A group of us
Highly educated thinkers
And hard core believers,
Psychologists, students, and teachers,
Sat around
Pondering the secret
To happiness.

Essentially
Seeking pieces of advice
For peace of mind.

Among the solutions were:
Mindfulness and gratitude.
Because it’s known that life
Is 90% attitude
And only 10%,
Circumstance.

In the midst of discussions about
Achieving good feelings
And natural healing
A woman nearby
Sighed
And, while tending to her child’s cries,
Entered our conversation.

She said, ‘Honestly?
I know that our nation
Is ‘anti’ the idea of medication
But sometimes prescriptions
Are necessary for happiness.

Like for me.
When I had PPD.

Because after I had a child
I wasn’t only not able to smile…
I wasn’t able
To breathe.
It was as if
I’d been bereaved.
Though I was holding
A new life
In my arms.

With the physical pain
And the change of hormones in my brain
And lack of sleep driving me insane
And anxious thoughts becoming engrained
In my every waking moment,
I knew that something was wrong.

I needed help.

Yes.
Sometimes,
Medications are necessary.’

This is a thought that most people don’t dare to admit
Because they’re scared
And have been emotionally
And socially
Scarred
By judgement.

Because so many view
‘Mother’s little yellow helper’
As something that serves as an unnecessary shelter
For people who are too weak
To do things on their own.

People don’t want to say they’re on psychotropics
Because others might say they’re crazy
Or just plain lazy.

But if there’s a guy on medication
Who says he
Hasn’t tried everything else he could first?

That guy may have already attempted
Myriads of therapeutic interventions and still have ended up
Not dating much
Because he’s already in a complicated on-and-off again
Relationship
With his Depression.
Depression who, when they’re together,
Is obsessive
And possessive
and begs him to call in sick from work
And come back to bed
And rest his head
In the jaws of her embrace.

I don’t mean to argue
Against the glaring truth
That in our generation,
There’s a severe problem with our approach to medication.

Because, obviously, there is.

It’s easy to see that
Drug companies just want to be able to bill
For another pill.
Many are being over-sedated
And overmedicated
And over-diagnosed.

And we either overprescribe
Or over-imbibe
Until people become card carrying members of the tribe
Of prescription seekers
And escape artists.

Kids are being told that their energy isn’t normal
And those diagnoses are being written on formal
Forms that might impact their futures.

Besides for adverse side effects,
There’s the affliction
Of medicinal addiction
Causing us to cry out with (sometimes rightful) conviction
That medications are harmful.

It’s not an enigma
Why there’s such a stigma
Against these drugs.

But sometimes,
Sometimes,
Medication is needed
To help traumatic burns be debrided
And replenish neurotransmitters that’ve been depleted
Due to genes, environment, and experience.

Some people don’t have the right receptors
Or connectors in their brain
Causing them to feel insane,
But what’s insane is that these people feel the need to suffer
And cause loved ones
Dire emotional pain
Rather than ‘resorting’ to taking a pill
Due to stereotypes.

While I do indeed advocate
That a first resort should be to medicate
With a heavy dose of meditating
And breathing
And receiving
Therapy and guidance,
Because so much can be improved
With lifestyle changes
And thought training to control mood
…Some things can not.

I’m studying psychiatry
Because I believe
People unjustifiably
Believe that there’s piety
In quietly
Suffering
From mental and emotional ails.

It’s ok
To need help.

There is no shame
You are not to blame.

We stereotype
Those with mental illnesses
As if they could help this
If they just tried hard enough.
But we don’t do the same
With people who cry of pain
In their abdomen
Or heart.

Just because
Panic attacks can’t always be seen by the guys
Reading the MRI
Doesn’t mean
They’re inconsequential
Or less real.

Everyone would admit
That medication shouldn’t be viewed as an easy fix
Because prescriptions are not solutions,
They’re conduits.

They are tools
To help you
Help yourself.

They can turn the volume down
Of the static and the sounds
That bounce around
Unbound
In your mind.

Until you can hear yourself again.

They can assist you
When you don’t think you can subsist
And facilitate your interacting
With the people you love
In a loving way.

Yes.
Sometimes,
Medication is needed.

And that’s okay.

Originally Published on Hevria.com

2 Comments

  1. Like so many others, for years I avoided taking anti-depressants, because I thought I could or should do it on my own. CBT, attitude with gratitude, prayer, meditation, exercise, green drink, B12, you name it, I tried it—often all at once. I ignored family history, and my own personal experience with the depths of despair and said no to taking meds, as if doing so would make me some kind of failure.

    Are there side effects to taking meds? Of course. It would love to not take pills every day to feel ok. Everyone is different, and maybe there are some people who suffer from depression, anxiety, bi-polar, etc that can get enough benefit from CBT or DBT that they can manage without taking meds. But for me, the bottom line is what is going to give me the best quality of life? Heck, what’s going to allow me to get my ass out of bed in the morning. For me, the answer is that taking anti-depressants allows me to engage in self-care and work everyday to achieve my goals, give to my family and community, and be the person I am capable of being.

    Thank you Zoloft. And thank you Rochel for being a voice of reason.

    • Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It definitely sounds like you’ve explored the options and have a focus on taking care of yourself, and your mental and emotional health. I’m so glad that you found a medication and path that works for you. May you continue experiencing health in all dimensions!

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