Mental health

Shaming me for taking meds? Let’s talk.

Depression is a difficult illness to explain, mostly because even experts are not yet sure as to what causes it.

Whatever the cause may be, there’s a stigma surrounding mental illness and even more of a stigma when it comes to admitting that you take antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety meds to help you.

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I want to be clear that meds are not for everyone.

It’s not like you run to a shrink and they throw pills at you right away. Those whose symptoms are mild may be able to manage using cognitive behavioral therapy or other similar techniques.

If you suffer from a mental illness and don’t feel the need for meds, you do you! I’m happy for you, because meds are effing expensive. Personally, it takes a combination of meds and counseling for me to function. I use a combination of medication, talk therapy, and CBT to be able to cope with the stresses of life.

 

For those like me whose symptoms are moderate to severe, meds are absolutely a lifesaver.

I won’t deny that taking a half pill of Aripiprazole has calmed me down when I was feeling suicidal. Also, when I skip taking my Clonazepam, my anxiety acts up in a really bad way.

 

Am I dependent on my meds? Possibly. Is it something to be ashamed of?

Should an asthmatic person be ashamed of always carrying their inhaler, or should a person with heart disease be ashamed of taking daily maintenance meds?

 

See, what really pisses me off is the notion that mental illnesses are somehow “less than” physical illness, as though we can will our symptoms away. I understand how they arrive at this misconception; still, it is utterly unfair for them to judge the mentally ill when they have no idea what we go through on a daily basis.

 

My depression is a daily battle, and I need all the help I can get.

There are lots of days when I get too little sleep and everything feels hazy to me. Then there are days when it takes all the strength I have not to cry. My depression paralyzes me constantly. If meds are helping me cope – what’s so wrong with that?

 

I hope the stigma around psychiatric medication, and mental illness as a whole, lessens over time. Life as a depressive is difficult enough as it is without hearing judgment from people who have no idea what I go through.

Ela is a twentysomething who is constantly getting stuck in self-destructive behavior and bouts of low self-esteem. She struggles with depression and writes to relieve herself of her feelings. Sometimes she even blogs about other things like makeup and positivity. One of her pieces was published in the Inquirer Young Blood in October 2017. She likes cats, dogs, and sometimes even people.

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