One of the risks I have recently taken was changing my medications for anxiety/depression. I have been somewhat lucky in that I haven’t had to cycle through drug after drug, trying to find the right dosage or combination. Until now, of course. I was previously on my main medication for over three years and tapering to then not taking it anymore was awful. After a month on a new medication that was clearly doing the opposite of what it was supposed to, I am now on a new medication.

It is during these times when I struggle the most with the notion of taking medication for my anxiety and depression. I question whether I’m doing the right thing by putting things into my body that change the chemicals and even the way I think so much that friends reach out and question if I’m okay. Why would I willingly put myself through this? I feel like that’s one of the stigmas associated with mental health and actually taking care of yourself. For instance, if you have something recognizable like cancer or diabetes, you’re going to take the medications the doctor tells you to that have shown the best results. Those doctors will likely change around dosages and combinations if their first guess isn’t quite right. But if you change the illness to something like anxiety or depression, it looks completely differently and some people can be vilified for their choice in seeking medical intervention with mental illness. Perception is everything, I guess, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

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