My Psychiatric Medication 'Helps,' but Not in the Way I Want It To

“I have depression,” I say.

They ignore me. They think depression is just a word for “extra sad.”

“I hurt myself today,” I say.

They think it’s a cry for attention when in reality it’s a cry for help in the only way I know how.

“I tried to end my life today,” I say.

“Oh, sweetie, life isn’t that bad, pick yourself up, go get help, talk to someone, things will get better,” they say back.

So I talk to someone.

“I have depression. I hurt myself. I’ve attempted suicide and suicidal, self-harming thoughts and plans still run through my head daily, but I fight my hardest to overcome it only some days. It’s as if my emotions are a tsunami and I am but a small boat dragged below the ocean,” I explain to the doctor taking notes.

“Take this medicine, it will help,” the one with the degree says.

And it does. But not in the way I want it to. Now not only do I not feel sad, I do not feel joy, or anger either. The medicine I swallow takes away all feeling and leaves me an empty hollow shell with the ghost of a smile I hope I’ve put on my face correctly. With anger that is forced and leaves me wondering at things I know should cause frustration, “Did I pretend angry enough, or did I go overboard?” And at things I know should upset me, “Was I sad enough or did I seem as if apathetic without a care at all?”

You see, they say get help. The doctors say the medicine is a cure. But is help really being given a cure that makes me feel nothing at all? So, no, I’m not having thoughts of suicide anymore. As a matter of fact I’m not having thoughts at all. But if that is the case, give me my depression, my suicidal thoughts, my days where I’ve lost a battle but am still fighting the war. Give me back my emotions. Because I would rather feel too much than feel nothing at all.

Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Thinkstock photo via Maria Kuznetsova

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