Monday, August 8, 2011

Let's Talk about Meds, Bay-bee

For the most part, I'm open and honest here and don't shy away from posting about my struggles with depression and anxiety even if it does send my pulse racing before I click "Publish Post" and wince, waiting for the lashings. 

The lashings never come.

Instead I get outpourings of support and love.  Support from people that understand what I'm talking about and that maybe struggle too.  Support from people that love me regardless of any disease I may have.

Yes, disease.  It is a disease.

And being no different than a Diabetic treating their disease with insulin, I treat my depression and anxiety with medication too.  Something in my brain isn't producing the right chemicals and I'm fixing that. 

But somehow I'm viewed as the crazy one - the one with a - shhhh! - mental illness. 

A friend asked this weekend why there is such a stigma attached to it.  I had no answer.  Why, she asked, is it such a big hushed-up secret as if you'd die should anyone find out you're on an anti-depressant.  I still had no answer.  Isn't it easier to justify if it's Post-Partum Depression and not just regular depression?   Again, no answer.

Today I read a blog post that nearly brought me to tears.  Struggling for some time, she didn't want to take her meds because of weight gain and honing her fine skills of convincing herself she's just fine. 

Like somehow breaking down and taking these stupid little pills makes her any less of a person - a mom, a wife, a woman, whatever.  Like somehow treating her disease would be viewed as socially inappropriate.

Been there, done that, got over it. 

I just wish everyone else would too so that those of us struggling wouldn't constantly feel like we're climbing up a hill filled with your disdain and dirty looks.


{B} said...

I'd have to guess that the number of souls NOT struggling with the same issues is a lot less than the number of souls just like YOU! They just aren't honest! I say do what you need to do to look in the mirror and matter what it takes. Hold your head up....Joe has taught me that NO ONE judges you quite as harshly as you judge yourself. I'm the queen of doing that! (By the did the farmers markets go? I was birthing babies both Saturdays or I'd have been there!) Love ya...Aunt B

Amy said...

You don't know me, buy here is my story:

I didn't know what was going on with me. I honestly, through-and-through believed - no, I knew - that my husband, my kids, everyone, would be better off without me. I was the problem. I was messing everything up simply by existing. Taking me out of the equation would fix everything. It wasn't a pity party. It was my secret - my secret gift that I would give to my family - me gone. My husband realized something was wrong, very wrong. He called a good friend who has dealt with depression and anxiety. She urged my husband to take me to the doctor. I balked, thinking how I was messing things up even more. He ignored his wife and listened to the friend - probably the only time that will fly in our marriage. : )

Then I got help. I got medicine. My brain wasn't making enough of the hormone known as serotonin. It took about 5 weeks, but I began to slowly, steadily feel the effects of my hormones balancing out.

When a person's pancreas doesn't make enough of the hormone known as insulin, people take medicine to get back in balance. And no one looks down upon them for doing that. No one says, "What's wrong with you? Just make more insulin!"

Anna, I'm glad you are finding support as you post. Take care and be well!

Jen Craun said...

I like you.

It's terrible the way a society picks certain things like this.

I think another part is lack of understanding. There aren't a lot of national awareness programs, campaigns or educational efforts with depression. Just recently, has suicide been OK to educate the masses about.

Yo-yo Mama said...

My prescribing provider warned me that of almost all illnesses (chronic), depression was one of those red flags insurance companies hate along with cancer.

I've got those two strikes against me...

But to not be as angry and anxious? So be it. The meds are inexpensive and I don't hate everyone (as much) now.