I was back to visit my family after a long time and I hadn’t seen my little sister for many years. She just finished high school and she was feeling somewhat depressed with her life. The rites of passage to adulthood not present anymore in our society, she lacked guidance, wasn’t too happy with her choices and wasn’t sure if she wanted to go to college. Like many young girls, she was normal. But not according to medicine.
Unbeknownst to me, she went to see a doctor and he prescribed her some anti-depressants after talking with her for 30 minutes. I was enraged and strongly opposed to the idea and did everything in my power to stop her from proceeding. I imposed myself in her subsequent meetings to protect her from being easily conned into a decision. Here are the arguments I used to make her change her mind and to silence the phony merchant of happiness.
They only treat the symptoms
Doctor: “You can take this pill and feel good in three weeks.”
Medicine sees depression as a disease that can be treated: it’s supposedly a chemical imbalance in a person’s brain causing unhappiness and sorrow. But what needs fixing is the real source of the imbalance, in this case, her life. You won’t know how much your life sucks if you take a pill that prevents you from knowing it.
It’s as if your body was slashed open with your intestines coming out and your inside juice pouring all over the place and you chose to take painkillers instead of putting your guts back where they belong. Yeah, you won’t feel the horrible pain anymore, but it will be a very futile victory.
They make you give up
Doctor: “Take this pill so you can momentarily pull yourself together and get back on your feet. You can stop later, no problems”
This is complete alligator manure packaged as reasonable common sense. In moments of vulnerability, you will be more easily seduced by magical promises that paint a bright future, but the truth is your doctor doesn’t know and doesn’t care. There is no better motivator than pain. The unbearable burden of someone’s inability to live up to their own potential will also channel their greatest willpower to achieve greater glory.
Take the grinding suffering away, and your motivation to change will vanish instantly. Since it’s in human nature to seek comfort and maintain one’s life when success is attained, that’s what you will be doing, only you will be maintaining mediocrity. It will be an illusion, like a sleep walking dream you will have to wake up from someday. You will become complacent and sufficient, content with what you have, and just like rich people you will promote the unfulfilling status quo.
They make you stop pursuing the things you need
You will stop being sad. But sadness indicates you that you need something you’re not getting. You feel lonely, unloved, bored, hated, unfulfilled? What you need to do is meet people, make new friends, change your career or field of studies and have some romantic experiences. Go walk in nature more often and feed the ducks, find and listen to good music, beat some new challenges to feel proud about yourself, get rid of negative draining people in your entourage, develop better habits, get fit, eat well and meditate.
They make you weaker
Western society entertains a culture of weakness. Headache? Take Aspirin. Stressed? Eat. Lonely? Buy cats. Feeling empty? Watch movies, get drunk dead, have some hook ups, smoke blunts, take a hundred selfies, buy useless toys. Depressed? Here is some Prozac. These make you psychologically dependent on trivial experiences instead of making you develop long lasting attributes like resilience, discipline, courage, faith, empathy and hope, the kind of qualities that make people happy and successful.
They make you stop questioning society
Doctor: “It’s normal, most people take them”
Is it possible that the generation that preceded us were only able to tolerate the way things are because most of them are on happy pills? Society is dysfunctional and disconnected. Could it be because over 50% of the population is numb and just don’t care about anything anymore? It’s useless to judge or bash people who take those drugs; what’s more important is to destroy the foundations that make those pills so readily accepted, available and barely criticized.
In the meantime, I don’t want my little sister to be plugged into a matrix. I told her that she’s not crazy, that they are crazy for expecting her to have no doubts, fears, anxiety or sadness. I told her she needs to throw her anti-depressants out. It will hurt at first, it will take time and effort, but in the long run, she will fix herself, she will be happy and she will be free forever.