Why Are So Many Girls on SSRIs?

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From Girls/Freya India: “I believe that girls are genuinely suffering in the modern world and also that a major part of it is the marketisation and medicalisation of their normal distress . . . I think we are kidding ourselves if we pretend that condensing every emotion into something diagnosable and solvable with consumption isn’t doing profound psychological damage to Gen Z.

We shouldn’t stigmatise those who are suffering. But we should think carefully about our compassion, where we direct it, and how it can be co-opted. Because I don’t believe for a second that compassion is making serious medication as accessible and convenient as possible to the point it resembles Deliveroo. I don’t believe compassion is expanding the pharmaceutical market to include any girl who experiences negative emotions. And nor is it normalising and normalising and normalising diagnoses and drugs until we start to stigmatise how it feels to be human.

The truth is that we are a generation of girls and young women with more drugs available to us than ever before. For every surge of anxiety, sadness, panic, period pain or social awkwardness, there’s Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, Zoloft. Diagnosed in five minutes. Prescribed in ten. It’s futuristic. It’s revolutionary. It doesn’t really work. Because the easier they make it to sign prescriptions and swallow pills, and the more Mental Health Awareness months and weeks and campaigns flood our inboxes and app stores and algorithms, the worse we seem to feel.

So that’s my fear. My fear is that in those millions of girls taking SSRIs and other serious medications, many aren’t doing so because of a very successful mental health awareness campaign, but a very successful marketing campaign. And that isn’t something we should ignore. In fact, that is something we really should be raising awareness of.”

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4 COMMENTS

    • It would be more accurate to say “the same reason so many girls are fat”. Rampant marketing, addictive lab-created substances, a stigma around the idea of limiting food intake similar to the stigma around the idea of limiting medication intake, and the culturally prevalent idea that consumption is the cure regardless of its measurable detrimental outcomes

      Let’s not even get into how the side effects of weight gain from SSRIs may increase the need for “diets” among the young and formerly healthy – a fact that confounds your statement

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