Recently, I posted on social media about the use of medication to over come mental illness. I often hear people defending medications from large prescription drug companies saying that those with severe mental illness should be medicated. I want to defend and reiterate my stance and point. My family has long suffered with mental illness, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, addiction. I’ve watched many people become sedated through prescription drugs only to mask the symptoms and either live like a zombie, or be so addicted to the medication that they can not live without it due to the withdrawals they have if ever they miss a dose or try to taper off. When I was in my 20’s I started on Prozac, it made me very calm, yet numb to any circumstances that were in a normal living capacity. I ignored signs of abuse from my then boyfriend, I distanced myself from my parents, and I drank heavily. Once I was pregnant with my daughter I got off of my medication. Everything seemed fine for a while, but without the tools and knowledge to handle my emotions, I went down the road of depression again, fast. This time I was married and had a baby with my new husband. Post-partum hit me like a brick and doctors were quick to put me on 4 different medications. I was completely and utterly a ghost walking around my home, work, with not a care in the world. My mind was unable to comprehend anything but escape. I did things that were unlike me, the me who I know I am. I look back today and wonder who that person was, and why God would allow things like that to happen. My struggle with my depression and anxiety led me to drinking again with my medication. I would get dressed for work and leave at noon to go to a bar, I had an affair and ruined my marriage. I ignored my children and left my home. My life was not my life. I was a shell of a human being with no feelings or concerns for myself or anyone else. I contemplated suicide many times, yet something kept me from actually going forward with the action.
During this time, I finally got the help I needed, even if it was years later. I went to a neurofeedback specialist, who pinpointed the exact reasoning of my actions, behaviors and how to change them. This obviously did not happen over night, it took many years to get where I am today. I went through relapses of bad relationships and heavy drinking, but remembered to go back to the tools she taught me. When I finally hit what I call my breakthrough, others would call it a breakdown. I found a coach/teach/mentor/friend in a woman name Helen Racz. When I found her, I could barely think. My mind was looping insanely dark thoughts, she worked with me three times a week for months. She taught me about emotional maturity, how my perception was creating my reality, how no one can create my sadness, and being a victim was no longer an option. I laid on my couch for an entire year while working with her. The pain I went through mentally felt unbearable at the time, but never once did she ever try to medicate me, or send me on my way. She reminded me daily that the work you put in, it the results you get out. I journaled, meditated, affirmed what I wanted to be as a mother, friend, sibling, human. I forgave myself for what I did to my family, and friends who I lost because of my behavior. I apologized to my ex husband for myself, and let the shame and guilt fall away in order to be who I truly am. I no longer sedated myself with what society deemed a cure for my mental state. It took 5 years of work and patience and practice to get where I am today, which is a healthy, happy, responsible, mature loving adult, living an incredibly abundant life. I have everything I could ever want, and will never look back to what was; I want others to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is someone who can help guide you to a place of peace and happiness, whether that seems out of your grasp or unreal it is absolutely the truth.
Mental health is not an embarrassment, self-care is a priority. Never doubt yourself. Know that someone is always there to help.
Educate don’t medicate.
Books I recommend:
Love is letting go of Fear by Gerald G. Jampolsky MD
The Seven Habits of Effective People by Covey
The Magic Rhonda Byrne
The power of Now Eckhart Tolle
The Untethered Soul Michael Singer (my favorite)