I have been ‘in the system’ for approximately 12 years. I have been on numerous medications in that time period, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Medications have at times saved my life, they have brought the level of blah, up to meh. It might not seem like much, but when you are in a downward spiral it can be like a rope thrown down into the hole you are digging yourself.
I admit that I haven’t felt ashamed of taking the medications that I do, because I don’t believe that I need to be. I shouldn’t feel ashamed for taking a medication for a physical ailment and I believe that mental illness is no different. It’s just a different part of our body.
Every week there seems to be a new post written by a different guru on the evils of medications created for the mentally ill, that we are being drugged unnecessarily and to excess. I agree with this to a point.
I feel that sometimes people are not informed about the medications and the possible side effects they may encounter. For me personally I have had to Google my own medications numerous times, or rely on a pharmacist to let me know of any side effects. This is not always ideal, especially in a busy chemist when the Pharmacist may be pushed for time.
I do not believe that medications are created to make us more sick. There are people who react badly to medications, and the side effects outweigh the benefits, so they have no choice but to go medication free. However I feel that this is probably and exception to the rule rather than the norm.
I believe that these articles are bordering on dangerous. These articles are rarely written by anyone with a medical degree (Dr Google doesn’t count) or by people who work closely with the mentally ill. The people who pen these articles write them from a purely negative point of view, ignoring the good that these medications have done for millions of patients.
I am aware that psychiatric medications have side effects, they have the potential for long term effects if not monitored correctly, however the same can be said for all types of medications. I wonder if maybe, because there is no way to physically detect a mental illness, there is no definitive test, then it is easy for people to dismiss the need for medications.
I hope that science continues to make advancements in the medical field. I hope that medications can be created with minimal side effects. I hope that the shame and stigma around taking medications for a mental illness reduces, that people realise it is no different to take an antibiotic for an infection. The desired result is the same..to make the unwell person well again.
Do you believe that medication for mental illness gets an unfair reputation?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT