I Fed The Stigma

Yesterday, I posted I was upset with being dependent on medication indefinitely.  I truly believed this statement until one of my good friends posted a response.  Then I realized I fed the stigma behind Mental Illness.  I was no better than the thousands that do not understand Mental Illness.  I didn’t think the drugs were needed because I didn’t think I was sick enough.

I was foolish and am kicking myself for even thinking this.  21 years I’ve been under the spell of Depression and Anxiety.  Those years included many medications on and off.  Sometimes I was on them for a few months and sometimes years.  These medications help me function, they help my defective, lack of serotonin producing brain function normally.  Without them I would need hospitalization, increased dosages and increased visits with both my psychiatrist and therapist.  Without them the tears would flow, the vomiting would commence and the desire to stick a screw in my head would return.

Does the above sound like someone who is ill?! 

Normal functioning people do not want to give themselves a labotomy.

And yet all these years later, all these bouts of Depression later, I fed The stigma I am fighting to destroy.  Kind of hypocritical, isn’t it?!  Maybe it was because I was drug free in “remission” for 4 years prior to this January… Maybe it was because so many people around me do not believe Depression and Anxiety are at the same level as someone being sick with Cancer or MS and they have convinced me.

After all these years I’ve never witnessed a telethon for Mental Illness.  I’ve never seen a local 5k for Mental Illness. I’ve never seen our local Froyo place have a fundraiser for Mental Illness.  It’s no wonder I became a hypocrite.  It doesn’t seem like the world outside of my immediate friends and family realize Mental Illness is, in fact, an illness.

I will live with this forever just like an Alcoholic is always an Alcoholic even if they have been sober for decades.  I will not feed the stigma anymore.  I will fight for my care, my illnesses, my medications.  I will now embrace taking these pills instead of having absolute hatred for them.  I will argue with anyone who disagrees with me.  I will repeat to anyone:

I am sick.  I suffer from 2 Mental Illnesses, Depression and Anxiety.  I will always be prone to them and to prevent reoccurances, I will take my medication because they keep me stable.

One thought on “I Fed The Stigma

  1. "Normal functioning people do not want to give themselves a lobotomy"But WE do! Or want to run away. Flee. Escape our minds. Someone who's never been hit by clinical anxiety or depression cannot truly know how intolerable it can be. The media is slowly coming around to honest depictions of living with mental illness, thanks to campaigns like Bring Change 2 Mind. But there's still a stigma, and, as you pointed out, we sometimes help perpetuate it ourselves. I hear so much of myself in your posts. It will be great to read your book (and of course, have it autographed).


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