I not only understand it, but I’ve lived it as well. I have been on anti-depressants before, I’ve flirted with suicide recklessly, and I’ve been exposed to the harsh realities of living with an extremely traumatised woman that was diagnosed with almost every mental disorder I’ve heard of. So this is not a subject I take lightly or treat flippantly.
But I disagree that medication should be used as anything more than an intervention strategy, and I fully believe that understanding the life experiences that gave rise to the anxiety or traumatised state must be unraveled in order to reverse the psychological damage that was caused by it. If left unresolved, these same experiences will continue to spiral out of control with the focus always being on the symptoms due to being distracted from the root cause.
This may seem like an over simplification of this serious and sensitive issue, but it’s not intended that way at all. I’ve had significant life experiences, and witnessed many others, that support my views about the chemical imbalances being a symptom of the emotional state, and not the emotional state being a symptom of the chemical imbalances.
Smiling is a simple act that is proven to release hormones that make us happy. If the current mainstream approach to mental health is to be believed, then it would imply that (for example) someone who does not have any level of those happy hormones in their body would be physically unable to smile. This is absurd.
I have personally experienced, and observed in others, that such troubled mental states are always present in individuals that have a history of either being betrayed, ill treated, bullied, molested, abused, or subjected to other unspeakable traumas earlier in life. In some cases, it’s a matter of someone growing up in a sheltered environment and are therefore unable to cope with the harsh realities of life and failure when faced with these in the absence of the support structures and comfort zones that they’ve grown accustomed to.
The mainstream approach to dealing with the emotional turmoil that results from these when they manifest themselves in our teenage or adult phases of our lives is to teach the patient (i.e. victim) coping mechanisms to deal with the current state, assisted with medication, thereby negating any need for the individual to understand, unravel and resolve the underlying life experience/s that gave rise to the demons in the first place.
To answer your question more directly, having been on anti-depressants, I can assure you that I do not condone the reckless use/abuse of such medication, and that the compliance regimen must be maintained fully without ever attempting to suddenly disrupt the intake of such medication because of the disastrous effects that that has, which is why weaning oneself off the medication when needed is of critical importance.
But this also means that those that knowingly take drugs and alcohol and other intoxicants to be blatantly but consciously reckless are simply seeking attention because it wins them the sympathy and affection they crave because the reality of dealing with the thoughts that they actively suppress is far too daunting. In choosing to deal with our demons, we sometimes consciously, and other times sub-consciously know that it implies that we are opening ourselves up for the potential of being exposed to such betrayal or hurt again. This, I believe, is the biggest driver behind people ‘needing’ the medication to justify their mental state, rather than facing their fears and dealing with the heartlessness of others.