Coming clean: I'm addicted to drugs

Hear me out!

My drugs keep me functioning so I can deal with the outside world, but if I don't have them I'll call around frantic, search my house for one drop, or sit down dealing with "brain shocks" that rattle my head, letting me know that I'm craving more.

Illustration by AJ

I'm addicted, but at least it's legal and prescribed medication from a psychiatrist. Pills that if I miss a day or two of taking, I will feel madly uncomfortable.

I realize I need to take my antidepressant to help my social anxiety and depression, but I also know without it I would feel withdrawal symptoms.

📑Doctors still debate the addictive nature of antidepressants. Most consider these drugs non-addictive. Others point to the withdrawal symptoms of antidepressants as evidence that a dependence can form. People who suddenly stop taking antidepressants often have withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, hand tremors and depression. Although there are risks with taking antidepressants, these medications help many people live better, more functional lives. Those prescribed antidepressants should never stop taking their medication without first speaking to a doctor." - Addiction Center📑

I take an antidepressant each day, that's supposed to keep my anxiety at bay. But in case it fails I was prescribed a backup.

I had to take the anti-anxiety "as needed" med this week because of some anxiety attacks caused by stress my daily med didn't stop. On the seventh day I tried to discontinue it.and had the worst panic attacks and jitters.

🗣️I don't think my drugs make me as bad as a meth user, but if I lost my medicine and couldn't reach a doctor for five days I would be pulling my hair out and probably taking sleeping aids until I had them in my possession.🗣️

I had to force myself not to take it any longer. I didn't want to become dependent on it. I tried tapering down, but my mind still craved it.

The power that medicine has over us is scary sometimes. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I'm scared of meds shaking up my already damaged brain more, but it's impossible for me to function without them.

Some medicines doctors tell me they don't even know how they work, but how they are believed to work. I don't want to need it, but it does help me so much. But I worry if I forgot my medicine somewhere then I would feel myself losing all the benefits and suffering from the separation.

All medicine has withdrawal symptoms, risk and yes, you may need to take a medicine to better your life or even stay alive. I'm okay with this addiction as long as it helps me. It makes me happy when others around me tell me the difference they see in me after I've taken my meds or when I start a new medication that really helps. They want me healthy and happy, not a ball of worry and sadness.

This post was inspired by a conversation with someone about my medicine versus illegal drugs, and addiction.

"Are you addicted to your antidepressant the same way someone is addicted to an illict drug?" they asked.

I don't think my drugs make me as bad as a meth user, but if I lost my medicine and couldn't reach a doctor for 3 or more days I would be pulling my hair out and probably taking sleeping aids until I had them in my possession. Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences.

There's a difference right?

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Mad love,

AJ