When I was younger I used to think that I didn’t need medication, that it would only hold me back. The only thing narcotics would do is make me feel like a drugged up zombie. All I needed was some fresh air and to spend time with some friends and I’d by golden. But what I learned overtime is that I was very wrong.
Medication for mental health can make a world of difference, so why is there such a negative stigma around it? For people who don’t know what it’s like to live with mental illness, taking medication for mental illness can be hard to understand.
What made me choose to start taking medication? My life was a mess, a roller coaster, and not your average roller coaster of events. I’m talking waves of extreme depression followed by events of mania, aka Bipolar disorder. I struggled with nightmares so bad that my psychiatrist considered them to be hallucinations. My PTSD was taking quite the toll on me. If I didn’t get some type of help I was going to end up dead. So I decided to turn to medication.
I was prescribed Rexulti for my bad nightmares/hallucinations and Lamictal to “flatten” my mood levels. The first thing I noticed when I started taking the Rexulti is that my nightmares completely went away. It was a relief, I could actually sleep at night without fearing for my life. With the Topamax came more relief. I noticed that I was no longer getting periods of extreme mania and extreme depression. While it did not completely get rid of my symptoms, it did alleviate them quite a bit to the point that they were not so noticeable.
Now you may be thinking: “Why resort to medication? Why not use natural remedies, get out with friends, enjoy the nature, just be happy!” Needless to say I hope you only thought that and didn’t actually say that to someone! Hearing that you don’t need medication, that all you need is to just cheer up is the worst thing you can tell someone.
A former girl I dated once told me I didn’t need medication because all I needed was to distract myself with other things, hang out with friends, find more hobbies. She told me that I needed to realize that life wasn’t worth being spent depressed. Did that help at all? Of course not. I can guarantee you that anyone who says this has never experienced a serious mental health issue, which is a great thing by the way! BUT, you must be aware that if you have never had a mental health issue, that you will NEVER be able to fully understand what it’s like to have one, therefore you should not be giving advice to those who struggle. What should you do instead? Be there for them, that’s all that you can really do. It’s not always enough, but it’s the best you can do and that’s what counts.