Friday, October 6, 2017

Medication and Mental Health

The last guest post of the week is from Jenniely on the stigmas attached to medication! So please give her a warm welcome. :)

Also don't forget to check out the other hosts' blogs/booktubes for more posts. :)
Shannon from It Starts at Midnight 
Inge from Of Wonderland
Taylor from Stay on the Page 
Vlora from Reviews and Cake 
Taneika from Flipping Through Pages

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Mental health. A term that is thrown around a lot these days – most often with stigma attached. I’m not going to talk about the stigma of the condition itself, it’s something that is written about a lot (though definitely not enough), and I’d like to talk about one particular aspect of mental health that I don’t see discussed as often. 

Medication. 

People are more open these days about talking about feeling stressed, anxious, depressed. They talk more about how they get panic attacks or break down crying. They don’t, however, talk about medication. It’s almost like it’s the taboo part of mental health. 

If someone is in pain and you suggest they take a pain killer, they’ll welcome the suggestion and may even take it. If someone is suffering from Mental Health issues and you suggest they talk to a doctor about medication, most people run from the idea. I know, I was one of them. 

When I was in University, a very good friend of mine went through a terrible break up. It was really awful and she ended up living with me for a while in my room. I kept her occupied and tried to keep her happy and for the most part, she was. She talked about how she was feeling depressed and I’d just try and ‘cheer her up’. I was so na├»ve. It was fine for a while until I got a boyfriend and couldn’t spend 24/7 with her anymore. She ended up going to the doctors and they put her on some medication and she didn’t tell me because of my opinions on it. 

I felt awful. I feel awful now because the reason I felt awful then was because I felt that I had let her down. That by not keeping her happy she was driven to taking these mind-altering drugs. I feel awful now because I know now that I was an idiot, an uneducated swine. 

Flash forward to now, eight years later (yes I’m old), and I’ve taken medication. I can’t even tell you how hard it is for me to write this as I still fear the repercussions of talking about this online. I never really appreciated how much anxiety affected my life, affected my friendships and relationships, until I finally sought help. 

Now, in person I’m very open about myself and what I take and what I go through. What I’ve found is that so many people have opinions on whether or not you should take medication such as anti-anxiety or anti-depressants. You take them, you feel much better, you tell people and they say, ‘oh yes but when are you going to come off them it’s not good for you.’

Regardless of whether that is the case, it’s not really for people to comment on, is it? I am so proud of myself for seeking help when I needed it and I see myself stronger for doing so. 

I have someone close to me who suffers from anxiety, sometimes it seems worse than mine, but they won’t hear it when I suggest talking to a doctor. They insist that they’re happy it worked for me but they don’t want to. 

Why? Because of some sort of stigma. It makes me feel… less somehow. Like I had to resort to taking these pills and they don’t want to sink to that level. 

I don’t know. It’s a tough one, one that I don’t see discussed a lot so I thought I’d share with you. 

Just because you take medication does not mean you are any less than those who do not. You just do you.

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Thank you so much for participating, Jenniely! You can find her on her blog, A Page of Jenniely, and on Twitter (@jenniely). 

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