Antidepressants are very important to a person suffering with mental illness, but many
think they are a joke. How many times have you heard someone call them happy pills?
Have you heard comments like these?
     “Uh oh, someone’s in a bad mood. Did you forget to take your happy pills?”
     “Hey, you’re acting silly; can I take some of your happy pills?”
     “I gotta take my happy pills to make me as funny as you.”
     Antidepressants are more than just pills that make a person elated. They work by
balancing chemicals in your brain that affect your moods. They help you think better,
help control your moods, help with your appetite, and help with sleep. You can find this
information and more at WebMD http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/
antidepressant-effects#1. They are very vital to a person’s climb to the top of the hole.
They help a person with mental illness stabilize his or her moods so he or she can
function and reach recovery. Antidepressants can be as vital as water to a struggling
    Without my medication, I would be a wreck. Off my medication I would drop down to
the bottom of the hole. One time when I was going through a medication change, I fell
deep into depression: I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t keep food down, and I felt like my world
was crashing down on me. I lost my will to live. Once I found an antidepressant that
worked for me, my mood lifted, I could eat and I could sleep through the night.
    That so-called happy pill was and is my lifeline. It keeps me going each and every day.
It helps keep my anxiety attacks under control, it helps calm me so I can sleep through
the night, and it helps keep my moods from falling into pure darkness. It helps me stand
tall and take control over my illness.
     Before I got on antidepressants, my mental illness seemed to control me. My
wandering thoughts and anxiety made me tense at night. I’d roll around in bed, but I
couldn’t relax enough to sleep. My emotions flooded me like a waterfall. I cried easily, I
felt a deep sadness suffocating my soul, and I went into emotional episodes. I felt like I
was out of control. Once I got on medication, the pills helped me regain control over my
illness so I could work on my thought process and behavior. They helped me feel like I
could rise up out of the hole.
    Antidepressants and other medications that help with mental illness are not just pills
that suddenly make you happy. They control your moods so you can go through therapy
and work on yourself and the bad habits you got caught up in like negative thinking,
blocking the positive, and out of control behavior.
    See, medication doesn’t automatically make you happy. It helps stabilize you so you
can also work on yourself. While sick you develop bad thought patterns and behaviors
—things that medication alone cannot fix, but without medication you can’t find the
strength to see the light ahead of you. It takes medication and therapy to find happiness.
Antidepressants are a major factor in finding the right path to recovery and staying in
     The next time you tease someone about taking a happy pill, think. Think about how
much they mean to a person struggling with mental illness. Remind yourself they are
pills that are as important as heart medicine. They don’t automatically make a person
smile and jump for joy, but they help a sick person find the strength to climb out of the
hole. They are the rope thrown down into the darkness to make the climb up easier.
     If you have mental illness, don’t expect medication to automatically cure you. You
don’t just pop one in your mouth and suddenly you’re flying high. You also have to go to
therapy and do some work. It’s not an automatic happy. View them as a big step towards
recovery and a chance to find happiness.
     I take my antidepressants daily.  These so-called happy pills, along with coping
techniques, help me live a normal life and stand within the light




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