Friday, 7 August 2015

Let's Talk About; Medication



I've been involved in quite a few debates about the use of medication to treat mental illnesses lately (nothing new there, this kid and debates go hand in hand). All of the opinions I've heard have given me a lot to digest and think about so I figured it was worth discussing here.

I was very surprised to find out that so many people still have very negative views on anti depressants and the like, almost archaic views to be honest. Ranging from concerns about getting addicted to being left in a drooling, vegetative state. The lack of information and discussion about medication is only fuelling these opinions and making matters far worse.

I make absolutely no secret of the fact that I wouldn't be sitting here in my kitchen typing without the help of 40mg of Prozac/Fluoxetine a day. Am I a hazy shadow of the person I used to be? Am I dependant on medication? I might be different to who I was before but let me assure you it is an improvement! And as for dependancy or addiction, I do need my daily dosage to keep me going but I hope to wean myself off them eventually and I don't foresee that being a big problem.

If I broke a bone and the doctor suggested a cast, how weird would it be if I turned around and said 'No way Doc, I'm strong enough to beat this and heal by myself!'? In the case of mental health issues, it's your brain that's broken/malfunctioning and needs fixing/altering. Medications for mental health problems are designed to balance out all your chemicals and hormones in your head to help you out. Tablets alone are not a solution but combined with you're preferred form of therapy/counselling, they can help an awful lot!

Medication isn't a long term solution, a lot of them are intended to get your recovery off the ground with a view to weaning off them in the future. In my case, Prozac helps balance out the chemicals in my brain that cause the severe emotional overloads and episodes that make up Borderline Personality Disorder. I feel much more level since I started taking medication, I don't get the same emotional swings and turbulence as I used to and there's no numbness or haziness.

Any kind of medication that causes serious side effects like the stereotypes of the zombie-like mental patients, would not be prescribed lightly. Unless you were in the midst of a serious psychotic/neurotic episode and you were a danger to yourself or those around you, no responsible doctor would prescribe anything like that.

Another thing I've noticed is that medication seems to be synonymous with weakness. Bullshit. If anything it's the exact opposite! How is helping yourself and being pro-active in your recovery weak? It isn't and don't let anyone ever tell you that it is. Refusing medical assistance with a physical ailment would be deemed foolish so in my eyes refusing help with a mental health issue is just as bad if not worse! Take the helping the hand, don't scoff at it. Inform yourself and do some research, don't believe all the bullshit you hear because that's the same shit that's been whispered for years. Medication for the management of mental health issues has come very far in the last few decades so don't listen to some aul ones spouting shite about how anti-depressants are the devil and how they'll leave you like a cabbage. Go get some real information and then school said aul ones for promoting ignorance.

Go talk to your GP/counsellor/therapist/psychiatrist/psychologist and get some solid, reliable information. If you're informed then you're better armed. Shut down the old wives tales and promote learning.

Anything to add? Hit me up on Twitter @EarthToNiamh or leave a comment on the Glitter&Glory Facebook page!