I truly believe that, like with most things, there are both positives and negatives when it comes to the medication used to treat mental illness.
I also very much believe – both from personal experience and from the accounts given by others – that finding the right type of medication and indeed the right level of medication can be an absolute roller-coaster ride.
In some cases causing periods where the medication suggested (and thus taken) seems to have little to no effect and in other times causing periods where the effects of said suggested can be far, far worse than the actual symptoms which they are meant to treat.
And we also have to take into consideration that whilst there are some commonalities involved, we do all react to medications differently.
For example: I have heard some very positive reports given – about Prozac – by folk who were taking it. But I personally remember the absolute exasperation and deep concern on my wife’s face after a night of my virtually running around the coffee table talking gibberish all night, when it was prescribed to me and I tried it.
“What’s the point of him taking Prozac if it just makes him worse?” was the question asked when the problem was reported to my doctor and an alternative sought.
And that is a key issue here isn’t it? In a great many cases, medication in respect of mental illness is not given in order to eradicate the actual illness itself. It is instead, I would suggest, given in order to..
a) manage the symptoms. and/or
b) to improve the quality of life for the person taking the medication (and thus for those around him or her). and/or
c) prolong life.
The question therefore becomes, ‘is the level or type of ‘altering’ which is achieved as a result of that (or those) medication(s) acceptable and/or beneficial and, if so, who too?’
And whilst I can only speak for myself here (and I would not want for anyone to follow my example here without some very serious thought and some very serious conversations with their doctor and/or psychiatrist) I personally would not take any medication where my quality of life (or the quality of life of those I love) was reduced as a result of my doing so.
And this has been a very real consideration for me.
I read and I love to read. Likewise, I write and I love to write. I write this and other blogs, poetry and novels. I draw and sketch and paint. And I love doing those things also. And because of my physical health I am not very mobile and so my options are limited when it comes to other past-times and interests.
And even more importantly, I am a man of faith (a Christian) and my faith truly is core to who I am. As such, I love to read the bible and also to study the bible. Likewise, I love to pray and to worship. And I love (and fully appreciate) the ability and freedom that I have to do this with others.
And whilst I accept that there are times when my mental health (as a result of my mental illnesses) limits or even temporarily removes my ability to do those things. I cannot and will not accept and take medication which – in the hope of addressing the symptoms of my mental illnesses – continually removes my freedom to do those things.
‘How to address and manage the symptoms of my mental illnesses without becoming so impacted and affected by the medications intended to do so, that it changes who I truly am and who I truly believe I am meant to be?’
And that – for me personally – is the basis on which I approach any and all medication designed or prescribed in order to treat my mental illnesses.
And so I close this post with the same statement that I opened it with and with the same personal conclusion I shared in the middle of it…
“I truly believe that, like with most things, there are both positives and negatives when it comes to the medication used to treat mental illness.
And whilst I can only speak for myself here (and I would not want for anyone to follow my example here without some very serious thought and some very serious conversations with their doctor and/or psychiatrist) I personally would not take any medication where my quality of life (or the quality of life of those I love) was reduced as a result of my doing so.”
how it di