After reading some disturbing comments on Facebook, I felt the need to do my own PSA.
Of course, we are back to the gun control debate which then leads to a discussion on mental health. What disturbed me was a few people said psychiatric medications are ineffective and not the answer to mental illness.
I have lived with schizoaffective disorder for most of my life, and while therapy is helpful (I go every week) a cocktail of psych meds is absolutely necessary to manage my symptoms. My mental illness is a medical condition requiring medical treatment.
My Psych Med Story
I’ve always been open about my diagnosis and story, and when I come across stigma, I just want to let everyone in. Schizoaffective disorder can be devastating, and nothing in my life would be possible without my medication. I wouldn’t consider my life normal, but I function really well. I’m productive and fulfilled. Nothing’s perfect, but I’m happy.
I wish everyone could feel what I’ve felt – the drastic change medication made in my life. I used to experience psychosis which was very frightening and confusing. Mood symptoms were debilitating. But now I’m stable – and free.
I realize medications work differently for different people, but I get a little defensive when people discredit psych meds altogether.
Time to Educate the Masses
Question – Have you ever been involved with something – something very important to your life – and you’re frustrated and heartbroken when you realize the vast majority of people know nothing about it? I feel that way about mental health. I’ve been in recovery for nearly twenty years and have worked in the mental health field for sixteen. I’m very open and normally feel safe talking about my illness but it’s hard to remember that not everyone has the same background as me. I even encounter stigma in my own family. Obviously, I am all for education and awareness because while many people don’t know much about mental health, it’s something that affects us all.
For a closing note on mental health – even if you don’t understand mental illness, just be kind.