I should start by saying that I thought my grandparents walked on water, I absolutely adored them. Their son, Roger, died of a heart attack at 36 years old. After that nightmare, each day my grandfather, Poppy, used to ask my grandmother, Dammy, if she had taken her “happy pill”. I can’t imagine the number of “happy pills” I would need to be taking to endure that pain.
But I must correct him. It’s not a “happy pill”. It doesn’t MAKE you happy. Meds help stabilize so many intricate parts of you. There are tons of people who still think of psychopharmaceuticals as a bad crutch. Some think that if they agree to taking them that they are weak or somehow less-than. But for those suffering from debilitating depression, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, unrelenting OCD, postpartum depression, etc., meds can be an absolute life saver. I know tons of people who wait for years and try everything under the sun while enduring painful and terrifying episodes. Their mental health often deteriorates to the point where they can’t work and have to quit their job, hide away in secrecy and fear or think that they are going insane, or they end up in hospitals and inpatient clinics desperate for any kind of relief.
Meds are wonder drugs for some who feel they can’t survive without them, and many can’t. For others, it’s just simply amazing to feel stable and not panic and obsess or have terrifying thoughts racing through their mind. In one of my favorite podcasts, The Hilarious World of Depression, one comedian compared going on meds to getting glasses for the first time. OH! So this is how I am supposed to see the world!
In addition to meds, I encourage all my clients to have a plethora of other things in their toolbox. People need a variety of coping skills and things to reach for because no one thing will do the trick every time. Here are some of my favorite tools….podcasts, books, comedy, exercise, meditation, friends, touchstones, pets, music, therapy (duh), baths, workbooks and all the skills out there to help self-soothe. It’s so important to figure out what works for you because not all tools work for all people.
Not everybody needs meds and not everybody who needs them will take them. If you are curious, give me a call and we can just have a chat about it. Stop feeling awful and start feeling better today.