No one ever tells you what to do when the counseling doesn’t work. When you end up crying uncontrollably during and after each session. When you dread your counseling sessions so much that you cancel, because you’re having a good day and you don’t want all those emotions dredged up again. When each session only serves to remind you of how utterly awful your life is.
And that’s where medication comes in. Medication as an option, that you have to research yourself, because no one ever suggests it. And there’s this constant current of disappointment just below the surface when you talk to people about it. They say “Have you tried counseling?” and then when you inform them that yes, in fact, you have, they assume you just haven’t tried hard enough. That maybe it was the wrong counselor, or the wrong type of therapy. They urge you not to be so hasty, not to let one bad experience taint your vision of therapy. “Go back!” they say. “Try again!” they say.
Why the hell would I want to go back to a treatment that caused me extreme emotional distress?
It’s because there’s such a stigma against psychiatric medication in our society. Therapy is accepted, so commonplace it’s almost trendy. But medication is a no-no, because as soon as you go on medication, there’s something Wrong with you. You’ve become one of Those People, those crazy people, who relies on medication to be stable.
“But medication can have side effects!” they say. And true, that is certainly an issue you have to consider when going on medication. But it’s like an infected wound. What’s better - poking repeatedly at the wound so it becomes even more inflamed and infected, or providing antibiotics, which can have side effects, but will clear up the infection in the long run?
“It’s all a big hoax!” they say. “Big Pharma and all of that!” Well, I’m here to tell you that I don’t give a flying fuck about Big Pharma and whether or not the pharmaceutical industry is looking out for patients’ best interests. All I know is that medication is the only thing that made me feel like a human being again. And that is certainly NOT a hoax.
Then they want to know when you’re getting OFF the medication. Even doctors will sneak it in, mentioning tapering off as soon as they think they can get away with it. Forgive me, doctor, but I’m doing so well on medication. Ever heard the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well, I implore you, please don’t try to fix me, because I don’t need fixing. I am happy on medication. Happier than I was when I wasn’t on medication. Why, then, do you seem to want to deny me my happiness?
If I need a little white pill to be stable, so what? If it’s a crutch for me, so what? It enhances my quality of life, just like my real, physical crutches do. Would you rather I was curled up in a ball sobbing all the time, like I was before the medication? That doesn’t bode well for taxpayers. With medication, I can go out and be a productive member of society. Isn’t that what society wants from me, and for that matter, everyone else?
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m wary of disclosing that I’m on psychiatric medication.