AfterPartyAnswers: Are We Really Judged for Taking Antidepressants?

AfterPartyAnswers: Are We Really Judged for Taking Antidepressants?


antidepressantsOver here at AfterParty, we receive an onslaught of questions from people about addiction and recovery. And well, our video series AfterParty Answers gives us an opportunity to address them. In this episode, Anna David and Danielle Stewart answer a reader’s question about the judgment that exists around taking antidepressants.

Want to see all of our AfterParty Answers videos? Good news! You can simply click here! You can also submit your questions for future episodes here

Rest assured, we not only have a lot of experience with taking antidepressants around the AfterParty office but we’ve also written extensively about the topic, from an examination of an Elle magazine piece where a writer says life is much better sans meds to a story on the sometimes excruciating experience of getting off these drugs to Susanna Brisk’s essay on why the side effects of her medication were worse than the benefit.

In the case of this APA, however, a reader asked Anna and Danielle what their thoughts were on a specific situation—that is, the fact that the reader felt her co-workers were gossiping abut the fact that she takes meds. Since Anna and Danielle have a lot of trouble trying to think of any people they know who don’t take meds (note: they live in arguably the antidepressant capital of the world, Los Angeles), they vehemently argued that the reader’s coworkers were perhaps a little crackers themselves.

There are, of course, many opinions on this topic but if you want Anna and Danielle’s complete answer, check out this vid. While the girls aren’t in any way medical professions (emphasis on “aren’t in any way medical professionals”), they are sober folks who have not only grappled with some of the issues being asked about but have also written scads of articles for this very site on them. Tune in every month to see what you, our faithful readers, want to know.

Want to see all of our AfterParty Answers videos? Good news! You can simply click here! You can also submit your questions for future episodes here.



  1. My old friend who some say died of a massive heart attack while riding the Viagra bull in an effort to jingle jangle jingle his highly manipulative AA cowgirl? I’d see him around and comment on how he looked so serene. He said he’s not serene, he’s depressed. We laughed and enjoyed those few seconds.

  2. I graduated Brown University at the top of my class. That’s not really true. Actually I got lost in Providence looking for an AA meeting and asked a gaggle of 10 year old Asian students waiting at a cross walk for directions. I was the guest speaker with much experience and wisdom to share on the topic of selfishness and self centered fear as described in the Big Book 12 Steps…That’s not really true. I had been around the halls a long time and by default seemed to be a good choice. Honestly? I knew enough about selfishness to make me dangerous in conversation. Life as I had known it? What it was like, what happened and what it’s like now? Is still all about me and my stage props Last man standing because I don’t know when to shut my mouth. Anyway, selfishness… Now there’s the selfishness where hey, sure have a piece of my pizza! When really? I’m now suffocating in it and not going to be able to inhale the rest of it anyway so, hey friend? let me share.. Oh yeah.. I really care about others, how do you like me so far? I can be kind considerate modest and self sacrificing. Then there’s the selfishness, the real deal. Where I’m the survivor. I’m everything and you’re not. The arranger, manipulator. I worship others for my self esteem. Humility is well…nonexistent. I can become mean dishonest and self centered to an extreme. Pretty much everything I say and do is in search of an emotional security boost from others. The thief. I continually cross the line and move it to meet my needs. The producer of confusion with the best of intentions in hopes of controlling what’s best for others to meet my needs.. Like me please so I can like myself. Woah Nelly..easy girl..

    Antidepressants are for depressed people. People who have failed to arrange others to meet their needs and fallen down into themselves. Selfishness is their last hope for validation and when even “they” can’t negotiate that map? When their schematic of others leads nowhere? They are lost and alone with a broken two by four strapped to their ass, they have fallen in.. The frustrated dictator. The out of work writer. Nobody cares, and well? This is my opinion. This is why I can’t have nice things….. There are also about a million and one other reasons for clinical depression which I know nothing about. So, it may be in the best interest of myself and others in AA to mind my own freaken business when it comes to judging another’s mental health in AA. . Just sayin. I don’t take anti depressants. I probably would but can’t find anyone to get them for me..

  3. Sometimes I find it helpful to know if a co-worker or regular acquaintance is using anti-depressants in so much as they are potential friends. From friends it is definitely helpful for me to know when they are using them because emotional contact and feedback changes during these times. My expectations and interpretation of their responses have to be adjusted; otherwise I might think them a cold or self-involved person who doesn’t care based on body language, tone, and unconscious signaling (or lack of).
    Thinking less of others for use of anti-depressants is not good, stigmatizing them for it is worse.
    Meanwhile there is a lesson here for folks on anti-depressants in realizing that communication with people may be different. I noticed in the video that you were quite physically expressive and that helps; probably less people notice something is different. There are studies where people wear little led lights and go about various activities and then video is made showing only the lights. Humans are very accurate on identifying gender, emotional state, and other information even when it is quite subtle. When emotional detachment takes place due to anti-depressants it may be sensed by other people. Interpretation of that may differ.
    Also, like any condition that ordinary people can’t help with, don’t have a personal remedy (like tea, honey, and vitamin C for colds or whatever) they feel powerless and sometimes withdraw. Cancer often causes similar reactions though today there are many treatments possible.
    You stop judging! Hating the haters!
    Ever try understanding where they are coming from instead of feeding a victim complex? Ask what makes them feel uncomfortable, positively engage with their concerns.
    Growing up there were Eeyores (the depressed Pooh donkey) that were a bummer. There was also the family members, uncles and cousins mostly, that suffered depression and while not really knowing what that meant other than they were sad and might kill themselves, they were unreliable, unavailable and we walked on egg shells around them from direct experience that anything could set them off. There is a history here folks, buck up. Today is different in that no one has to live with that hell, be grateful. People as a mass change slowly; most still say “tin foil” even though it started phasing out in 1910 and fully replaced after WWII by aluminum. Amphetamines and opioids were used primarily until the 1980s or later and continue to by self-medicators (along with alcohol). We keep learning more about the medications and so many have been discarded but research is still driven by pharmacutical companies selling products.
    All in all, Depression is still being figured out, treatment is very new to our culture, so try to have the understanding you ask of others.

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AfterParty Magazine is the editorial division of It showcases writers in recovery, some of whom choose to remain anonymous. Other stories by AfterParty Magazine are the collective effort of the AfterParty staff.