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Mental Health

Taking Medication Does Not Make You Weak

Mediation does not make you weak. Asking for help does not make you weak. Needing a break does not make you fragile.

You can be a bad-ass on meds too

The previous statements were primarily self-reminders. I recently noticed this thing I do where I break-down and can’t function and perpetually contemplate suicide. Nonetheless, during my routine medication check-ups I sit in front of the Nurse Practitioner and tell her how great I am. I tell her how my meds are working and I just need to practice positivity.

It’s my senior year, I’ve been running around trying to do more than I can handle, then go home and cry about it. During the first quarter I was pulling three all-nighters a week and sleeping less than 5 hours if I slept. I kept this up, until one day I came into class literally shaking from sleep deprivation and caffeine abuse. My teacher looked at me with sad eyes and said “you can’t keep doing this, you need to stop.” And I did. I’m now trying to practice more self care and remember that my worth is not reliant on my accomplishments.

But I still didn’t talk to my nurse about it.

 I thought about how I would do any recreational drug if it made me feel better. Then I felt like an idiot. I was willing to any kind of drug known to man, but I would not go and ask for my medication to be changed. I had legal, monitored, and approved drugs at my disposal but I would not ask for them. Why? I don’t know. There is too much stigma associated with mental illness, but smoking a blunt makes you look cool. Maybe I thought that if I did recreational drugs I would look less like a basket case and more like a typical teenager. Maybe I thought more/ different medication meant I am unfixable.

So I did what I should have done months ago; I sat down in front of my Nurse Practitioner and asked for help. She adjusted my medication. A family member commented about how “it is really significant” that my doses were doubled. 1) It’s not your goddamn business, 2) It’s not like since my medication was changed that I’m worse, I’m just addressing the issue, 3) It’s not your goddamn business. We are criticized for asking for help. She didn’t comment about what I was going through, she commented about how I must have something really wrong with me. Too often I have adults telling me “that’s not normal,” “you’re not ok,” “you need to stop,” and other obvious things like I chose my diagnosis out of a catalog and practice it for shits and giggles.

I think that’s why too many of us won’t ask for help. Despite this, I’m adjusting to my new state of mind, and I believe I can finally start to heal.

Sometimes, it’s easier for someone to do something if another person tells their story.  What I’m saying is, if you need someone to tell you, I’m telling you: if you need help, ask. Please.

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Written By

Chidubem), is a Nigerian-American 17-year-old with a passion for creation. Her hobbies include: doodling, creative writing, journalism, spoken word, photography, procrastinating important work, annoying and disappointing those whom she loves, and periodically ruining her own life. She will be attending Wake Forest University in the Fall of 2017.

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