I need to take a second to just rant this out of my system. I’ve been in therapy on and off throughout junior high and now consistently in college for several months, and my therapist sent me to a psychiatrist recently who diagnosed me with clinical depression and anxiety (and OCD still hasn’t been ruled out).
Now depression isn’t just feeling sad for a while. Depression is debilitating. It can keep you in bed and unable to perform everyday tasks because your body feels weighed down by some invisible force sucking out all of your energy. Hell, half the time, I don’t even cry or anything. I just stare at the ceiling for three days while trying to remember to eat and shower or trying to gather the energy to get up to eat and shower.
My depression and anxiety are things that can be triggered, but guess what, they can also come about without a trigger. They’re rather routine things that I physically cannot help. I could win the lottery, and if it’s just that time in my depressive cycle, I will enter a near suicidal state. Nothing I can do but wait it out.
So yes, after listening to those lovely people who preach at you to just stop thinking that way or just get better or just try harder (in therapy) or any other verbal band-aid they think is the world’s panacea, I have turned to medication.
Here’s my problem: for a mental state I cannot help, I just paid $94 for ten pills. I find it rather sad that for a little over a week’s worth of pills, I spent nearly a hundred dollars. A hundred dollars to find something that keeps me not happy - no, happy is some outlandish goal - to keep me functional. To keep the suicidal thoughts away. To keep me out of bed, from staring at the ceiling.
I am not a person with a necessarily shitty life. I’ve had my share of childhood abuse and crappy people, but I should not be depressed. I am an excellent student - a full-ride scholarship student - with some fantastic friends and a great family and a promising future career. I have nothing to be sad about. But I can’t help the depression. I can’t help the anxiety. And I feel as if I’m being punished financially. Paying for pills. Paying for psychiatrist visits. Paying for counselling. All of this to keep me on my feet.
I’m only scared that one day I won’t have the money to take care of my mental health, afraid of what state I’ll fall into. I’m sad that my mental health only matters when I have the money to pay for it.
So to everyone out there with depression or anxiety or OCD or any other mental health concern, I understand what you go through. You work your asses off to go to appointments and to the pharmacist. You work your asses off to pay for it all. You work your asses off to make sure you’re okay.
And I’m proud of you. Every damn one of you.