This article is a bit long, so you don’t need to read the whole thing. But what I’ve clipped below speaks to a problem I’ve seen around me. It is my experience that doctors are way too quick to prescribe anti-depressants. Friends who were unhappy for very good reason due to a sad/traumatic event in their lives have gone to counselors only to be referred to a doctor for a prescription. Once on these drugs, it can be hard to get off. It’s just another area to be wary of… unhappiness is allowed, or should be, is part of the human condition and can be overcome without drugs very often. I think anti-depressants should be reserved for unique and severe cases, not for people who are grieving, or otherwise sad or unhappy, when a good friend and some care and compassion might do the trick.
Psychiatric diagnosis—more overblown, all-inclusive, and shallow in the DSM-5 than ever before—has almost driven the word “unhappy” from the English lexicon. This is hardly surprising: according to the DSM, depression can be diagnosed after only two weeks. Among the thousands of patients who consulted me over a period of 15 years, only three whom I can recall ever used the word “unhappy” (and one was a prisoner, who told me, “I’m not happy in this prison, Doctor”). By contrast, thousands said that they were “depressed.”
Faye adds: That was my experience too. In undergrad, someone very close to me got into a serious car accident and it looked like there would be brain damage of some kind. For days, I was a wreck and couldn’t stop crying. I went to the student health centre in the goal of seeing an M.D. to get a referral to one of the psychologists on staff to talk the thing through.
I got sent home with a sample pack of anti-depressants. And all I wanted to do was to talk to someone. I ended up wrestling through it on my own.by