Published: 08/24/2013 - Updated: 12/11/2016
The use of anti-depressants to tackle a problem or sadness is becoming increasingly common. It is estimated that the consumption of anti-depressants has doubled in the last decade in countries going through a crisis, however, this does not mean that it is the best or only option to deal with sadness or difficult times.
Anti-depressants are drugs that can be helpful when prescribed correctly to treat cases of depression, but should not be, under any circumstances, the first choice of treatment.
Why are anti-depressants so common?
Every day we see them on TV advertisements, we meet someone that recommends them to us, or perhaps you have acquired the idea that these pills are a simple remedy for "sadness". Antidepressants are also usually cheaper than psychotherapy and less time consuming, so it is easy to understand why many people find these drugs to be the most convenient option.
However, currently there is a theory that suggests that sadness is a natural process that most of us are able to cope with and what is best is to try taking something positive from the experience.
Should we "treat" sadness with drugs?
Aristotle argued that sadness could actually provide more stable mental health, perhaps it may seem counterintuitive, but some experts suggest that today being sad promotes analytical thinking, which allows us to focus on our crisis, to break a problem into simpler parts and make it more manageable, therefore facilitating the understanding of the problem and allowing us to improve.
Depression leads to social isolation, which give us the time needed for concentration.
Reflection is likely to lead to question "Why did not I do this?” “I should have done this”, etc. So, although depression and sadness may have a negative stigma attached to it, it could prove to be useful in small periods and lead to positive learning in the future so that we can improve our lives for the better.
What does not kill us makes us stronger
No one likes to experience sadness, since it is an unpleasant condition. However, it is assumed that sadness is a sign that something is wrong: It may be loss or an action that hurts us, however, after the pain passes, we are forced to face what caused it in the first place and by reflecting on it, we gain experience from it. Studies show that people who survive misfortune and loss are usually more focused, strong and mentally stable.
In short, consuming an anti-depressant will certainly make us feel better in the short-term, but it also takes away our brain's ability to gain experience. We do not mean to say that anti-depressants are unnecessary or that they should not be used because there mostly certainly are cases of clinical depression requiring medicinal treatment. It is entirely possible that patients suffering from depression for no apparent reason or who are suffering from a personal crisis require medication to help them in their specific situations.
How can one overcome sadness without medication?
It is not a simple process, but our body will tell us that we are going through a crisis and it can be very difficult to overcome. In these cases, it is best to take time to reflect, giving our problems specific time and attention in order to face them and gain more understanding about why we feel this way.
Writing can be a good strategy to overcome depression and sadness. According to statistics, people who turn their feelings into writing are more likely to overcome depression faster. One healing activity could be sharing your thoughts on a blog.
Talking is also therapeutic, but to overcome sadness it is important to take time out to be by yourself too. Sharing our burdens, either with a friend, colleague, or a therapist who will listen, can help facilitate the process of assimilation, improvement and even to overcome our problems.
Going for a walk on a sunny day in a green area also provides excellent results.
Do not underestimate going to psychological counselling if you feel you are struggling to overcome feelings of sadness. Instead seek professional help, as therapies can help to guide our thinking in the right direction.