I take antipsychotics, but I’m not crazy

As someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I take a bit of medication to stabilize my manic-depressive episodes. Naturally, one of these medications is an antipsychotic.

If I tell someone that I’m taking an antipsychotic then they’ll think that, well, I’m a complete psycho. Maybe that’s just me who believes that immediate judgement by others though I highly doubt it.

There’s still this stigma about taking medication, even antidepressants despite the fact that it’s quite common. I sadly know too many people who refuse to take medication because of the fear of negative societal reactions. Hey, I’m not going to lie; I was one of those people who were too afraid. My symptoms began when I was twelve and I refused to take any kind of medication, or receive any type of help, until I was eighteen. Six years isn’t that long if you compare it to others.

This just goes back to the stigma of mental illness in general. If you have depression, you’re just gonna have to get over it; if you have an anxiety disorder, you’re just overreactingif you have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, you’re crazy and dangerous; and etc. There are just so many in this world that I can’t address all in one post.

All of this negativity towards and misunderstanding of mental illness is making matters worse for all those people who actually suffer from one (or more). From my perspective, it’s keeping those who need help from seeking out to get it because of what others may think of them. But leaving a mental illness untreated, especially the more severe ones, is quite dangerous.

Like I mentioned, I had that same fear. I still do actually… I constantly have to listen to people around me use the term “bipolar” negatively and proceed to laugh about how it’s contagious. You cannot catch a mental illness. It’s not like a contagious disease. If so, then you’ve pretty much caught it just by being in my general vicinity. That’s a little dark humor for you.

But it’s not just strangers who make me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes my friends, no matter how close they are, give me unnecessary anxiety about my condition. I’ve never had an actual conversation with any of them about it, though I know that some of them are aware. At the same time I know it’s a difficult topic to bring up and I haven’t really done so either. That’s why I prefer to be alone.

In short, having a mental illness doesn’t make a person “dangerous” nor does taking daily medications label someone as “insane”… Whatever that means, right? According to the subtitle of this blog, the definition is quite relative. It just so happens that not many people know that.

I hate the fact that I feel the need to hide a part of me. I know I’m not my illness, but it is very much a part of who I am. It’s a part of me that I had no choice in and I don’t want to be alienated because of it. I normally don’t mind how people see me, but I do care about how they treat me. I’m just a regular person who happens to need a bit of help to swing by.

Is that so wrong?


8 thoughts on “I take antipsychotics, but I’m not crazy

    1. I second this… I had to be told in therapy years ago that my medicine is no different then diabetes or thyroid problems… it’s aint catchin but will make your life hell if not maintained. It really is that black and white.

  1. It’s great that you’re taking your meds to keep these manic-depressive episodes under control. So proud of you, girl! Hoping the best for you 🙂

  2. You must write and be open to everyone, talk and let it out what ever you feel, you are not ill because you can judge things very better and a person who can speak her heart out is better than another person.

  3. Never sacrifice your mental health to appeal to others! You know what’s best for you. The stigma around mental illness breaks my heart, and I hate that society is still so unaware of the realities of mental illness. It’s people living through it (like you!) that can help end the stigma. Rock on, girl.

  4. I too am dealing with the negativity attached to mental disorders. So much so, that I have at times let others dictate my mental state. Being temporarily convinced that I was less intelligent or unable to function as a normal person. No one should feel this way.
    Bipolar does not lower your IQ or suddenly make you want to hurt animals.
    Unfortunately, we do have to deal with losing people we love emotionally; which in a strange way makes us stronger if it doesn’t make us callous.

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