Here’s the thing about mental health…it’s a stubborn little bastard.
Find out why I’m still on anti-depressants and still attend therapy, even after all this time.
Statistics suggest that for everyone on earth theres at least someone in your life who has experienced mental health problems. You may have seen them through the highs and lows, and now assume the struggle is over. Its easy to miss the symptoms of depression, anxiety and eating disorders when the physical, visible signs are no longer there, and perhaps after some time and effort the sufferer has managed to keep their emotions under control, allowing them to lead a perfectly normal life, just like everyone else.
But there is so much more beneath the surface. Since I’ve passed that initial barrier to recovery for my mental health, including getting physically healthy and emotionally stable again, getting back on track with my career, studies, social life and relationships, it would be hard to guess there could be anything wrong. I’m a total overachiever and perfectionist, and I’ve learnt to channel this the right way now, but as I’ve often been told I’m like a duck or a swan; smooth and calm above the water but frantically kicking underneath.
I’m not ashamed to say that I still heavily rely on a high dose of anti-depressants to get me through the day. They say half the world’s on prozac, and well, I wouldn’t be surprised. Its given me my confidence and my ability to function back, and for me personally its worked well in tandem with other recovery efforts. But what I often ponder is what would happen if I stopped? How much of this ‘doing well’ phase is because of them, and how much is just me? Will I ever be able to shake the taboo or the labels?
I called this post ‘On Therapy and Prozac’ because I see them both as a kind of drug, to be weaned off, eventually. Therapy is another one of those taboos, which I would usually never bring up to people in real life (the joy of hiding behind a computer screen eh!) But I’m at that odd stage where everything is totally fine- better than fine mostly- but after many years with various disorders, there is a very blurred line between identity and illness. Of course not one person would guess that my eating disorder (I really hate that phrase. I need a new name for it. A fellow patient in hospital hated the word anorexia so much that she called it ‘oil slick’. No clue why!) still sticks around at every mealtime, often in unexpected, newly evolved ways. I’m lucky enough to be inundated with support, but
So I guess the point of this post is to read between the lines. People in your life may still need help, or at the very least respect, for their mental health problems, even if it may seem that they recovered years ago. And if therapy and prozac is what they need, then thats what they will still be on, despite all odds.