After being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder in the eighth grade, I have gone through an onslaught of different medications to try to balance the chemicals in my brain enough to function.
I have relied on medication to get me through the day for over six years. Because of this, I often became frustrated with myself because of this dependency. I felt like I was weak because I couldn’t get through the day without taking several different medications. So, at some point last semester, on one of my “upswings” I decided that I didn’t need to keep taking four pills a day to feel okay. Unfortunately, this was a huge mistake.
I was all right for a few months. I finished off the semester okay and had a laidback summer. I experienced a little bit of anxiety from work, but nothing I couldn’t handle. However, when it was time to come back to school, it was a different story.
This semester I took on way too much. I quickly found myself way over my head; I was overwhelmed. I soon fell into a state of severe depression and anxiety. I got to the point where every time I tried to leave the house, I would have a panic attack. I was falling behind in every aspect of my life, and this was just worsening my anxiety.
To make myself independent from my medication, I instead made myself incapacitated by my mental illness.
As someone that struggles to ask for help and does everything in my best efforts to do everything on my own, it took a lot of humility to decide finally I needed help. I couldn’t keep living like this. I simply needed medication to function.
When weighing my options between not depending on the medication, and having to spend the day in bed because I was too anxious to leave my apartment, I decided a little dependence wouldn’t hurt me. It wouldn’t be costing me my independence, but would rather be granting it to me. Using medication as a crutch is not a terrible thing, as long as I am still making my efforts.
So yesterday I stifled my pride and went to see my doctor. I got back on my medication, and am now working back to get to where I was before. Thankfully, my professors have all been incredibly understanding, and they are working with me. However, this was still a major setback for me.
I learned that, although I may be dependent on medication to function normally, it also allows me to be more independent. It enables me to be able to go about my day without as much anxiety and sadness. It also permits me to be able to complete all of my daily tasks and handle my busy schedule. Without depending on my medication, I am crippled by my anxiety and depression. Depending on medication allows me to have freedom.
Although it is still difficult for me to rely on medication, I realize that I just need a little extra help to get through my day. It’s no worse than taking some Advil to help get rid of a headache or Tums to get rid of a stomachache. Taking medication to assist me isn’t weak; it is simply me recognizing that I can’t do everything on my own.
I also know that I cannot depend on the medication alone, and I have to put in some of my efforts. I have to use coping methods and take control of my recovery to function at my best capability. While it’s still a constant struggle, I know that relying on medication to give me an extra boost is making me independent from my illness.