir, my immunity was compromised and I started falling sick too often."
It is not a chemical imbalance, it is not like insulin for diabetics, and more.. This important and relevant article, written by a doctor, shatters the myths that a lot of us are fed, including mental illness is like diabetes and needs treatment for life, that mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain, and hence needs drugs to balance that. Read on!
Whether or not medications are supportive for a particular individual’s recovery is best decided by shared collaboration in an ongoing and trusting relationship between a person seeking recovery and well-trained clinicians, with openness on both sides to the observations of loving friends and family and a careful consideration of what has worked and what has not in the past.
All psychiatric drugs 'work' by obstructing normal brain function, causing dysfunction. All substantially interfere with normal thinking and feeling. All alter the brain's chemistry and structure, to varying degrees, fundamentally damaging the brain. All alter the size of the brain, making it (or some part of it) either expand in size or shrink. All are addictive. All work in ways that make withdrawal difficult, in some cases, arguably, impossible. All cause dysfunctions (and in some cases disorders) in various parts of the body. All work by 'deactivating' to some degree, though some primarily activate.
If you agree or disagree, please leave us a comment.
Read Jhilmil's recommendations for previous months:
Jhilmil Breckenridge's writing often worries about issues of feeling lost in a changing world, the immigrant or foreign experience, love, loss and longing, and nostalgia for times gone by. She is also a trained yoga teacher, trained in the Bihar School of Yoga’s hatha yoga therapies, as well as a teacher of Pranic Healing. She campaigns tirelessly in the field of mental health advice, support and advocacy.