AMANDA MACGREGOR

In which I yell about mental health

(I shouted about this on Facebook recently, but I like shouting, so here I am doing it here.)

What a terribly irresponsible and dangerous headline. Antidepressants can save lives. I have been medicated for 21 years and while things like exercise (or any of the other million things we are told “may” help alleviate some of our symptoms) may help, it is not a medication. This headline and article shames those with mental illness–like if only we would work harder/try the RIGHT thing, we could get better without needing the “crutch” of that nasty medication–and stigmatizes mental health. I am not ashamed of my mental illnesses. I am not ashamed to be medicated. I am not weak for listening to my doctors and having a small pharmacy’s worth of medication in me every day. Going off medication, apparently without consulting a doctor, does not make you a “superhero.” Every day that I choose to take my medication, every day that I take care of myself, every time I go to therapy, or adjust my medications, or climb back up out of the horrible pit that is living with major depression and anxiety disorder, THAT is when I feel like a superhero. THAT is what will save me.

(You can go read the People article here if you want to. Whatever.)

Shall I point you to some other places I yell (or, sometimes, write in a more measured and academic way) about mental health? Okay, here you go:

My mental illness will not be cured by platitudes

Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2017: Mental Health in YA Literature Presentation

NerdCon: Stories 2016

Mental Health Representation in Young Adult Literature webinar

The #MHYALit Discussion Hub – Mental Health in Young Adult Literature

#MHYALit: Anxiety Disorder, My Son, and Me

Sunday Reflections: Mental health medications are not your enemy

#MHYALit: Talking about mental health-related books and issues with teens

#MHYALit Sunday Reflections: The hard work of getting help and getting better