I’ve been writing more about medication recently because meds have always been a part of my battle with mental health that I’ve had mixed feelings about. I think that one of the reasons I’ve also been apprehensive and skeptical about medication is because of the stigma that comes with it.
When I was in college my mom gave me this little capsule to put on my keychain so I could “discreetly” keep my meds with me and hope that people just wouldn’t notice. Mental health is a lot better understood and accepted (well, it’s sort of better) today than it was in the early 2000s, so I grew up thinking that I was broken. We didn’t have the Internet like we do today. There weren’t all these online support groups to validate my experiences and show me that I wasn’t broken, I just needed a little extra help to stay together. We all do at certain points in our life. But because of this lack of an unseen, understanding network of people just like me, I thought medication made me different and weird.
It’s hard when you’re 18 and you think the world revolves around you to get your head out of your ass and see the bigger picture; we ALL have problems. Just because your brand of crazy doesn’t have a label like depression or bipolar, doesn’t mean that you may not need a little extra support from time to time. And medication can give that.
While I do fully believe that we are in an incredibly overmedicated climate thanks to Big Pharma convincing everyone that they have depression through their stupid commercials, I also believe that medication can really help some people. Like me.
Several months ago I put myself into a position that could have ruined my wedding day for me. It was also because I was stubborn and didn’t want to deal with medication. One of the problems of having dealt with this issues for so many years is I’ve become jaded about certain things, particularly medication. I’d say that 90% of the psychiatrists, psychologist, and therapists I’ve seen over the years have been TERRIBLE. Like, they should have their license ripped away from them. And then be punched in the face. But I digress. I finally found a good one, thanks to my mom. Still, I was hesitant to call him when I noticed a problem because I was afraid of going on a new medication right before my wedding. What a mistake that was. I was still able to have an incredible time (and I credit that mainly to the fact that we got married at a spa. Best decision ever), but I put myself and my beloved husband at risk. If one of us is upset, it’s almost impossible for the other not to feel it.
Right after the wedding, the happiness and stability I was somehow able to create for that weekend came crashing down. I spiraled right back to that unpleasantly familiar depression I was just getting used to (Editors note: NO. DON’T EVER DO THAT). I finally called my doctor and he lectured me, in a kind and caring way, that when I feel off I need to call him. As he said, “If I had you on heart medication and you started to feel sick, wouldn’t you call me?” Touché doctor. So he changed my medication about a month ago and I actually feel like a person again; a person that I’ve haven’t been able to be in what feels like a very, very long time. It’s amazing, it feels like getting my life back.
So my point is this – if you feel that you may need medication, whether you have a diagnosis or not, talk to a doctor. Don’t google it and don’t just ask other people who take medication because there’s a whole science behind it that the vast majority of us can’t begin to comprehend. But definitely do your research on your doctor; there are a lot of assholes out there who just look at you as a paycheck and not a human with real problems.
Medication doesn’t make you crazy. Your erratic behavior makes you crazy. Kidding!! You have to joke about this stuff or it will be a very long and arduous life. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about this stuff or just want some advice or even just to vent about how Wellbutrin made you think that everything is vibrating, or getting of Effexor was (apparently) just like getting off heroin (anyone? No, just me?) then leave a comment to get a conversation going or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m on your side.
Keep fighting the food fight.