i_love_freddie: (End of world)
I did a 15 minute free-writing exercise, using the prompt Placebo. This was the result.


Every once in a while, I somehow manage to encounter someone who is against psychiatric medication – or sometimes even against any kind of medication. Got depression? Get some fresh air and do some exercise. Got anxiety? Just get out there and face your fears. At risk of a heart attack? Lose weight, eat well, do exercise. All right, fair point, but they will then go on to say stuff like 'you do realise that most doctors just give you placebos, right? They don't really do anything, you just believe that they help'.

I admit, belief can be a very powerful thing. I can certainly see why someone suffering from mild illness might feel better if he is being given something that he thinks might help. Certainly placebos have their use, especially in this society where we have the mindset that a pill can cure everything.

Of course, this doesn't apply to severe mental illness – which is why I'd like to slap those people round the head, or give them a taste of what my life is like without that medication that they believe does nothing. The overwhelming feeling of helplessness. The dark thoughts, the suicidal ideation. The voices that speak when you are all alone. The images that seem so real but don't really exist. The anxiety that is so crippling that the only answer is to hide away. The nightmares that stay fresh for hours. Those endless nights when sleep is impossible.

Bipolar disorder. Panic disorder. Generalised anxiety disorder. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Agoraphobia. A lot of disorders there, and none of them are conditions that can just be 'thought away'. Medication makes these disorders easier to deal with, not just for those of us who live with them, but also for those around us.

Unfortunately there is no placebo in the world capable of fixing my brain; and sadly there are still people unable to comprehend that.

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