Miracle Pill…

So this came through my email a few minutes ago thanks to Live Nation…I don’t even have this artist listed as a favorite, so why this came to me today, I don’t know. That said, it REALLY makes me angry when people judge others for using medication to manage mental health.

Dear Goo Goo Dolls,

Not cool. As someone who takes medication to manage suicidal ideation and panic attacks, this facetious “Are you sad? Take a pill.” commentary is not only offensive, but blatantly adds to the already overwhelming stigma other mental health warriors face. And given National Suicide Prevention Day just passed, I find this even more unsavory- how insensitive can one be? It makes light of the many struggles people face before they even muster up the courage to seek help. Do you know how long and hard I fought with myself before I chose to seek medical help over taking my own life? Do you know the hell I went through when my first medication failed and I had to taper off it entirely before I could even begin to try another one? Do you honestly think I wasn’t also in therapy, surrounded by concerned love ones, and still fighting with every breath not to give in to the overwhelming urge to end my life?

Do you know what it’s like to feel like the you that is “you” is no longer in control of your body? Do you know the overwhelming guilt and shame I felt, knowing I was hurting everyone around me? Do you know that the real issue isn’t that I was “being selfish” and “only thinking of my own pain”, but that I honestly believed I was such a burden to EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING GOOD IN MY LIFE, that the only thing I could do to make things right by those I love, would be to remove myself permanently? Do you know, can you even possibly imagine, how it feels to have that thought running through your head at full volume 24 hours a day for months on end? As the you that is “you” keeps trying to remind yourself that you aren’t a burden and people would be hurt if you left? Do you know how hard it is to convince yourself that you need to stay when everything in you is saying you should go? Do you know what it is like to be afraid to breathe too deeply because it isn’t “you” controlling your body and you are literally terrified that any small move you make will be the one that allows the depression to fully take over, to lift your body off the couch and head to the kitchen and…? Do you have any idea, any at all, how scary that is? How much it hurts? How much I still look back and wish I never had to face those thoughts? Do you know that I TRIED to heal myself without medication? Do you know it is simply one of the MANY tools in my mental health kit to keep myself sane and functioning as a member of my family, my friend circle, my job, and society in general? 

How DARE you belittle the struggle the goes in to even contemplating using medication. And how DARE you shame those who are willing to use ANY tool they can in their battles to KEEP. MOVING. FORWARD. To keep surviving. To keep choosing to stay. Shame on you.
So no, I won’t be buying your new music. Ever. And yeah, you probably don’t care. That’s fine. I got this off my chest. And if someday you see it and it makes you pause for just a moment, that makes this rant worth it.
With all due respect, I sincerely hope you grow up. 

Yours Sincerely,
Katie

2 thoughts on “Miracle Pill…

  1. Just to be clear, I’m not actually angry on my own behalf. I’m in a good place and I’m more than happy to own my journey and the tools I use. I’m angry because they have a big platform and should be cognizant of their influence. I’m angry because they are contributing to the stigma surrounding mental health medication. I’m angry because someone who is at the point that I was at right before seeking professional help may see this email, may hear that the Goo Goo Dolls said this about their new album, and think “Oh…my idol says medication is bad. I should be able to suck it up…huh. God, why can’t I be normal? Why is it so hard? Why am I such a failure, such a burden? Maybe I deserve to feel this way…(and onward down the depressive thought cycle of BADNESS).”

    I’m angry because I’m terrified comments like this add to the number of people who DON’T seek help. I’m terrified that comments like this add to the number of people who avoid a tool that might help make it easier for them to keep fighting. I’m not saying medication is the answer, I am absolutely NOT saying that. I’m saying that the only person who gets to decide the value of a tool, any mental health tool, is the person using it. I’m saying that judgments about the tools people use add to the stigma surrounding mental health. I’m saying that if the tool isn’t causing harm to the person or the people with whom they interact, then there is NO reason or right to judge the value of the tool someone else uses, and NO reason or right to judge the person using it.

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