My Take On Medication (Originally Published On May 15th 2018)

You see pharmaceutical ads on TV now more than ever. You read recent articles and hear stories about the rates of depression increasing within the last five years. You hear stories of pill culture and drug abuse making an alarming comeback. You read and hear the controversy over what they call Big Pharma. With all that said, when it comes to prescription drugs, particularly for people on the autistic spectrum, do prescription drugs from your psychiatrist make you feel more relaxed and happy, or more numb to how you really feel? I personally feel depending on what I am taking and how much I am taking, that the answer is a little bit of both. Having said that, the overall feeling I get when asking myself whether the overall antidepressant method helps heal or helps restrain you from ever feeling like yourself again, is always the latter. I know very well that medication is not a magic wand that waves in the air and fixes all of your problems, especially when you didn’t choose to have these problems in the first place. But to me, like any drug, once you get in, getting out is a lifetime struggle. The difference with abuse of dangerous and even illegal drugs (not that many legal drugs are not just as or more dangerous) and antidepressants is that the longer you take them (I started as early as age 10), and the more life continues to overwhelm you, the higher the dosage and need for new prescriptions adds on to your pill fix. So while rehab can push you to fight addiction, in my case you are being pushed to (in a figurative sense) increase addiction. I am not saying the miracle of never needing antidepressants again within your lifetime can never happen, but it truly WOULD be a miracle if it does happen. Everything from side effects to dependence on antidepressants (as prescribed) practically makes one a prisoner and slave to the pharma companies that laugh all the way to the bank when someone is desperately or being forced to seek treatment.
My ten year numbness was partly due to medication. What held me together was emotional and social support. That’s the real healing power for me. Everyone else may have a different way of dealing with uncontrollable anxiety or depression, but I can guarantee you medication is only a small fraction of what helps you get by. It’s a scam in many ways. And it’s a huge result of our greedy, capitalist society, which exploits mental health for all the wrong reasons (unlike Mental Health Week and NAMI Walks to give a couple positive examples). But people in the psychiatric profession work in the field that requires prescriptions to be filled, whether they agree with it or not.
My psychiatrist whom I saw yesterday, was surprisingly the most validating she has ever been with me. I feel blessed to have someone who can actually talk with me about my current emotions finally for 40 minutes max even if she isn’t required to. So that made me trust her a whole lot more and made my day a lot better. But many people still don’t have that, and if they feel that they have been cursed for life the minute they started taking meds, seeing a psychiatrist is something they most likely dread whenever they go to their appointment.
So like I said before, don’t be afraid to speak up about your emotions and SHOW your emotions to people you trust or don’t trust. The more support you receive, the easier it will most likely be to get on with your life without feeling forced to live in general (which can be true for some people but I understand). When that nerdy character in South Park says “Drugs are bad mmkay?”, he isn’t wrong, authority figure or not (unless it’s weed haha). But for now (but not forever if shit can change around for future generations), it is what it is. Just don’t be so dependent on your meds where you start to abuse them. In my opinion, stuff like meditation, yoga and breathing exercises are not enough. That’s all shit you do on your own. But emotional support and validation is everything. Masking and trying to please people for their approval is the enemy. Do not give in to that. Be yourself and show your true feelings to EVERYONE. Do not let drugs or societal pressure stop you from continuing to be yourself.

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