Day 22: What is your opinion on medication used to treat mental illness (es)?
I understand there is quite a bit of controversy when it comes to medication. Some feel the mentally ill are overmedicated and others feel medicine is necessary to help regulate the chemical deficiencies in the brain for those that suffer due to biology and then for those that have illness stemming from trauma, medication can assist with those symptoms as well. I can only answer for myself and how I feel about medication in my treatment.
When in the facility where I was first diagnosed, I specifically asked to NOT be given any medication that would alter my consciousness. I didn’t want sleeping medication or benzos (like Xanex) because I was, honestly, terrified to be there among others with diagnosis such as schizophrenia and dementia. I wanted to make sure I had my capacities to take care of myself, if need be. I was, however, prescribed a mood stabilizer that was to help me feel better in some way but I didn’t have any way to research as I typically do when I have something in front of me I do not understand. I took the medication because I wanted to get batter as soon as possible, without being knocked out.
After leaving the facility and beginning therapy my therapist told me I probably should be on an antidepressant and NOT a mood stabilizer because I was definitely not bipolar. So I spoke to my psychiatrist and was placed on one right away. He didn’t want to take me off of the stabilizer so shortly after I switched doctors to make sure I was being listened to and being properly medicated.
My new doctor changed my antidepressant dosage and also prescribed an anxiety medication in case I needed it. The mood stabilizer was nixed, as I thought it needed to be.
I have always been of the opinion that medication is good, when used appropriately. I think way too many doctors do tend to medicate as a preventative measure as opposed to a necessary one. I do not like to take medicine but when it comes to my depressive disorder, I literally felt the difference when it began to take effect on my mood and general outlook on life. As for the anxiety medication, I am glad to know it is there when I need it but will only take it if I feel the need.