When happy pills are the answer.

by Michaël Korchia

The gloom and doom. CC by Michaël Korchia


I never believed in “happy pills,” but was always curious as to whether they could actually make you feel eternally happy. My thoughts were, that since sadness and pain are part of life, we should endure it like everyone else. Yet, not everyone is the same and sometimes we need a little help when adversity hits us and we don’t seem to be able to overcome the dark night, and have little if any will left to live.

True that some people have chemical imbalances in the brain and “happy pills” may help balance the act, but other times, when darkness and gloom become your everyday view, a short stint with antidepressants may help you get back on track.

When I was 28, I went through one of those gloom and doom periods. From what seemed like from one day to another my life collapsed. I couldn’t will myself to get up and go out into the world. I called in sick to work every day for two weeks, hoping I would wake up and feel alive and ready to go one day. Something in my brain had clicked and there I was, almost bedridden. It was a scary time and luckily I got through it with the help of a friend, which unbeknownst her, pulled me through.

Since then, the unbearable darkness visited me once again when I was older. I found myself staring at the dark abyss helplessly, hoping it wouldn’t drain me of my will to live. This time round it was taking longer to make it through the fog and for the first time I went to see a psychiatrist hoping she would give me something to get me over the hump, and she did. I finally got my very own “happy pills!” Now I was going to be happy all the time! Or so I thought. Not. What happened is that they allowed me to gain perspective, distance myself from the dark fog, and brought me some relief and clarity to work though the darkness. But no euphoria or eternal happiness was granted.

My take on antidepressants is that they will only go so far. You need to work with someone, do some talk therapy, ie; emotional cleansing. There is no magic pill that will forever make you happy. This would not be realistic and would rob you of the emotions we need to experience life fully, with its ups and downs. While at times the thought of emotional numbing might sound like a good idea, life without the opposites isn’t a fully experienced life.

Sometimes, happy pills are the temporary answer, but in the long run, we have to learn to cope and rely on our past experiences to get us through.





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