How many of you suffer from mental illness? How many of you take medication for it? And of those who take meds, how many of you forget to take them, or try to ween yourself off? And why? I’ve heard people say, “you’re crazy ’cause you take a pill.” Hell even my cousins refer to me as their, “crazy cousin,” fact is, my illness has been documented for 15yrs. I started with depression after what happened when I was 14 which lead to chemical drug use. Using such harsh drugs at 15 ruined my ability to produce serotonin naturally.
I remember the dark days before psych meds. It was like I was crazy. I probably was. We tried several different kinds: celexa, cipralex, Effexor (which, when mixed with remoren almost killed me) and finally cymbalta and zopiclone. It wasn’t until after I had full blown PTSD after the Rottweiler attack that we finally found the right medications. But look how far the illness progressed? More trauma, more stress, I’m lucky I’m not dead.
Which brings me to today. Most people think I’m ok now. Sometimes even I think it. I thought, “I can stop taking meds now cause I feel ok?” Right?
You would think, after having a cousin with bi polar commit suicide from not taking his meds, that one would understand the importance. But I didn’t. And most of us don’t. But what we don’t realize, and what my doctor said to me today, is if you had a kidney or liver disease and stopped taking your meds, it would have drastic side effects. Mental illness is no different. It is a disease of the mind, and not taking your medication allows it to take hold. This last month to six weeks I’ve hardly written, hardly done any photo shoots, been sad, angry, my nightmares are horrible, I was unmotivated for the entire time, and why? Because I decided, “I don’t need my meds anymore.”
I have it on good authority, from my doctor, and every doctor before him, mental illness is no joke, you need your medication, please don’t put yourself and others in harms way just because you want to be part of societies norm, hell, the minute you walked into a shrinks office and admitted the things you’ve seen you and everyone around you knows, normal isn’t you anymore. Normal is just some ideal made up by society. The “normal” a sufferer of mental illness seeks is to make it through a day without intrusive thoughts, images, or feelings. It’s ok to be different, to even be broken. I’m proof repair is possible. Little by little, I know I’ll never be the same again, but at least I can remember how to smile and function like a human being. Even if I have to remain medicated for life.
Stay healthy my friends, and don’t forget your mental health is just as important as your physical health.