Mental Health Meds Have Changed My Life

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Image Description: A cartoon drawing of a pill — one half is pink, and the other half is light blue with stars, triangles, and circles of different colors. There’s a banner written in purple that says, “It’s ok if you need meds every day.” I found this image on Instagram, shared by @thesocialchanger. There’s a small print signature in the image which reads, “Starstar Party.”

As the image above says, let it ring true:
It’s ok if you need meds every day.

But seriously. Let it ring true:
It’s ok if you need meds every day.

Whatever they are and for whatever need they address, there is no shame in taking these meds, nor is there any shame in having these needs.

And if it helps, I’ll make it more personal. Just as the title says pretty clearly, mental health meds have changed my life. And this is no exaggeration. I requested a particular prescription about six months ago, received it, and my whole body has moved toward greater health.

Though it had been years since I’d taken this medication, this not the first time I had done so (that’s why I requested it by name). But this was probably the biggest physical shift I’ve ever felt upon making the decision to take it. And it was almost immediate.

I’ve written on this blog before about my journey with C-PTSD. This is a mental illness, so if you were to get out your handy, dandy DSM-5 (who am I kidding… most of us would do a Google search) you’d see a list of symptoms. In years past, I’ve dealt with most of these. They were most pronounced for me in my mid-20s.

At this stage of my life, my experience has mostly been physical. I could frame my experience through the lens of diagnosis, or I could frame it through the lens of story. Both are true. Through a lot of trauma, my nervous system has endured quite a bit, and I’ve had to take a lot of care with it for more than a decade. I’ve experienced a great deal of healing in this regard, but there have still been some big vulnerabilities. Since the nervous system governs the whole body, I found myself having many physical reactions to stress in my mid to late 30s. When life became even moderately stressful, I would lose a great deal sleep (never good) and I would experience a lot of stress-initiated illness too.

And… what a shift… After I started taking meds, I began sleeping through the night every single night. Sleep is the single most difficult physical challenge I’ve had — and by the way, for years — so this massive change feels nothing short of miraculous to me. And those big, physical reactions to stress stopped happening in the ways they had before.

Major shift.

As the image above says, let it ring true:
It’s ok if you need meds every day.

I wish I would have made this decision about two years ago. I’m glad I’ve done it now.

I’m doing other things too:
-Therapy,
-Eating well,
-Moving in helpful ways (I started running in the fall, and I’ve run 75 miles!)
and as I always value,
-Engaging and appreciating community connections.

But goodness, these meds have made a shift.

So let me say this clearly:

If you are taking meds, for whatever reason or for whatever need, or
If you think that might help you, for whatever reason or for whatever need,
including mental health,
there should be no shame or stigma in doing so.

And it’s okay to talk about these things too.

This experience has brought me to greater health and fullness of life. And I’m proud to talk about it.

Renee Roederer

This week, I’ve started a Patreon campaign. If you’d like to participate in supporting my writing and my community work, you can check that out at my Patreon Page.

 

2 thoughts on “Mental Health Meds Have Changed My Life

  1. You are so right, Renee. No one thinks twice about saying how they have to have an iron supplement, or a B vitamin or whatever other “health store” item will help them feel better, but no one wants to talk about the medically prescribed items that will make them feel better. It sure would be alot more convenient if I didn’t take meds every day, but I sure wouldn’t feel as good as I do with them. So take them I do.

    Like

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