Day 22: What is your opinion on medication used to treat mental illness(es)?
I don’t give opinions on medication to treat mental illness as a rule because people can be vulnerable to suggestion. What I say might be the last thread that un-weaves their own medication use for fear that what happened to me might happen to them. The opinion I share here is on the medication that I am taking and how it impacts on me.
I never wanted to take medication that made me feel controlled. To be honest some of the medications I have been on have left me a zombie. They were in many ways worse than the symptoms that they were prescribed to treat. I have had days where I couldn’t get out of bed because of the overwhelming exhaustion, or I was unable to drive because of the dullness of my mind etc etc. But that was a long time ago.
The current medication regime I am on is a three pronged attack. Effexor (primarily for depression), Quetiapine (primarily for anxiety) and Mirtazapine (primarily for depression). I am unable to increase the effexor because of my severe reaction to even small increases in doses. The two antidepressants work well together and the trio can be tweaked. I also have an emergency anti anxiety tablet, Xanax but I rarely have to use them thanks to the combination.
The psychiatrist works with me and we make decisions on the medication. I think this makes the difference, whether the prescriber works with you or expects compliance regardless of the side effects and their impact on your life.
I am not for or against medication for mental illnesses. They are useful to help manage symptoms that your own body can not. They can improve quality of life in doing so. I can socialise more comfortably with the anti anxiety medications and that increases the size of my world. A world that had shrunk to just my home and my hubby is slowly expanding again.
I am hoping that with time I can reduce the medication as my own coping mechanisms strengthen and can help. This includes counselling and meditation etc etc. Whatever helps you, never heed how it did or didn’t work for someone else.