Fight the Stigma: Get Medication if You Need It

For years I fought the idea of needing medication. Whenever someone suggested it I thought that it was not for me.

Some of my thoughts were contradictory, but I still thought them.

Medication can’t solve psychological problems.

Only really crazy people need medication.

I’m not like those people.

I don’t need medication, I just need to…. (lose weight, make more friends, think more positively, move away, make more money, etc.)… and then I’ll be happy.

That stuff is just a placebo.

There are too many side effects with those medications to be worth it.

People always say that it makes them numb.

When my depression and mood swings got more out of control I started to consider it more. But still I resisted and let doubts and stigma fill my mind instead.

I don’t want people to think I’m crazy.

My family will think I’m weak.

What if the medication doesn’t work?

What if I go and the doctor says that I am not depressed?

What if it is all in my head?

What if there are other things wrong with me?

I don’t want to be taking medication for the rest of my life.

The truth is that I was afraid. I didn’t want to admit that I needed help and I cared more about what other people thought of me than doing what was best for me.

I have now been on antidepressants for over a year and a half, and it has been a game changer. Do I sometimes wish I wasn’t taking medication? Yes, of course. But when I skip a day on accident or think back to how I used to feel I quickly remember how grateful I am for modern medicine and how much it has helped me since starting.

While taking antidepressants has not solved all my problems, it has enabled me to do many things in my life that I was not previously able to do. Because of my medication my mind feels stronger, my body feels stronger, my self-esteem has improved, I am more motivated, it is easier for me to overcome suicidal thoughts, I got married, and I am about to graduate college.

I don’t know if I will always take medication for my depression and anxiety, but I do know that fighting the stigma of taking antidepressants was 100% worth it.

I was lucky to feel an immediate difference after starting medication, but for many people it takes a lot of trial and error. If that is you, don’t give up! My overall hope for writing this is that people can have the courage to fight for what helps them live their best quality of life.

For those of you that don’t struggle with mental or emotional health please be kind and aware of those around you that might need some encouragement to get the help they need.

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