I’ve been a fan of Wil Wheaton since I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation in my Great Grandmother’s living room as a kid. However, following him as an adult has been even more entertaining. Sure, I enjoy his sense of humor but most of all I appreciate his honesty. He doesn’t hide his mental illness because he agrees that there is no need for stigma. Depression is just another physical illness. Even more, he knows he has a platform, and he uses it to help people live despite their mental health challenges. I admire any kindred spirit like that.
Recently, a kid messaged Wil on social media and was feeling down about himself. His doctor recommended anti-depressants, and he was at a place where many of us have found ourselves at one point. He didn’t think he was that bad, and this was a bit of a shock to him.
The best response
Wil’s response is, hands down the simplest, most accurate, and down-to-Earth argument for taking your meds and not feeling bad about yourself that I have ever read.
I’m not going to write much here because I want you to save some time to read Wil’s original piece. It’s short, sweet but absolutely worth your time so please check it out.
“Mental illness is exactly the same as a physical illness. Your body has something that’s out of whack – in our case, it’s how our brains handle neurochemicals and stuff – and there’s medication that can help us help ourselves feel better.”
Because Depression is a physical condition we don’t have control over, we shouldn’t feel reluctant to get help. Seeking treatment should just be the default response.
“You would treat any illness with medication if you could, and you’d put a cast on a broken leg and walk with crutches if you needed to, because walking on a broken leg really really really hurts, and you don’t need to suffer through that pain!”
It’s common to hear someone with depression lament that they ‘have to go back on meds’ or that ‘it’s worse than I thought.’ They get down on themselves.
Wil’s right, Depression is a dick that makes things worse and tries to justify it’s own existence by lying to us. But the lies are so in-depth and subtle that we often don’t notice them. Something as simple as reluctance to get help is just Depression lying about its own severity.
Let’s make things clear here, Depression is a parasite that will consume everything if you let it. But you don’t have to let that happen. You can get help. You can take your meds. You can do all the things that elevate your mood just a little. Those add up.
I want you to know that you do have some power and some control over your condition. Any voice you hear that tells you otherwise is your illness screwing with you.
Okay, enough of me. Please read Wil’s post.
I’ve also included an excellent video Wil did for Project UROK that’s worth watching. Please check it out. 1 in 4 teenagers struggles with a diagnosable mental illness. It brings me relief knowing there are others, like Wil and Project UROK, speaking truth into the lives of young people with mental illnesses.
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