On medication for mental health

Recently I’ve seen several status updates and blog posts about people wanting to come off their medication, lessen their medication or being generally fed up of their medication. People with mental illnesses who want to live a ‘normal’ life without being medicated and I couldn’t keep my gob shut any longer, so I’m blogging my thoughts.

Let me initially say I take medication 4 times a day for my variety of mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, bipolar and borderline personality disorder). I have been on different meds, including ones that made me indistinguishable from a zombie, and I have luckily found some that suit me. I appreciate that that does make me lucky but it can be done.

Anyway, I take my medication and I am not ashamed to be on it because it stabilises me. It allows me to function almost like a ‘normal’ person most of the time and I don’t see what’s wrong with needing medication for that. My mother is diabetic and takes medication for that, no one expects her to aim to come off it in order to be ‘normal.’ My step-dad takes medication for his heart and cholesterol, equally no one assumes that he will eventually come off that medication.

Some diseases, illnesses, whatever, are lifetime things and require medication to treat them. Be it a disease of the mind or of the body I completely believe that we should do what it takes to have as good a life as we can and if that means medication then so be it. Some illnesses can be controlled by diet and lifestyle and that’s great, but it’s not better or worse than taking medication, and needing meds to make you better doesn’t make you a bad or weak person.

What are your thoughts on it? Are you trying to stop taking your medication, if so why?

3 comments

  1. Sheri Kauffman

    I’d be dead if it weren’t for my psych meds. It’s so frustrating to hear people say “I’m doing better now, so I don’t need my meds.” Excuse me, do you hear what you’re saying? You are doing better BECAUSE you are on your meds. I have also been on a variety of meds with mind-numbing and/or scary side effects, but I have found one with minimal side effects that works very well for me. It takes time to find the right one, there is no blood test (yet) to determine which works, so we just have to keep trying until we find one.

    I will have to take thyroid medication, high blood pressure medication and HRT for the rest of my life to stay physically healthy, and some of these have side effects I don’t particularly care for; and I have to take psych meds for the rest of my life to stay mentally healthy. I still have bad days, but they’re more like “normal” bad days. I’d rather deal with a few minor side effects than not be alive at all.

    1. Mrs TeePot

      I think that’s a really healthy attitude to have, and I’m the same with my bad days being more like ‘normal’ days now.

      I think a lot of it is the stigma of being on mental health medication that makes people want to come off it but I do hope it changes soon

  2. Veticanii

    It’s a balance; one has to weigh up side effects vs. benefits – as with all things in life.
    Being informed about side-effects is a must I think, discussing them with your prescriber.
    I see meds as a little different to the examples given. I see them as an analgesic, a pain killer that so suppresses the ‘pain’ that I can function normally vis à vis the activities of daily living.

    Certainly, taking meds is not a sign of weakness, unless, that is, one blindly accepts what meds are thrown at you without question.
    To make a positive, informed choice to take meds that do not control, but free up, your life for other things, is a sign of strength and self-determination. As long as my drugs are my servant, and not my master, I can enjoy a better quality of life than without them.

    Nice post!

    Roger

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