Hey there! I’m Lauren, the person behind #WearYourMeds. I’m a copywriter and a New Yorker. Here’s my personal story, because that’s the point, right?
I was formally diagnosed with Bipolar II in 2017 after over a decade of knowing, to some degree, that I had it.
I told myself I could “manage” without medication. I put up with manic upswings, deep depression, and days where I couldn’t tell what feelings were real or not throughout young adulthood, all so I could avoid being “one of those crazy people” on meds. Going on meds meant failing. As an intense overachiever and nerd, that was simply not an option for me, so I spent a lot of time at Borders (RIP) reading pop psych books and trying to “cure” myself.
When I finally went to a psychiatrist at age 28, I felt like a failure for caving. I cried a lot. I was worried it was a death sentence as a writer and creative. I thought I would be essentially lobotomized. It wasn’t fully unwarranted -- sometimes it can be a long and mentally difficult search before the prescription is right. (See Marbles by Ellen Forney.) “I don’t know who I’m going to be” was my mantra to friends and family.
When I left the psychiatrist, prescription and diagnosis in hand—I shit you not—I walked past a girl screaming to her friend, “I swear she was BIPOLAR, she was fucking CRAZY,” which made me feel super awesome and normal and I definitely didn’t cry on the subway about it.
I got tremendously lucky and got the right prescription in one go: Lamotrigine (aka Lamictal). My brain felt clear for the first time. I was more creative, more productive, more myself because I wasn’t being derailed by mania or depression all the time. It blew my mind that people actually lived a mentally stable life all the time. Why didn’t anyone tell me?
So I decided to always be open about my experience, just in case it could help someone I know to get past the stigma and fear and have a better, healthier life.
I’m not a mental health or medical professional. I know that meds are not the answer for everyone, and I would never make any attempt to diagnose or medicate anyone. But my hope is that #WearYourMeds will normalize the mental illness conversation, let people tell their stories, and pay it forward for people who might be struggling to pursue professional help, from people who made that journey.
So that’s my story. Phew. A final note: everything Wear Your Meds was written and created by yours truly, with some input from lovely friends along the way. More of my work lives here, and you can email me here.