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When Mental Illness Makes You Believe You Don't Need Your Meds

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

As someone who takes medication for anxiety and depression, I know firsthand that medication isn’t a total cure. It takes a lot of self-care, self-reflection and determination. Medication can be a large part of recovery for a wide variety of people. It can also be a person’s weakness if not used correctly. The problem with taking medication is sometimes not the medication itself, but the intrusive thoughts that many mental illnesses like to make you believe.

“You don’t need that.”

“You’re weak for needing medication.”

“You are faking it.”

“You need to stop taking that.”

And so you stop taking it, because everything in your head is telling you that you’re better off without it. Even if the logical side of you knows that you shouldn’t, you listen to the thoughts, screaming at you to stop taking those pills.

And at first, you might not see a change. Everything seems totally fine. You start thinking that maybe, maybe those thoughts were right. Maybe you don’t need to take medication.

You think, maybe it is all made up.

It starts off with the small things. Not eating as well as you should, sleeping a little later than normal. You decide to indulge in that short little nap. Nothing major, you think. It’s just a small little road bump, you think. Then, it starts growing. Your eating patterns become uncontrollable. You eat way too much, or nothing. You barely sleep or you sleep for hours upon hours. You start to become quiet again. Your laughter fades and your world seems to stop. Everything goes back to being gray. It goes back to the fog that you have worked so hard to avoid. Your thoughts and actions start to spiral out of control. Your mind goes to the dark places again. You feel stuck, like you’re back to square one.

I understand that medication for mental illness isn’t for everyone. Everyone’s journey is different and everyone has had different experiences. Please note that this is about my experience stopping my medication abruptly, without talking to a doctor beforehand-not taking the correct steps of talking to my doctor and weaning myself off of my medication. Please don’t make the same mistakes I did. Never abruptly stop taking your medication before talking to your doctor.

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Getty Images photo via CHAIWATPHOTOS

Originally published: November 30, 2017
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