This is the face of a mother.
This is the face of a partner.
This is the face of a friend.
The face of someone you know.
This is the face of antidepressants.
There has always been a sense of failure surrounding medication for depression or anxiety, the fact they are derogatorily nicknamed ‘happy pills’ does not help.
Someone close to me recently remarked that he did not know any female in their late twenties in close friendship circle and family that were not currently taking antidepressants. If that is the case, if we are all ‘secretly’, on them why is it such a big taboo still?
Why is it not socially acceptable to stand up and admit, that yes, you are on anti-depressants?
I have written before about the sense of shame of having to go on and off medication to be happy, to function. Especially as a mother, one of the hardest things you will ever have to do is admit that you need help and it took me a long time to accept the forms the help could come in. Medication being one of them.
When I was pregnant the Doctor said to me that if I wobbled just for a minute during pregnancy it was safer for me to go back on my tablets. It is like if you have a heart condition and you must take pills everyday would you stop because of what people may think of you?
So, why is it as a society we view anti-depressants with such resentment, guilt and even shame?
After the birth of my second son, I was diagnosed with severe PND and anxiety, it took me 6 weeks to know I was at my limit. The best-case scenario for everyone involved especially my boys was to go back on them.
7 months on, and I have processed a lot and feel as though my head is slowly coming out of the water. Medication was responsible for a lot of that. Finding ways to manage to function and talking openly and honestly.
Another amazing advocate for trying to remove the stigma from taking anti-depressants and the guilt we are supposed to feel is Amy Ransom from Surviving Motherhood who has started an amazing campaign #thisisthefaceofantidepressants
We are all different, we all need help now and again and whatever form that comes in, there should be no shame. There should be no wall put up around the subject of mental health.
What works for us, works.
I am a mother of two, partner, freelance writer and stay at home mum juggling it all including the cat eating fish fingers off the floor, and this is my face. #thisisthefaceofantidepressants