Mental Health Awareness Week – Medication and Me

I wrote this post a while back in my bullet journal, but never got round to actually posting. I think I have been putting myself off with my mind working overtime and finding too many distractions. Mental Health Awareness Week seems like the perfect time to finally get it online.

 


 

I’ve been inactive on here since October, and I’ve recently realised that it coincides with a big change I made in my life – going back on medication.

Let me give you a bit of backstory.

It has been over a decade since I first got diagnosed with severe depression, and it was about 3 years before I went on medication. Back then, I didn’t have the support I so desperately needed – I was repeatedly told that I was just overreacting because my life wasn’t that bad, and that I should just snap out of it. In short, I wasn’t taken seriously.

When I moved to university, I began to get more help – I was referred to a psychiatrist to discuss my symptoms and experiences, and determine whether I could possibly have bipolar disorder, and I started on medication.

Medication didn’t really work for me back then, for the simple reason that I didn’t embrace it – I didn’t take it properly. I’d be on and off it, meaning it didn’t have a chance to build up in my system. I still saw antidepressants as a failure back then, and was determined to ‘fix it’ by myself.

I have come a long way since then, and my opinion of it all has definitely changed. To begin with, I no longer think my mental health will be ‘fixed’. It is a part of me, of who I am, and I have come to accept that. I also no longer see antidepressants as a failure or a negative part of my lifestyle. Instead, I see them as a crutch – the support I have available when I need it.

I was on them full time for a number of years, and came off them about 6 months before I fell pregnant with my son. They had done their job, and I began to feel stable enough to live without them.

The birth of my son brought a whole new mental health experience – what was later diagnosed as Postnatal OCD. It was horrible, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I got help though, and battled through.

In October of last year, I made the decision to go back on antidepressants. Things had been very bad for a long time, and it had just taken me a while to realise what I needed.

I don’t regret my decision at all. In fact, it is the best decision I have made in a long time. I feel great, and I’m finally enjoying life and my family again.

There’s just one problem.

The last remaining reason I had for not going back on medication was my inspiration and motivation. In short, the drugs really dampen my creativity and make me feel so lethargic. I knew I would find it hard to write, which is one of my greatest passions.

So here I am, facing my next hurdle. I am determined not to let it get the best of me.

I will persevere.

I will thrive.

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