Why I talk about it

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Several years ago, I was chatting with an acquaintance who would become a friend and somehow depression, medication, anxiety came up. I unabashedly told her that I was on xyz medication. We all lived to tell the tale.

When I told my husband later her cautioned me not to tell anyone that I had anxiety issues or was taking something for it. Because people may think I am crazy (well-- I am crazy- but in a good way I like to think).

I questioned why the secrecy, it is just adding to the stigma. I wouldn't think twice about telling someone I take Advair for my asthma. I have an issue, I am taking care of it.

Granted, I do not volunteer all the dirty little secrets of my life or about some of my darker moments, but that is more because I don't know the words to use to describe them, and my memory of the time is fuzzy at best.

Women, mothers especially seem to have this "I need to have it all" or "I need to do it all" syndrome. We have the need to at least look like we can manage the kids, the house, a career, pets, and 10 other things while dressed in fashionable clothes and wearing subtle yet pretty make-up. It is like juggling wet cats on a beach ball. Something has got to give.

Because of our (my) desire to do everything we (I) often are hiding our feelings, sometimes even from ourselves(myself).

I talk about it so that other women can see that someone can be a functional person, even with issues, that taking medication does not brand you with a letter "M".

I talk about it so that my kids will know that it is okay to admit that you need help.

I talk about it so that maybe another mom will feel safe enough to get help and see that there is a life on the other side.

I talk about it so it is not some scary secret, that is terrifying until brought to light.


Sandra Kohlmann said...

I commend you for being open about your anxiety and treatment for it. I, too, battle anxiety and depression and I take two medicines for it, and I go to therapy. It's what makes me healthy and happy and I don't hide it in any way. As a result of being open, several members of my family have also gotten treatment.

I have a dear friend who had done several incredible painting series all about mental health issues and the related medications. She did so, because of how these things have impacted her family and to reduce stigma.

Way to go! Tell your husband that he's the crazy one, for thinking you shouldn't be open about your life in any way that makes you feel comfortable.

Hansgen's said...

Your post came at the perfect time for me. I just revisited the doctor yesterday after being off medication for 2 years because I knew I needed 'help'. I commend people that talk about it, there is nothing more wrong with me than someone who suffers from migraines.

I am not very eloquent in what I'm trying to say, so I will just say thank you!

Vanessa Jubis said...

Thank you for posting your story and sharing about anxiety/depression.

We are NOT alone. ;)

I recently wrote about mine here:

Just Me said...

Thanks vanessa! I it is great knowing that there are others like me!

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