I've been against anti-depressant medication for as long as I can remember. Seeing people addicted and dependent to meds made me never want to take anything. It was even harder when the first person who was really there for me and I really admired advised against them.
Before my depression support group Brad and I talked about medication vs. no medication. Me, "I don't need any. I feel fine." Brad, "No, you do." I felt torn. There have been times in the past that I have felt the need for them. At one time I admitted to my doctor that I needed them and went on them. I can't remember how long I was on them, but it wasn't very long. At that time I was dealing with Jack's abuse and on infertility medication which makes your hormones go even crazier! I thought, I need them just to get through this! Now, 6 years later I still experience ups and downs and occasionally do actually need something to help things out.
Group had perfect timing and antidepressant medication actually came up! So I expressed my wondering, I feel like I don't need them, but Brad thinks I do. One of the first comments was, those you are closest to usually see more of the impact of the depression before you can. Duh, I know that, but it didn't dawn on me until now! By the end of group I was finally coming around on the idea that yes, I DO need to be on them.
After the discussion during group I thought, okay okay, I'll stop being stubborn and go back on the meds. For a brief moment I thought, but only for a little while. Then after group Brother F talked to me briefly. (There were 2 couples that did the depression support group- Bishop and Sister R and Brother and Sister F) After talking to Brother F I thought, you know it's not the end of the world if I NEED to be on them forever. It is an illness and it won't magically go away. Being more spiritual isn't going to fix it, it can help though, but, like other illnesses out there, the cure can be medication.
I remember the first week in group 2. Ross asked, "Does God still work miracles today?" He then talked about how Christ healed in his time by touch. He doesn't heal the same way today, but rather inspires the minds of those who invent healing medications and procedures. The other day I was talking with the girl that works for us. She was in the same ward as us when Bishop S was our bishop. I told her about me experience when he asked if I believe in the power of the priesthood, yes. And how he gave me a blessing and stated that a priesthood blessing can heal you from abuse. Again, it doesn't hurt, but healing from the deep scars of abuse takes more work then a blessing. She commented and I totally agree, if that were true, there would not be a need for counselors at LDSFS. The priesthood is and can be a wonderful thing, I have seen it personally in my life. However the Lord has also provided other was to help us in trials and illness. Sometimes we need to not be so stubborn and admit, we need help. After the depression support group I also talked to Sister R, I told her, I just need to not be so stubborn! I have been dealing with the depression on my own, no medication for the most part for 15 years. It's been hard to change that mindset of, "I can do this on my own. After all I've been handling it this way for 15 years! "
Another conversation I had after group was with my husband. I mentioned, there are different degrees of depression. For some simply serving others and forgetting about yourself works. Sometime the depression is circumstantial, losing a loved one or dealing with trials. For others temporarily going on medication or natural supplements work. For so long I blamed my depression on circumstances. Dealing with my mom's death and dealing with all the abuse and other trials. Now I am ready to admit, it is not circumstances, it is not going to go away easily, I need medication and that is just how it is.
For so long, while I was against going on medication I was dealing with these other trials. I felt like I really needed to deal with them and all the emotions that came with them. I felt like going on medication would just mask the problem. Now, I have to admit, depression IS the problem and this is how I need to handle it.