When I was 29 years old, I went to see a new doctor for my yearly exam. At the time, I was working as a TV news reporter, and my doctor immediately recognized me from the crime-filled, disturbing stories I had been covering.
He also noted that I seemed on edge as I sat in his office that day. His comments on my demeanor made me feel like there was something wrong with me, like working long days interviewing grieving parents about the murders of their children shouldn't overwhelm me.
"That is stressful," I said. "Isn't it appropriate I am stressed?"
Was this doctor really suggesting that something was wrong with just me because I wasn't desensitized to the horrific events that surrounded me? Did I really need medication to make myself numb to my surroundings?
"You're a strong, brilliant career woman. You can't be crying at work," I remember him saying to me.
At the time, I was so desperate to feel "normal" and not cry almost every day driving home from work because I was so exhausted and overworked. I walked out of his office that day with a prescription for Lexapro—a drug used to treat anxiety and major depressive disorder. In a 10-minute consultation, I became part of the statistic on the overmedication of Americans, and looking back on that is terrifying.