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“Medication,” by The Collection

by Lydia King

When I’m back home, I look forward to excursions with my older sister. We drive in her small gray car, and we take turns putting different songs in the queue. Last winter break, she introduced me to a song that had just come out, called “Medication.” It’s by The Collection, an indie rock band based out of Saxapahaw, North Carolina. 

“Medication” chronicles the mental health journey of David Wimbish, the lead singer of The Collection. He has been open about his experiences with depression, and he addresses an aspect of mental illness that many artists do not cover: getting medicated. In particular, the song focuses on addressing the stigma of psychiatric medication. While Wimbish could have discussed medication through metaphors and hidden meanings, he chooses a more straightforward approach, proudly entitled the song “Medication.” Even the album cover is adorned with pictures of pills. In this small way, the listener is already shown that antidepressants should not be shameful or hidden away.

The song starts with Wimbish admitting that the thought of medication seemed daunting to him at first. He sings, “I was scared of what it meant if I needed medicine just to keep the demons in.” He describes the fear of dependency that plagues many people when they consider getting medication for their mental illness. In this lyric, Wimbish expresses that he didn’t want to feel as though he couldn’t manage his own emotions on his own. It felt like medicine would be a tenuous stopgap between him and his depression.

Wimbish notes that it can be challenging to seek help when you can remember times when your mental health seemed to be better. He sings, “Cause I remember when I thrived; now I’m just trying to survive.” This can be a common experience, especially for those whose mental illnesses have had later onsets. It’s hard to look back on times when your mental health was better and to let yourself understand that things have changed.

He then goes on to cover another difficulty of addressing mental illness. Even when starting medication, treatment is often nonlinear. There are often in which it feels like backsliding occurs. Wimbish says, “??The storm has never passed.” He acknowledges that there are still hardships that he is facing. Even though medication can significantly improve mental health, it isn’t a magic fix-all.

Still, even though he describes many of the sorrows and difficulties of dealing with mental illness, Wimbish ends with an optimistic note. The song becomes joyous, filled with vibrant energy. He proudly proclaims, “I deserve to be well.” It’s an important message for everyone trying to get help. No person should ever be expected to “just stick things out” or try to fix themselves all on their own. Everyone deserves to be well.

This song is available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.