There is so much advice floating around the internet for how to deal with depression, anxiety, and the sadness that seems to run like a strong river through our modern society.
Bloggers and youtubers will tell you they have the answer to solving your mental illness. Drink green tea, get more sunlight, cut out sugar or carbs or dairy, meditate your pain away, journal things out, subscribe to their program for a minimum payment of $45 a month.
But the truth is that no amount of journaling, healthy eating, or exercise could cure my mental illness.
The only thing that really made any damn difference in my life was to get medicated. Yes. Drugs. Drugs were the only answer to my lifelong struggle with depression and severe anxiety.
Going to your doctor and getting the help you need, no matter what mental illness you suffer from, will never make you weak. It will never make you needy or an attention whore or “that person who takes drugs for everything”. Who gives a fuck? If it works for you, then do it.
It took me a lot of courage and a great deal of emotional discomfort to finally schedule an appointment with my doctor, because on the “good days”, I convinced myself that I was fine and didn’t need help, and on the “bad days” I was too far gone from reality to make the responsible decision and call the doctor.
I was worried the doctor would look at me and laugh, say I wasn’t sick and that I didn’t need the pills because I was just making it up or was being dramatic. Instead, without missing a beat, she said “okay”. I filled out a quick survey to assess my current mental state and that day I left her office with a script for anti-depressants.
It took me a few months to find a pill that worked for me. The first few pills were not the right ones for me, and even made my depression worse, to the point of having suicidal thoughts. But I always returned to the doctor and discussed these symptoms, and she always worked to find the right one for me.
Now I am on a daily anti-depressant that allows me to do the things I love. I am finally enrolled in graduate school, a dream I’ve had for years but never felt like I could really accomplish. I am in a healthy relationship and have no anxiety about communicating my feelings with my partner. I wake up every day and think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast, and look forward to putting on my simple makeup. My life is mine again, in a way it never really was before. Not since I was a little girl.
If you are struggling with a mental illness, please get help. You don’t have to go through that struggle alone. There are people in the world that are there to help you, and those who will not judge you.