(Note: this rant is not directed toward anyone here.)
I am so tired of this pervasive myth that everyone’s depression is biochemical. I’m tired of people who barely know my name(s) telling me I should talk to my psychiatrist and try more meds.
I have already tried all the meds, and no, that is not hyperbole. My depression is not an imbalance of neurotransmitters, and more drugs are not going to fix it.
To insist that my depression is biochemical is to deny the very real and valid reasons I’m depressed. I’m depressed because my father raped me for 16 years, took explicit pictures of me, loaned me to other men, forced me to participate in my sister’s abuse, and frequently threatened and even attempted to kill me. I’m depressed because my mother is a narcissist who taught me I was a worthless waste of oxygen, verbally and emotionally abused me, abandoned me to take care of my sisters at a young age, and dumped me when I stopped participating in her mind games. I’m depressed because my grandparents only value me for my external achievements, and they threaten to withdraw financial support at a whim, leaving me homeless. I’m depressed because the damage from ECT leaves me with huge functional deficits. I’m depressed because I’m in constant physical pain.
These are valid reasons to feel depressed. It’s not because some little receptor in my brain isn’t getting enough dopamine or serotonin.
My unwillingness to stay on the psych med merry-go-round does not mean I’m not trying to get better. It means I’m making an informed choice: since I’ve been on tons of meds with no benefit, it’s unlikely that new drugs or cocktails will benefit me.
On the flip side of the coin, don’t tell me that the meds I’m on are causing my problems. See above elaboration on all my valid, non-chemical reasons for being depressed. In terms of implication, “all your problems are caused by your meds” is the same as “all your problems can be solved by meds.” They both invalidate the experiences that really cause the depression.