One of the biggest and most unappealing side-effects of some mental health related medication, in my opinion, is that it alters who you are – or at very least alters your ability to feel think and feel the way you are meant tor want to.
I believe that is a statement that a lot of folk would agree with.
You can quite simply lose yourself or at very least lose sight of yourself.
Of course the counter argument is that if you suffer from depression or psychosis then you simply aren’t thinking or feeling how you are meant to in the first place.
I can understand that argument to a certain point. (Hm, does that mean my Aspergers is getting better? LOL) But the thing is that the meds just don’t seem to put me or my feelings or my thoughts back together again, they just put me into a different, possibly more manageable, state of different.
This morning I was listening to an excellent preach by Cathy, one of the pastor’s at the church I attend and in it she made the statements that integrity and character are so very important.
I couldn’t agree with her more! They truly are important aren’t they? But if the character you present isn’t truly you just an altered medicated form of you, what does that mean and what impact does it have on your integrity?
Please don’t get me wrong here! I am by no means advocating that we all stop taking our medication. I would consider such an action fool-hardy on the part of anyone doing so as a result of what I have just said, and irresponsible and dangerous on my part where it to come across as my suggesting such an action.
But I am saying that we should be careful and should have a say in what we take, when we take them and how they affect us. I am also clearly stating that, for me personally, losing myself – my character and even my integrity is too big a price to pay.
I love to help people. I love to draw, to paint and to sculpt. I love to write; blogs, articles, books, poetry. I love to sing and above all else I love to be able to worship.
I love to fellowship and to study and I love to share and have relationships with people and to do all these things honestly and openly, and I know that my mental health often impacts these.
The natural inhibitors that many people seem to have I struggle with and often have thoughts and can sometimes make statements that others find near the knuckle shall we say or even bordering on being slightly inappropriate. Nothing too bad, thankfully, but I do have to be very careful.
Thankfully, because integrity is important to me, as I believe it should be to everybody, I hold myself accountable for such things when I know that I have been able to do something to avoid them. And thankfully, those who know me well know that they are welcome to challenge me on such things, providing they do so in love.
But as much as my mental health can impact all of the things that I mentioned above as things I love doing, they have in the past been so very threatened and my ability to do them often removed by the meds that I have been meant to take.
And that is too high a price.
Do such meds have a place in our lives? Absolutely they do! I am convinced of that but we should I believe as adults, unless we are harmful to ourselves or others, be able to have a say, and the power to decide what we are taking, how much and how often.
Financial considerations, availability restraints as a result of Health Care or Insurance provider policies, and the pressure of ever increasing client loads may all reduce mental health practitioners’ willingness to listen and respond positively. I truly do understand that. But the fact is that these things should never be allowed to take away our voice or sentence us to inappropriate or ineffective medication.
Unless I am truly being harmful to myself or others then I don’t want to me a different state of me unless that different state of me is closer to the real me.