Let me begin this post by saying that I realize that the topic I am about to discuss in this post is a very controversial and sensitive one. I fully respect everyone's opinions and decisions on it, and in turn would like mine honored in the same way. This is how I feel about the subject and should not reflect anyone that I am affiliated with in any way. I just don't wish to stay quiet/dormant on the subject any longer.
When the article below was published in Huffington Post, about the tragic end to the incredible life of Chris Cornell, I stood up on my bed with tears in my eyes, screaming "YES". Suffering from anxiety myself for most of my adult life, I have always refused medication to be my savior. I have known MANY people who felt that they had no other recourse than to "give in" to medication, shall we say - but most of their opinions were cuddled and derived by what a physician or pharmaceutical company told them to believe. "It will allow you a better quality of life". And who wouldn't jump at the chance to be/feel normal when you live with what we who suffer live with? Mental illness is only ridiculed or often joked about by those who have never been touched by it. Because I promise you, if you suffered from it - the last thing you're doing is laughing about it or fluffing it off as something that's just "all in our head".
When you medicate yourself from mental illness, how can you ever really be sure of the long-term effects? Doctors are not Gods and pharmaceutical companies aren't poor. These are facts. When you take this type of assistance, you are ultimately altering your mental chemistry forever. There is no coming back from that. The side effects are drastic and for some - fatal. But again, what chance do those of us have, suffering from mental illness? Without medication (for some) on your darkest day, suicide is a welcomed thought or relief. We do go through this ill-voluntary dialog in our brain - true. But, what they don't tell you, is that you are equally susceptible to suicidal thoughts or tenancies with drugs also. What's scarier is that you may not even know/understand what is happening mentally which may cause you to do something drastic, and not even be fully conscious of it.
I don't claim to have all the answers. If I did, I would be happy and at peace - every day. Sadly, that's hardly the case. My mental state is something I MUST work at each day of my life. I am one of the lucky ones that have found a medical team of professionals that aren't drug pushers. They believe in organic, holistic approaches to my anxiety, and I am so very grateful for that. We've discussed medication in a general sense, so that I am aware of all my options, but even they have strongly advised against it. My therapist introduced me to different types of meditation and yoga practices and I have also learned how paramount diet, exercise and sleep patterns are. This has been my religion, my faith when it comes to dealing with my mental illness - and I speak about it openly and honestly to everyone who has ever come to me for advice. Some have called me inspirational, but I'm just trying to live a normal life. You may wake up in the morning and wonder about what clothes you're going to wear, what route to take to work, what extra-circular activities your kids have today. Me, I wake up and wonder how long do I have until the demon appears. It's how it's always been, and how it will sadly always be. For mental illness never goes away, it's just curbed in ways we try to deal with it.
All I'm saying is this: Educate yourself and try forming the best answers for your life and situation. Before trying medicine try other natural things first. It may work, it may not, but you'll never know until you open yourself up to options. Don't let medical practitioners or big conglomerates like pharmaceutical companies brainwash you. Someday, perhaps the natural options may cease working. I pray that day never comes. If it does, at least I know that I have people around me who care enough to further educate me and have my best interest at heart. I know that I have done all the research I could to make the best informed decision I can. How about you?