A Message for Those Considering Psychiatric Medication

Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication.

You are not alone. Personally, I know tons of people who take antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications to treat their psychiatric disorders.

In the past six years, I’ve been on a shit ton of meds, and they haven’t always benefitted me, especially when I was heavily medicated during my first year away at university. If anything, they contributed to my feelings of shame, inadequacy and anger. In my senior year of high school alone, I tried five different combinations of medications. The side effects were awful, and can affect self-esteem and sense of identity.

It can be difficult to feel you are “flawed” and finding the right meds can be a terrifying experience for some. Most of the time, finding the right medication will be an ongoing process.

Sometimes finding the right medication will feel like shooting in the dark and sometimes it will feel like window shopping. It’s trial and error, but so is life.

Medications to treat mental illness work. They do. For some of us, they are the only things preventing us from flying too high or sinking too low.

To this day, I still resist taking my medication and have yet to reach this place called “acceptance.” However, like my psychiatrist once said, “We’re not helpless. It doesn’t matter how we feel or what we believe in, we can always choose what type of behavior we engage in.”

Self-care is hard sometimes, and that includes taking medication. It’s not always watching Netflix or drinking green tea. Sometimes it involves difficult choices and making decisions that don’t bring you instant gratification.

I wish you the best of luck and courage in your recovery journey, and I hope you find a combination of medications that works for you.

Hang in there, it gets better!

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Thinkstock photo via weiXx.

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