Depression affects people in different ways and can take many different forms. Its a real, multifaceted illness that does not have a single solution.
To present only one is simplistic and irresponsible.
This is the issue that writer and public speaker Jenni Chiu took issue with before writing a viral Facebook post about a harmful meme.
The image was split between that of an outdoors scene, captioned "This is an antidepressant", and that of an antidepressant pill, captioned "This is sh-t".
Jenni wrote in the post which has been shared over 25,000 times:
Depression and anxiety are mental ILLNESSES.
Not all illness can be cured with fresh air and sunshine. Sometimes chemical imbalances in the brain need to be supplemented. It may not be the answer for everybody, but it is definitely a life saver for some.
Are meds overprescribed? Possibly.
Can simple lifestyle changes improve our mental and physical health? Certainly. Should a drug that could keep someone from wanting to die be described as 'shit'? Never.
If you manage your mental illness by taking medication, I AM PROUD OF YOU. If you are considering talking to your doctor about medication, I AM PROUD OF YOU.
If you are able to manage a mood disorder naturally, I AM PROUD OF YOU. If you are considering talking to your doctor about weaning off of or changing medications, I AM PROUD OF YOU.
Jenni also posted an edited version of the image on her page, as part of the same point:Picture: Facebook/Kelly Whalen
Jenni has since made a video about her rant against images which stigmatise antidepressants.
Watch the full video, below:
The NHS says that the the Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates 50-65 per cent of people treated with an antidepressant for depression will see an improvement, compared to 25-30 per cent given a placebo.
The NHS also says that treatment for depression varies upon the type of depression that you have.