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The One Thing I Wish I Was Told About Taking Antipsychotics

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When I was younger and just started to learn that medication wasn’t just for physical problems, but also mental health problems, I thought it would work just like magic. My parents have taken medication for their mental health for as long as I can remember, and on the outside, they looked fine.

When I was first prescribed antipsychotics, I researched into the different side effects, so I was aware of them. They made me really tired and sleepy, I had headaches, a dry mouth, the list goes on. I just generally felt unwell. But these side effects wore off after a while, and I felt more back to myself.

But there’s one thing I wasn’t told about taking antipsychotics, and that is how much of a fight I would have to put in, just to get myself to swallow the tablet. The voices scream no, but you fight back harder and say yes. Every single time I have to take my medication, I sit there and contemplate whether it’s worth it. Whether it’s worth the voices being loud and aggressive. I mean, it’s only a tablet, right? And I was told by my care team it would be “trial and error,” that the one I’m on currently may not work until I get a higher dosage, or it may not work at all. I think to myself, what’s the point?

I wish I was told about how much of a fight it would be between me and the voices, because maybe I would’ve thought twice about taking medication.

But every single time I think about stopping, I remember that I want my life back.

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

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Thinkstock photo via Thomas Northcut

Originally published: May 8, 2017
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