2019 was not an easy year for me. I was consumed by an all encompassing darkness that made almost everyday a struggle. I tried everything from vitamins and supplements, to probiotics, chiropractic care, essential oils you name it. I felt that giving into medication meant I was failing, that I wasn’t “crunchy” enough. I became a person that I no longer recognized.
I remember walking into the Drs. office and bursting into tears when asked, “how are you doing?” I was not okay and I had not been okay for a long time. I walked out of the office with a prescription for sertraline that would continue to sit in my purse for another two weeks before being filled. Because maybe, just maybe if I tried a little harder it would all be okay.
Fast forward to 2020 and I can honestly say that I am doing better than ever because of these little pills. I still utilize a lot of the “crunchier” methods listed above, just in conjunction with medication. I no longer feel shame for doing what is best for me, because unless someone has walked a mile in my shoes their opinion is irrelevant.
It took me a long time to fully grasp the issues surrounding med shaming. We would never tell a cancer patient to use probiotics in lieu of lifesaving treatment. Nor would we encourage a diabetic to swap their insulin for essential oils. So why do we tell people battling depression, anxiety and PTSD that they don’t need medication to treat a misfire or malabsorption in the brain?
There are absolutely other methods that can be used to treat the aforementioned illnesses. I would even dare to say that natural and western medicine can make a great duo when used in combination to treat various conditions. However, I can almost guarantee that the vast majority of people suffering from a mental illness don’t go running to medication as a cure-all right from the get go.
The next time you think someone is taking the easy way out by opting for medication, think again. Trust me when I say, we don’t need society to belittle and shame us, we already do enough of that to ourselves.