Told I'm not mentally ill because I don't take pills...

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
People be playing 'mental illness top trumps' like...

Recently, someone told me I'm not really mentally ill because I don't take medication to control my symptoms. She has decided that because I don't take pills, then any depression I experience is merely situational - it's not, nothing seems to trigger it, it just comes and sticks around for several months at a time.

I saw a community psychiatric nurse who wrote to my GP about prescribing me an antidepressant, but I never went because my appointment kept on getting cancelled due to strikes and they were only seeing emergency cases (i.e. booking appointments for the same day) and I could never phone in early enough (due to the hypersomnia that accompanies my depression), so I just lost patience with it all. I don't think I was ever that committed to taking medication for it, but if I'd managed to get an appointment and a prescription, then there's every likelihood I'd have taken it.

I mean, my depression lifted eventually, but nowhere as quick as it would have done with the right anti-d.

Just because I don't take medication doesn't mean I'm not mentally ill, right? My depression is not situational, it just comes out of nowhere and lingers. I'm scared of medication giving me more energy before it lifts my mood, because of the suicide risk. I don't like taking medication - I have to take antifibrinolytic medication, but I wish I didn't (but if I don't, I risk bleeding through my clothes every month).

I go to counselling, I've had CBT, I'm even going to college now in order to give my mind something else to focus on, but I'm coming home knackered every night because I'm putting on this act that I'm in complete control of my mind when I'm not.

Yeah, you've got a prescription and I haven't, but that doesn't make my depression any less valid than yours, it just means I've decided not to bother (even though I know there's a chance I'd do so much better on them).

I've not even broached the subject of my unmedicated ADHD and OCD...
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Anonymous #2
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I see where you're coming from. I go on a lot of websites (great social life as I'm sure you can tell), and it does appear to me that certain groups in society have a weird obsession with being "mentally ill" and how they're so much worse than other people. I went to a society social at university recently and the girl I was speaking to was telling me about her medication, I mean WTF? It's like I just met you....why?? But anyway, I would try not to let it bother you, why do you even care what this idiot is saying? If you want medication, then ask for it, if your depression clears without then great you don't need to struggle with side effects, it doesn't make your issue any less legitimate.
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Tiger Rag
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Your depression is just as valid as anyone elses. I've never taken medication for my past depression. (I have issues with side effects) But my depression is just as real. (or was, rather)
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chelseadagg3r
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Whether you take medication or not, your depression is just as valid a mental illness as anyone else's. What that person said is just so untrue. Mental illness is not a competition, and shouldn't be treated as such. It sounds like you've thought through your decision, and you're still getting treatment anyway, so you do you. Just ignore people like that. Good luck with everything
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chapmac33
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I've personally found CBT more effective than anti-depressants so she can suck it
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Kindred
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(Original post by Anonymous)
People be playing 'mental illness top trumps' like...

Recently, someone told me I'm not really mentally ill because I don't take medication to control my symptoms. She has decided that because I don't take pills, then any depression I experience is merely situational - it's not, nothing seems to trigger it, it just comes and sticks around for several months at a time.

I saw a community psychiatric nurse who wrote to my GP about prescribing me an antidepressant, but I never went because my appointment kept on getting cancelled due to strikes and they were only seeing emergency cases (i.e. booking appointments for the same day) and I could never phone in early enough (due to the hypersomnia that accompanies my depression), so I just lost patience with it all. I don't think I was ever that committed to taking medication for it, but if I'd managed to get an appointment and a prescription, then there's every likelihood I'd have taken it.

I mean, my depression lifted eventually, but nowhere as quick as it would have done with the right anti-d.

Just because I don't take medication doesn't mean I'm not mentally ill, right? My depression is not situational, it just comes out of nowhere and lingers. I'm scared of medication giving me more energy before it lifts my mood, because of the suicide risk. I don't like taking medication - I have to take antifibrinolytic medication, but I wish I didn't (but if I don't, I risk bleeding through my clothes every month).

I go to counselling, I've had CBT, I'm even going to college now in order to give my mind something else to focus on, but I'm coming home knackered every night because I'm putting on this act that I'm in complete control of my mind when I'm not.

Yeah, you've got a prescription and I haven't, but that doesn't make my depression any less valid than yours, it just means I've decided not to bother (even though I know there's a chance I'd do so much better on them).

I've not even broached the subject of my unmedicated ADHD and OCD...
There are different severities of depression and treatments for it, as with any other mh problem and many other health problems. I can understand why people are sometimes suspicious or untrusting of people who clain to have a mh condition since some people do lie about it and I have previously been mislead. It can be demening to you or catch you up in emotions if somebody claims to have something they don't so I can understand being wary of it to an extent.
Just because somebody doesn't get a certian treatment (or any treatment for that matter) though doesn't mean they do not have a condition. You can have cancer and not be having treatment.
Your depression and any other conditions are no less real just because you aren't getting treatment. Some people may not be able to acept that, but never forget it yourself. Unmedicated depression and minor cases of depression are still real depression.

I hate the attitude of "you don't have a problem cos others have it worse". Yeah some people may be being crushed under cars right now, but that doesn't mean the wardrobe that fell on me is suddenly going to un-fall on me. Sounds like a really stupid example right? Well that's just how stupid it is to assume somebody's mh condition is not a problem just cos somebody else has it worse and is being medicated!

It's actually that sort of attitude that can make people avoid getting help until it gets worse. It's what happened to me. I didn't feel justified seeking help until I was... at risk... since I kept being told I didn't have it as bad as other etc. Once I did seek help I was given therapy and medication and actually treated seriously. Professionals would take me seriously, but others wouldn't because they felt like they had some right to pass judgement on my situation when they didn't even know half of what I was going through.
Since that experience I always try to remember when i'm dealing with people that there will be things they are not telling me. I try never to tell people outright that their concerns are unjustified or that they do not need some sort of support, because things are probably worse than I will be able to realise. After implimenting this sort of attitude i've actually had people open up to me more. Turns out that girl you think has everything together at uni may actually be going through a lot, and you might realise that if you're open to listening.
Honestly this is something i've only learned through experience and if I hadn't been though **** myself I would probably be just as naiieve as the people I am shaming here.

I think some people need to accept that smoetimes people don't know the correct terminoligy either. Somebody may say that they are "depressed" when they are actually "grieving" or say they have "anxiety" when they are actually overwhealmed with "stress", but tha doesn't make what they are feeling any less genuine and they still need support more than condacending correction and judgement.

I would suggest that you go back and talk to a doctor about your options again btw. You don't have to go on medication if you don't want to, but you can discuss things and have the chance to make that decision. What matters more than anything else though is that you feel well and are okay. Try not to let other people get you down because you are what matters most

Sorry that was so long. I held myself back from a mega rant though so you should just be thankful you avoided that
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Kindred
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#7
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(Original post by chapmac33)
I've personally found CBT more effective than anti-depressants so she can suck it
YES!
I certinally found therapy to be a longer term solution. I don't think I would have responded to therapy without my ADs, but without the therapy I would be stuck on ADs forever and constantly feel like I was broken. Now i'm off ADs and stable. Therapy is what fixed me, the ADs just made it possible. If I had any issues now, I'd run straight to therapy before ADs!
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DamnDaniel2
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Tell her/him if two people have cancer and one gets treatment whereas the other doesn't, does that mean the one not taking any treatments doesn't have cancer?

Also just wondering why you're telling people about your mental health issues?


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Anonymous #3
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Report 4 years ago
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I have experienced this too. I have had on/off depression for 3 years now and none of the doctors I have visited would prescribe me any anti depressants because I am under 18 so I am only offered therapy. I've spoke to others about it and when i say that i don't take medication they just don't believe me or think it is that bad which makes me sad because it rules my life. Its hard when people don't believe such a thing
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