There is a great deal of stigma around mental and psychological disorders. A lot of people think that seeking help for mental disorders will make people think that you’re crazy, that partners will leave you, or that people will generally just not understand the fact that there is something wrong in your brain. In many societies, mental illnesses are thought of very much differently than physical illnesses. When you can’t really see what is wrong with someone, it is hard for a great deal of people to validate that there is actually something wrong with you. While there can be physical manifestations of mental illness, they themselves are happening mostly in the brain and in neurochemicals which we are unable to see.
When I was about 11, I noticed that I was worried about everything. I didn’t sleep as much as most people I know and I thought frequently about what would happen. When I was 15, I notice that sometimes, I would feel extremely scared and as though I was having a heart attack for about 5 minutes a few times a month. Then it turned into a few times a week. I never wanted to go to anyone’s house. I always thought that people who were walking behind me were people trying to kill me. When I told my mom about this, she brushed it off. Then I took two college level psychology classes. I went to the doctor’s office and when I was 18, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. When I was thinking about what I wanted to do about that, my doctor asked me if I wanted to try taking a drug that would deal with anxiety quickly. I nodded. And here are 3 reasons why.
- I wanted everything to stop sooner than later
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with getting your mood and psychological disorders treated by a therapist or a doctor who is a non medical doctor. For a lot of people, this method works very well. However, I really wanted everything to stop. I don’t know if you have had an anxiety attack, but is never something I want to feel again. I wanted to be able to take something that would help me get better or at least start the process of getting better much sooner than just talking with someone might.
2. I wanted to have something in my pocket that made me feel safe.
There are a lot of feelings of power when you carry around Zoloft in your backpack and know that you can take it every day and you will be able to deal with some of the overwhelming day to day problems which you know you will face. I knew that just having the medication with me and the knowledge that there were something I could do to stay in control, it would make my life much better and I would be less concerned about having an anxiety attack while I was out with friends or while I was taking an exam.
3. I was convinced that there was a chemical imbalance.
You are always the best judge of your body. After having had chemistry and psychology classes, I just knew that there was an imbalance in my brain and that something need to be done about that. I knew that if I tried talking to someone and even if they did validate my feelings and give me a new perspective, someone effectively telling me to calm down would not help me do that unless I had an extra boost. I didn’t feel badly about that, I just knew that I personally needed a little bit of extra help with staying calm.
Different things work for different people. I know that not all people will want to or be able to take drugs to combat their psychological disorders. But I do know that they are something that worked very well for me and that I am very glad that I am on them. If you are at all wondering about whether or not to get on drugs, this is a conversation that should be best had with a healthcare provider. Talk with them about the concerns that you are having and what kinds of possibilities there are for you! It’s worth it to get the treatment if you can.