So you have a morning routine, or even an evening routine. Get up, get dressed, brush teeth, pop an anti-depressant. Wait, I may be wrong...Wake up, get dressed, brush teeth, do hair pop an anti-anxiety pill, put on shoes, grab car keys and face the world.
Do you see what I'm getting at here?
The fact is that we are a medicated nation, if not world. I recently sought the couch-comfort of a psychiatrist's room and found that most of the phone conversations I had with their soft-spoken receptionists went like this:
Me: "Hi, I'd like to find out when the Doctor's next available appointment is?"
Receptionist: "I can book you in at 11am next year March."
Me: "Hi there, please can you let me know when the next available appointment with your Doctor is?"Receptionist: "Let me check....ok the Dr's next free slot is next year May."
I may sound like I'm exaggerating, but I'm really not. Ok, perhaps a little, but the waiting lists were exhaustively long - the soonest available appointment I could find was two months down the line.
This led me to start thinking about something. Throughout my life I had noticed a 'taboo' (if you will) around psychologists, mental health issues and prescription medications of the mental-variety. It seems there is a stigma around needing a little bit of help to get through the days; to make the days a bit sunnier, or to help that crippling anxiety from causing you to topple over and take a hammer to your prized collection of porcelain dolls.
The fact is that there is nothing to be ashamed about. I have read a famous quote that went something along the lines of 'if you have the flu, you take medicine to get better. If you have a mental health issue, why not take medicine to help you get better too?' I couldn't agree more. Sure, I am fully part of the party that agrees that there are some issues that can be worked out without medication. If you are drowning at your job and want to bomb dive off a bridge at the thought of going into the office tomorrow morning, then chances are you should be looking for another job. If everything in your life is good, you have a decent job, loving family and one or two hiccups here and there and yet you still have the bridge-mentality, then chances are you are depressed and could use the boost of some well-prescribed anti-depressants and perhaps a good therapy cry session once a week.
There are mental ailments whereby the chemical balance in your brain could affect you in such way that you do not cope with stress as effectively as the next person. This can lead you to feel insecure and overwhelmed, wondering why the single mom you work with can do and has it all, yet you can barely cope with next week's deadline. This then crushes you with regular panic attacks and a dark cloud of depression. Chances are you would be able to tackle the deeper rooted issues causing you the insecurity and inability to cope with your stress if you are taking medication that helps to even out that chemical imbalance.
By no means think that a pill will cure all the worries that you have, but by no means be ashamed to need that little 'brain vitamin' to help you cope a little better. This coupled with the right kind of therapy or regular counselling sessions can give you a new lease on life. Too many people take their own lives, or live in a dark cloud of misery and severe anxiety daily because they are too ashamed to admit they need help, or they are ashamed to be seen as a 'loony.'
Do not be ashamed.
Remember, the soonest appointment that could be found at a psychiatrist in the Johannesburg area was two months down the line. There are over a hundred psychiatrists in the greater Johannesburg area practising many hours a day for hour-long sessions. That's a LOT of people seeking the help and medication that they need. Who knows, one of these people may be your boss, your employee, your child's school teacher or the grocer across the road. They probably are. These are people just like you.
I'll leave off with a quote I love: "Everyone is fighting their own battle, try not to be an a**"
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