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The taboo of tablets

Friday, 02 September 2016 Hannah

Hi. I’m Hannah Shucksmith, and this is my mental health selfie for Mind. I have struggled with depression for quite some time, and most of it I’ve got through on my own.

(If you're on mobile click to view Hannah's video on Youtube)

I am good at doing 'the right thing' when I don’t feel right.  I’m good at taking the exercise I need.  I’m good at responding to my body.  I’m good at eating well

I’m fortunate that I’ve got great friends and I’m good at getting around them.

But that wasn’t enough and I got to the point where I needed more help, and acknowledging that was really quite scary for me.  So going to therapy felt okay because it was still me taking control, me having the initiative. 

"It felt like I was doing everything in my power to make the situation better."

But when therapy wasn’t enough and I was still really struggling, I had to accept that I needed these:  antidepressants.  It felt like a huge step to start taking them, and a big taboo to say I needed something, a little tablet, to make me feel okay every day.

Why am I sharing this as my mental health selfie?  Because I honestly believe it’s these that have changed my life for the better.  I’ve been on them since last May, so almost a year now, and okay, I have to swallow my pride every morning with the pill, but I feel good about being alive, I feel excited about waking up.

"I wake up and I look forward to the day. If the sun’s shining, I want to get outside. And that’s not how it felt a year ago before I took the medication."

If the sun was shining, it was like a painful sting on the fact that I was feeling so bad and yet the day was so beautiful.  I wouldn’t be here without these.

And I’m sharing this because I know a lot of people feel like I did, that it’s a big step to go onto antidepressants, and I want to really encourage you, that if you’ve tried other things and you’re not getting better, please do be kind to yourself.  You don’t have to be better on your own, you can be better with help, and some of that help looks like tablets.

I had a skiing accident. I’ve just had an operation. I’m on crutches at the moment. I can only get around on crutches because my knee is in agony.

"No one is looking at me, thinking, gosh, she’s using crutches, she’s really failed at life."

In the same way, no one is really making that judgement that I failed because I’m on antidepressants, but I was making it of myself. But actually I succeeded because I got over my pride and I am doing the thing that helps me.

Now, if you’ve enjoyed this, please do do your own mental health selfie for Mind and look up #mentalhealthselfie on YouTube to follow others.


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