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Thinking About Skipping Your Psych Meds Today? Read This First

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

I never think things are really going to change if I skip my medication for a day or two. I procrastinate taking it all day long and then just tell myself I’ll start fresh in the morning. What difference can a day or two make? Do they really even help? I’ll take them eventually. Does it even matter?

Yup. Sure does. And, in all honesty, I’m learning that choosing not to take my meds is yet another form of self-harm, whether that be a conscious or subconscious motive.

Just a few nights ago, it had been two days since I had taken my meds and I crashed and burned a little… or a “lottle.” I relapsed and hurt myself, panicked for hours, was scared to leave my house, and was essentially debilitated with anxiety and depression. My mind scrambled for hours. It’s a vicious cycle I’ve struggled with for years.

I did, however, text my therapist and, in a nutshell, told her what was going on (two points for me). We talked for a little while, she had me check in twice a day, and we scheduled an appointment ASAP. It was during said appointment she made an analogy that hit me like a brick wall. It’s so simple, yet makes so much sense. Sometimes the simplest concepts are the hardest to master.

Long story short, my therapist has asthma. And she’s a runner. Not a great mix. But she can run without a problem as long as she takes her asthma medication every day. Easy enough, right? Breathing is, arguably, important and this medication helps make sure she can do just that. It prevents asthma attacks. She doesn’t wait until she can’t breathe and then take her medication. It doesn’t work that way. It’s preventative, not rescuing.

Why then, pray tell, is my brain convinced that skipping my medication will have no repercussions? What’s the difference? There isn’t one. When I don’t take my meds, it sets me up for a mental health attack. Similar to an asthma attack, breathing becomes much harder. Functioning in a healthy and productive way becomes all but obsolete, and I spiral much further than I could anticipate.

My point is this: take your meds. I know it’s difficult, but I promise five seconds of frustration or annoyance is far better than hours or days of misery. It is easier to prevent the crash than it is to put the pieces back together. Humpty Dumpty should never have gotten on the damn wall.

You deserve better than to feel miserable, incapacitated, and scared. You deserve to be safe. Read that again: You deserve to be safe.

So, take a deep breath, drink some water, pet a dog, go for a walk, have a snack, and take your damn meds.



Getty image by simplehappyart

Originally published: January 11, 2022
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