Screaming On the Inside

When positive thoughts aren’t enough

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

Sometimes “talking it out” or “thinking positively” just doesn’t cut it — especially when it comes to depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. 

Sure, things like therapy or simply doing something that makes you happy are wonderful for your mental health, but neither of those things inherently function as cures.

Some people need a little more help. And that’s OK.

As some of you might already know, I am one of those people. I take an antidepressant every day and I recently started using CBD oil.

These things alone aren’t inherent cures either. They’re more like supplements — they put you in a mental state that allows you to care for yourself, go to therapy or do things that bring you joy.

Medications like antidepressants don’t work the same for everyone. For some people, they have little to no effect at all. For me, I have noticed a considerable difference since going on them when I was 17.

The chest pressure I used to feel when I got stressed has disappeared. I no longer experience these sudden lapses in interest when I’m out with my friends. I generally feel lighter and more peaceful.

There are some side-effects, as well. 

For the first few weeks, I experienced unpredictable shifts in my appetite. I’d overeat nonstop one day, completely lose my appetite the next, then experience nausea the next time I ate.

There’s also this numbing feeling I experience every once and awhile. It’s almost like the antidepressants work too well and they suppress the emotions that are totally normal. There are times when I can’t even cry, no matter how badly I need to.

It’s a give-and-take solution to the problem of depression. But generally speaking, it helps.

The CBD, on the other hand, is new to me. I can’t say for certain how it may or may not help me, but I’m choosing to remain optimistic. 

As usual, I take comfort in the fact that I’m not alone in any of this. 

According to the Global Journal of Medical Research, 16 percent of all American college students have been diagnosed with depression. Of all college students utilizing university counseling services, an estimated 25-50 percent are on antidepressants.

According to CBD School, CBD can be beneficial to college students in a variety of ways — regardless of one’s mental health. CBD can help with your social anxiety, test anxiety, sleep problems, physical pain treatment and overall mental health issues.

CBD has become increasingly popular among college students. In Eau Claire alone, I feel like I’m constantly seeing new CBD shops popping up around town. 

We all need a little bit of help at times. Yes, talking about your problems is great. Taking personal time or mental breaks are great too. But our brains are more complicated than that. Sometimes, all you really need is a little extra serotonin

But there’s a stigma that revolves around being on antidepressants or taking CBD. According to Psychology Today, internalized or social stigmas against mental health medications typically revolve around a sense of inferiority or shame. Some people simply don’t want to need the extra help. 

There’s no shame in it, though. I whole-heartedly believe that there should be no shame in taking a medication or supplement that helps me feel better. It’s certainly better than the alternative. The stigmas against antidepressants actually contribute to higher suicide rates, the Psychology Today article said.

So don’t let that shame or fear stop you from getting help if you’re screaming on the inside. Taking medication may not be ideal for you, but there’s no way it could do more harm than good.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected].