Written by Taylor Jones.
Anti-psychotic medicines have become a regular part of my life. Every night around 10 I pop my pill, go to bed, and in the morning I (not so) magically wake up pretty balanced. Before medications I would wake up a monster or a slug. These balanced days that fill my life now were few and far between just a few years ago. I am grateful for my medications because they keep me safe and calm. Even on bad days I can take a Benzodiazepine that’s prescribed to me to help keep me balanced. I am okay and stable about 90% of the time; but that doesn’t mean I’m not human.
When the first assumption from someone is that I forgot to take my medications, it hurts.
I will still have bad days. Bad things do still happen, even to people on psych medications. It’s irrational to think I won’t respond to what’s happening in the world, events in my life, or news. On the flip side, really good days happen, too. Some days are just fantastic, and I love to cling on to the more blissful moments. My medications don’t make me a zombie; trust me, because I have had zombie like medications, and it’s taken me several years to find something that isn’t a sedative. I’m not manic on good days, and I’m not depressed on bad days (although sometimes I may be). I’m still going to have emotions; so when the first assumption from someone is that I forgot to take my medications, it hurts.
I am allowed to be mad if I am hurt! This doesn’t mean I stopped taking my medications.
I understand the concern…I suppose. It’s not a good idea to stop taking medicines without a doctor’s approval, and going cold turkey can be detrimental to someone’s health. However, my medications don’t stop me from living; if anything they encourage me to live life to the fullest. It hurts when people ask if I stopped taking my medications because it makes me question every emotion I have. When someone asks me on a bad day it makes me feel like my sadness is invalid, when that’s not the case. My sadness is valid, and it’s healthy (to an extent) to feel out the emotions I’m having. I’m allowed to be sad. I’m also allowed to be mad at times, and when it’s questioned if my medications are involved it only contributes to my anger. I am allowed to be mad if I am hurt! This doesn’t mean I stopped taking my medications, it means someone upset me, and I’m reacting.
It makes me feel like I’m wrong for smiling.
It’s not only negative emotions however. Sometimes even my positive emotions are in question. I am not manic for being happy and smiling often. I’m just a happy person at heart. I find happiness in little things, and it’s not often I have good days anymore. I really like to take advantage of these days. When it’s asked if I’m happy because of a lack of medications it stings even more than when I’m asked on bad days. It makes me feel like my happiness isn’t allowed. It makes me feel like I’m wrong for smiling. Being asked this makes me feel like I need to be numb to the world, and just move forward. It crushes me.
It adds to the stigma of people who need medications to survive.
It is good to be aware of someone’s medications. It means someone cares for those of medications. However, even people on psych medications are human. We are going to feel, and we want to live. So enjoy our good days, and support us on bad days. And yes, if you’re extremely concerned, please ask us if we’re taking our medications. But don’t joke on days we’re just being who we are, and don’t ask if we have emotions because our medications are gone etc. It adds to the stigma of people who need medications to survive.