This is just something that’s bugged me for a while, especially since I became a Stigma Fighter – Mental illness and medication and how people view it and why those who suffer tend to hide it.
I don’t understand why it’s treated/viewed as something that’s almost like the plague. People who suffer from mental illness can’t infect someone else with it. It’s not contagious. It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain, and sometimes people say it’s faulty wiring so that it makes sense to people. But we (people suffering with a mental illness) can’t give you just by association, or even by touching you. It doesn’t work that way. If you don’t have a chemical imbalance in your brain then there’s not really anything to worry about.
Of course, there is PTSD, but when you have that there’s a reason for that – you went through something – a car accident, a war, a shooting you witnessed, anything – and you have flashbacks and things set you off in ways you wouldn’t expect. That’s not something you caused either. It’s just the way your brain is reacting to that event. No, I don’t know what PTSD is like. But I know that someone who has it didn’t ask for it or do something to cause it.
The reason it’s been on my mind more recently is because I just went back on antidepressants yesterday. I hadn’t taken anything in over a year and thought I was doing ok, but recently it just got to the point that I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. I needed some kind of help. I had two options – medication or therapy. After the two therapists that I’ve been to, I’m really hesitant to willingly go back into therapy. They just weren’t good (for me) and I didn’t like them. I feel like those experiences have kind of marred me in a way. It’s difficult to push past those things right now, and my primary care isn’t pushing me to go to therapy luckily. I do have friends I can talk to and they’re supportive so I guess that’s enough for right now. As time goes on I guess we’ll see what’s needed.
I hesitate to tell some people that I’m back on them, or even that I’ve taken them at all. It’s just not something that they want to talk about. They hear that and automatically make judgements that may or may not be true. But it’s what they think and that’s just how they’re gonna see things.
The people I do trust enough to tell (which are a very select few) are almost always supportive and understanding. They may not know what it feels like because they don’t deal with the same things I do, but they know that it’s not something I made up for attention or brought on myself by doing something. They know that this happens to people and it just has to be dealt with in whatever means possible. Be that therapy, or medication, a combination of the two, or maybe something else.
I’ve done a combination of the two, and now I’m just doing medication. I don’t know if it’s going to work or not, but I’m kind of hoping it does. Because like I already said, I don’t really want to deal with therapy again.
There will be more updates and posts about this whole ordeal as time goes on. I know it’s not an easy road ahead of me. I know that. And I don’t particularly want to go down it because it’s not easy. But I also know that it’s a road I need to go down.
Something that makes it easier is knowing that it’s not a road I’m traveling alone. I have people beside me, behind me, and ahead of me. All rooting for me. Pulling me that last little bit I just can’t do on my own. Pushing me when they know I can do something and I don’t see how I can. They’re not doing it to torture me, even though it may seem that way in the moment. They’re doing it because they want to see me get better.