You Are the Cure
I’m going to tell you something very opinionated and personal.
I HATE antidepressants. Actually, what’s more true is that I hate a culture that over-prescribes psychotropics, and villianizes a person having an emotional experience other than “I’m good.”
Do you know who is the most prescribed group? Women. A recent study conducted at Harvard concluded that “23% of women in their 40’s and 50’s take antidepressants, a higher percentage than any other group (by age or sex.)” Another finding was that “women were 2.5 times more likely to be taking an antidepressant than men.” (Click for the Harvard Study.)
How did we get here? Why has this happened?
If we look back to our childhoods, most of us women have been taught to minimize our feelings. We were taught through our upbringing what kind of expressions or moods were acceptable.
What I’ve consistently seen in taking care of women over the years is we were not taught to feel the hard stuff: anger, grief, sadness, or despair. We were taught to bottle it up, get through it, stuff it down, or pretend it wasn’t happening. Without the ability to express our range of emotions, it’s no wonder we feel depressed.
Here we are today, busy and distracted. We are disconnected from our bodies and disconnected from our truth because we have been disconnected from our emotions. Women are downing antidepressants with the hope to not feel so much, to not have to deal with so much, and to not be too much. Being prescribed medication because we don’t know how to navigate life’s gloriously tumultuous terrain.
What’s the antidote?
Pleasure. Lots of it. By the gallon. On the daily, multiple times.
You know what’s so sexy about pleasure? You control the dose.
You see, every time a woman experiences something that pleases her, there’s wiring that fires in her brain that says “yes! I like this!” She has an experience of approving of her experience. And then approving of her life. And then approving of her choices. And approving of herself.
My prescription for you:
Learn what a body “yes!” feels like. Make your life a living altar by adding beauty everywhere you can.
Practice opening your five senses to deeply appreciate and discern what is pleasurable. Treat your body like a temple with nourishing food and sacred rituals of self care and self pleasuring. Surround yourself with people who take you higher. Share meals with others (even if over Zoom!). Listen to music that you love. Dance like you are in love with yourself.
Pleasure comes in many forms. Commit to experiencing it like your life depends on it…
Because it does.