My History

The Joys of Middle School and the Resurgence of Mental Illness

After my short bout with issues as a small child and being on meds for all of about six months, why wouldn’t I be cured? What, you mean there is no cure for mental illnesses, oh…

Well, things were all fine and dandy until middle school, a time when everyone has so much fun. I never had the classic issues in middle school; I got good grades, I wasn’t bullied much, and I had at least a couple friends. Sure I wasn’t going to win any popularity contests, and I did still spend more than a normal amount of time locked up in my room watching Netflix or with my nose in a book, but overall can’t complain too much.

On paper, I should have been fine, but mental illnesses don’t work that way. Depression doesn’t only affect those with everything wrong in their lives. Anxiety doesn’t only attack those who have legitimate reasons to be scared. That was why it was so hard for me to accept my diagnoses.

I started to get horrible stomach aches, and not the kind where you just haven’t eaten in a few hours, I mean not being able to get out of bed because you are clutching your stomach and doubling over. It took me a while to realize that these frequent stomach aches always came before I had to go to some social event or had some project to present at school. I assumed that I was simply sick, that I needed my appendix out or that I had cancer (I might be a slight hypochondriac too). So, I went to the doctor.

They did blood tests and urine tests. They poked and prodded me all over and couldn’t find anything wrong with me (except for a stomach ulcer with no apparent cause) so my doctor did a psych eval on me. I refused to believe that my horrible physical symptoms could “just be in my head”. How could my stomach aches, my cramps, my dizziness, my headaches, and my general fatigue just be in my head? It’s a lot for a twelve year old to wrap their head around.

Well, even though I didn’t believe the diagnosis, my doctor sure did (as did my mother) so I was back on my good old friend Mr. Prozac. I hated taking pills so I got the liquid kind (which trust me tastes so much worse than you could even imagine) and I was supposed to take it everyday and see if I got better. Well, my mental illnesses did get better, but my body sure didn’t. Funny thing about meds, but while they might cure you of one issue, they can make so many more thanks to side effects. I lost roughly 30 pounds in about a month and a half, I lost my appetite completely and I still had no energy. I made the executive decision to take myself off of the meds before they killed me, and even though I had only been on them for a couple months, I felt better. I was fine off the meds so I was cured and could go back to a happy, healthy normal life now, right?

Wrong.

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