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Anti-anxiety medication?


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I've been thinking about the stigma that has been put on them, and while I understand why people might think of it as a weakness to take medication for mental illness, that still just seems completely stupid to me, especially now that I have been taking them for over 6 months, and have seen how they can help transform your life. Before I broke down, swallowed my pride, and got help, I was a mess. I was controlled by my emotions and irrational anxieties to the point where I could barely function. I was trapped in a job I hated. I couldn't make phone calls or go places unfamiliar without having an anxiety attack. I couldn't send anyone a message or even ask how they were doing without asking myself a thousand irrelivant questions.


Now look at me. I'm in a career I love. I talk on the phone at work every day. I can take the freeway, or go somewhere I've never driven without my fears overtaking me. I have never been this clear-headed. Never. At least not within my memory. And while it hasn't just been the medication, that has played a huge part in it. It has allowed me to have a clear mind in order to employ the coping techniques I've learned in therapy. It allows me to think with logic instead of letting my fear of everything dictate how my life should go. I'm happier and more at peace with myself than I've ever been. And if I have to take this little pill for the rest of my life to achieve that, then you bet your ass I'm going to do it. Why wouldn't I? It has helped me achieve so much. Become the person I have always wanted to be. Corrected an imbalance in my head I otherwise didn't have much control over. Sure, they make it a little difficult to outwardly show any sadness. I find it more difficult to cry. But if that's the trade-off for everything it has given me, then holy shit, I'll take it.


That being said, I'm curious about what the rest of our little community here thinks of medication of this nature, particularly SSRIs or anything else of the sort.

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Hey hey! I'm on an SSRI, a mood stabilizer, an anticonvulsant, an antipsychotic... Basically, I'm on a lot of medications.

I'm really, really glad that your medication has worked so well for you! I really can't express that in words.

And I do wish that we could remove stigma around medication, especially medication for mental illness. That shit is hard, and having to deal with that on top of an already-unstable mental state? Ugh. It's really, really terrible. And it's not just medication--just admitting that you have a mental illness is considered shameful, and getting treatment for it is enough to condemn you as weak. I hate society's attitude towards medication so, so much.


I wish I could agree wholeheartedly with your story about the positivity of medication, I really do, but I can't fully--my tradeoffs are a bit more severe. I've taken meds that made it impossible for me to read, and took away the ability for abstract thought that would even let me think "hey, wait, I can't read". I've taken meds that gave me consistent seizures and breathing problems. I'm currently on an SSRI that makes my anxiety much worse than it ever was for me, so severe I'm suicidal again. I've been on meds that have made me so much better, and I've been on meds that have made me a lot worse, and I've had meds that do both in different areas. I've been taken away from medication that helped me due to the stigma around getting help, but I've also been forced onto meds I didn't want because of my symptoms. I have, to put it lightly, a very complicated relationship with medication. And this isn't likely to stop soon--it'll probably be a few years before I can find a cocktail of medication that can actually work for me with minimal side effects. But at the same time, I spent 7 years being severely mentally ill, too ashamed to say anything even as I spiraled lower and lower, and I'd take the ups and downs of medication over that any day. I'm doing so, so much better, even if I don't really fit the "got help -> SSRI and therapy -> yay everything is basically fixed and im happy" narrative. I'm really really happy for the people for whom it works that way; I'm just not one of them, by any stretch of the imagination. I'll probably be dealing with mental illness for the rest of my life, and I'm at a point where I think I'm okay with that, which I never would've reached without medication; still, after a year and a half on various medications, my external life hasn't greatly improved along with my internal one, and if anything, it's gotten worse. I still can't function well in everyday life, and I often can't do schoolwork. Medication of this nature... It's given me a lot of things, and it's taken away a lot of things, and it hasn't affected a lot of things. Overall, it's worth it, for me. It's leaps and bounds better than the years spent in silent pain, knowing I was crazy and hating myself for it, trying to hide my years-long breakdown--of my reality, of any hope for happiness, of a future for myself, of safety and happiness and love. And you know what? I have that now, for the most part, and some of that is because of medication (and some of that is due to therapy, and some of it is due to life stresses going away, and some of it is just me growing and learning as a person, but a significant part of it is because of medication). And I wouldn't trade that--hope and reality and happiness and safety and love--for anything.


I feel like most of these issues aren't really a stigma around medication per say, but the stigma around the mental illness itself. If being mentally ill wasn't seen as a badge of shame, taking meds wouldn't be seen as weak, and deciding not to take medication wouldn't be seen as "lacking insight"; getting therapy wouldn't be seen as embarrassing, admitting you need help wouldn't require swallowing your pride, and mentally ill people could make their own choices--to take meds or not, to be public or not--without their choices being judged by neurotypicals ("your meds are just a crutch!" "everyone's a little depressed, it's not a ~mental illness~" "you're psychotic?? get away from me, you freak!" "ew, get help!" "have you tried yoga?" "you're just being lazy" and so forth) who have never had to deal with this shit. As long as you're mentally ill and you're not devoting all of your energy to acting "normal" and being in denial (AND to still do work and achieve everything without any help whatsoever), you can't win no matter what you choose (if you're even allowed to choose, and you aren't banned from treatment or forced into it, both which are sadly too common of stories), and the only reason you win in that case is because you're devoting all of your energy into hiding yourself in order to hide from the stigma. And that level of self-hate and hiding is its own punishment.


In general, I approve of medication, I guess. I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't. But I definitely have a lot of feelings about it, and I feel like the problems go deeper than just medication and the stigma around it, and I wanted to talk about it, so, uh. I hope you enjoyed my ridiculously long and over-personal post?


:arolovepapo:for you, I'm glad you're doing better and I'm sorry you had to go through that.

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Meh. medication.


It's a dangerous beneficial road. Meds have a lot of draw backs but a lot of benefits. as a doctor would say, it's a benefit/risk ratio.


What benefits you the most with the least risk.


On the topic of it being a badge of shame. Honestly, people who view it as such are either ignorant (In the sense of being uneducated on the matter) or silly.


It will transform your life and save you, if you need such being done.


It doesn't make you any weaker than the person who doesn't need it. Everyone's situation , state of mind and environmental roles are unique and make it different for every single person.




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