Prescription anxiety and anti-depressant medications have a stigma. Lately I’ve realized that many people think that they’re for people who want to take the easy way out or that they’re too “lazy” to deal with what life throws at them.
To these people I say, you couldn’t be more wrong.
I understand that some people abuse them, giving them their negative connotation, but that’s really not fair to the people who actually use them properly and benefit from them.
The other day when I was in downtown Albany for a press conference on gay marriage in NY, I overheard some of the Senate PR people discussing prescription drugs and one guy said, “Prescription drugs help us live a longer, healthier life, but people who take them not to help them medically, but just to make themselves happy are lazy. There’s a difference between blood pressure pills and happy pills.”
Needless to say, this irked me a bit. Just because someone takes a medication to help them cope with a psychological disorder, they’re lazy? AND a psychological disorder isn’t the same as a medical condition? WHAT?
Now, I have always been an advocate of not taking pills unless you absolutely need them. In fact, when my doctor first wanted to put me on something to help me cope with my anxiety I was extremely apprehensive, but at that point I was desperate for help. Nothing else worked.
I have been on Lexapro for about 2 years now, and for the past year, I have been taking Xanax as needed, for when I feel a very big panic attack coming on. I take these pills not because I’m lazy, but because I have exhausted every other option. I have a medical condition. There is an imbalance of chemicals in my brain that make my hormone levels spike causing me anxiety problems. It’s medical, and these pills help me live my life normally just like someone else’s blood pressure pills help them.
I was a mess before I got my disorder under control. I would cry all the time, I was miserable to be around. Living my life everyday took a Herculean effort. I wasn’t looking for an easy way out, I was just looking to live my life.
And now I am.
I just wish there was a way to erase the stigma. It’s not fair to those people, like myself, who just want to live their lives without judgment.