I rarely swear on my blog, and although I categorize “shit” in the almost-not-a-swear-but-still-offends-some-people category, I understand many are offended by the word. If you are, I would kindly ask that you continue reading and instead, feel offended by what I’m about to show you instead.
As I browsed Facebook a few days ago, I came across an image posted by a high school friend. This friend and I haven’t spoken in years but had a relatively close relationship in school. I would like to preface this by saying I have nothing against this friend and understand the reasons why someone would post something like this, especially someone who hasn’t suffered from debilitating anxiety or depression.
My Facebook friend posted this:
As I did a quick Google search, I realized I was not the only one deeply offended by this image. Considering all the recent support and awareness for mental illnesses, I was honestly surprised that this picture was circulating at all – and that people agreed with it.
Now, do I believe there can be some negative side effects of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications? Obviously. No one would deny that. But I also believe that about every medication out there.
This picture just reinforces myths and misunderstandings about mental illness and how to treat it.
This picture reinforces “get over it, you’re fine.”
This picture reinforces “It’s all in your head.”
This picture reinforces “It’s your fault you feel this way.”
You know, because obviously hanging out with some trees in a nice little forest for a few hours each day is a cure to a very complex mental illness! You know, I think we’re on to something. Maybe this would work for other diseases too!
Maybe outdoor time is also radiation and chemotherapy. Maybe outdoor time is also insulin! Maybe it’s penicillin too?
Can you imagine the outrage if someone wrote this about chemotherapy? (and I’m sure people have, I just don’t even want to search and find out for sure).
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are not shit. You do not feel depressed or anxious because you don’t spend enough time outside, despite what people may say.
Can regular exercise help with mental health issues? Of course! Is it a cure? Absolutely not.
I know many other bloggers have already ranted about this image. After I found all those other blogs, I considered not saying anything. But then I realized that every opinion counts. And maybe if enough people express how outrageous and offensive this picture is, the chances of another one popping up on my newsfeed will decrease even just a tiny bit.
Maybe if everyone offended by this image said something, then maybe someone suffering from depression or anxiety wouldn’t ever have to see a picture like this, and feel guilty for taking their much needed medication.
The only thing that’s shit about this whole picture is the fact that it exists in the first place.