Personal Disclosure: A Childhood Drugged

I was a difficult child, I admit that.  It is here that the story begins.

My story starts when I was three-years-old.  I was an extremely intelligent and bright child, but also very stubborn.  This wasn’t just normal stubborn, however, but a violent and explosive demand to do what I wanted when I wanted.  I began seeing a shrink shortly thereafter and was diagnosed with Oppositional-Defiant Disorder.  I didn’t have ODD however.  This misdiagnosis pattern would continue for many years and my parents and I would run the gamut of childhood mental disorders.  I was OCD, ADHD, ADD, depressed, etc…which called for many medications.  By the time I was 9 years old I was taking or had taken Ritalin, Paxil, Clonadine, Adderal, and Adderal XR.

Fast forward to age 15 and I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and the drug Risperdal was added to my cocktail.  I was supposed to consider my diagnosis a  blessing (“You’re lucky they caught it so early” as if I had cancer and I could be cured).  I felt like a zombie though.  In fact, I don’t remember a great deal of high school at all…or much of age 9 to 22 for that matter.

When I was 22 I decided to take a radical move.  I wasn’t entirely sure that I needed all that medication.  My boyfriend, Jon, knew I didn’t need all that medication.  So together, Jon and I weaned me off all the drugs little by little. It was a miserable, awful week of withdrawal but Jon and I weathered it together.  And now I’m ok…I’m still here.

I did not have a mental illness after all.  I was just a stubborn kid with a jealous streak who turned into a angsty teenager.

Now that I can think clearly, I’m me again.  I’m outgoing and I approach people and talk to them, instead of “turtling”.  It’s amazing to be me once more.  I can’t help but wonder, though, where I would be today if I had never been on the drugs in the first place.  I didn’t need them and I feel like they held me back.  I probably would have more friends from high school and college.  I’d probably have a Bachelor’s degree and maybe even a Masters.  On the flip side, I probably would not have met Jon.  I probably would not be a veterinary technician.  It will do me no good to think about the “what if’s” but I must instead think about the “what now’s.”

Even after all the drugs and doctors, however, I don’t hate the psychologists or the medication.  Looking back on where I was, I understand why my parents thought the medication was a good idea.  I WAS miserable, and they were trying to help.  I can’t blame them or anyone else for trying to help give me a better existence.  I might not remember a lot of those days when I was on drugs, but the ones I do remember were happy.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I still have my bad days but now I find me giving myself private pep talks to ward off my fears and anxiety. At age 24 I’m finally happy.



    1. It is amazing how different people’s experiences can be. The fact that no two people can see the exact same thing and feel the same way about it. The human body and mind are really fantastic!

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