I remember reading a story that Peter Kramer tells in his book, Listening To Prozac, when Dr. Kramer said he prescribed Prozac to a young woman who didn't meet the criteria for the diagnosis of depression. When she returned for a follow-up six weeks later, she told Dr. Kramer that Prozac had changed her life. He asked what she meant and she said, "For the first time in my life, I feel like my real self." Dr. Kramer said he pondered her statement for some time. What does it mean to feel like your real self?
We are all expected to play certain roles, to behave in certain ways, to pretend to feel certain ways to please others. After awhile we loose touch with what is genuine, true, real, deep down. Does it take a drug to help us get back in touch with our soul?
It is very difficult to find our real self, the truth, after we have lost our way. I believe that psychotherapy is a better way to do this than by taking drugs but then who am I to judge?
Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living. How many people do you know who are living examined lives? The two places in our society that I have met them are in my psychotherapy office and in twelve step rooms like Alcoholics Anonymous. Once in a while I might meet them at Church or at the University, but that is rare. If we are blessed, we have this opportunity to come to realize our true selves in our marriages, families, or very close friendships.
One of the most important challenges in life is to become aware of and facilitate the development of our true selves.