Walking in to the psychiatrist’s office she gulped, would she listen? Would she say no? The unknown creates fear in most people, but when surrounding something so important it can be terrifying.
“I want to stop all my medications,” she said in a strong, confident voice. The psychiatrist nodded, thinking. They discussed, both explaining their feelings and worries. And then it happened. Yes. You can stop them. Slowly.
She stood up, shook hands and smiled broadly. Would this be the day when life changed for her? Was this it, the true end of her mental illness? Could it be true?
This is based on a true story. My true story.
On Tuesday I saw my psychiatrist for, possibly, the final time. She agreed to let me, very gradually, stop my medication. I should be off it completely by the end of the year.
This could be the end of my mental illness story. This could be it. I am hoping so much that it is. That it is over now.
I have fought so hard for so long, I have nearly lost that fight on several occasions, and I am so incredibly lucky to have been supported through it all by family and friends. I am so lucky to have had a safe place to recover, that I have had medical support, that we could afford medication and therapy. It is important to me that you know that I am one of the lucky ones. So many people are fighting mental illness alone, unsupported, unable to afford help, losing their homes, losing their families, losing their lives.
Please know that I am not anti medication. It can be an amazing tool for people who are dealing with mental illness, and if you are on medication please take it, religiously, as I have done for well over 5 years. For me though, I don’t feel it is helping. I have made huge changes to my life with the help of my therapist, I feel so different, and none of that coincides with either starting, or a change in, medication. I have been taking anti depressants for maybe 10 years now. I have been taking anti depressants and mood stabilisers, along with a sedative for 5 years. In that time I have been low, I have been high, I have been anxious, and I have been hospitalised. The change is within me, and I do not feel that it has anything to do with those tablets.
You cannot understand the relief, the hope, the joy that this could be it for me. The start of a new life, the start of a ‘normal,’ healthy life. This really could be the year my life changed forever.