When we finally decide to go for therapy, there’s always that lingering feeling of “what if they give me medication?” or “I’m not taking any pills.” It’s bad enough that you’re telling a stranger your business, but who do they think they are by telling me that I need medication? I’m FINE, I don’t need medicine. Honestly, you aren’t alone in those thoughts. That’s what I felt, those were my statements in my head as my doctor began to tell me what she thinks would be the best method of dealing with my mental illness. I have been suffering from PTSD and depression for over 20 years and I felt that I didn’t need medication, that psychotherapy was enough. I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life, so I was dead set against the idea of me taking medication.
As my psychiatrist and I discussed my path to mental health, it seemed that psychotherapy along with medication would be the best route for me. I wasn’t thrilled to hear that, to say the least, but my psychiatrist told me that I wouldn’t have to be on these for life and that it only guide me. As long as I take my medication, go to therapy and execute things that I will be on the road to recovery. Understand that medication isn’t the CURE. There IS no cure for mental illness in a little pill. Taking a pill isn’t going to solve everything and all will be right with the world. Just like going to therapy will make everything in your life A-OK. It takes medication, therapy and footwork to get you on the road to recovery. It all lies on YOU. YOU have to take the medication. YOU have to go to therapy. YOU have to change your ways. Y-O-U.
If you’re not committed to the well-being of your mental health then don’t bother. These medications are there to help you become a better person, to help you battle depression or stabilize your moods if your bi-polar, quiet the voices in your head if you’re a schizophrenic. I know you don’t want to stay miserable, well maybe YOU do, but I don’t. I want to not have night terrors reliving me giving birth to dead children every night. It takes a toll on my soul. I want to stop being depressed and be legitimately happy and not fake it til I make it. I want help, so I got it and if that means I have to take medication, sobeit.
Don’t get it twisted I HATE taking medication, but I tell myself that I want to get better and I will stay on my meds. I went off of my medication for awhile because I felt BETTER. I was “cured” in my head. That was the WORST MISTAKE I ever could have done. I went cold turkey and just stopped taking my medication. Let’s just say that it did NOT end well and I vowed to NEVER stop taking my medication on my own. It’s very scary when you stop taking the medication that your doctor prescribes you, you might not feel it at once, or even in 4-5 days, but when it hits you…it’s the worst feeling ever.
So if you ARE taking medications, unless directed by your doctor…DO NOT STOP TAKING THEM. I can’t emphasize it enough, don’t stop taking your medications, just DON’T! Here’s another thing that shouldn’t be said, BUT I must.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR MEDICATION AND DRINK ALCOHOL I repeat… DO NOT TAKE MEDICATION AND DRINK ALCOHOL
If you are on medication and you plan on drinking that night (which you shouldn’t) skip your medication (which you shouldn’t) for that day. The reaction of alcohol with your medication is DANGEROUS. For example, taking adderall and drinking is EXTREMELY dangerous.
Here is a potential scenario if one drinks while taking Adderall. Adderall can hinder your ability to tell if you are too tired or too intoxicated. So you end up drinking more. Your internal cues of whether you have had enough are no longer accurate. Although your mind may not be telling you there is a problem, your body is taking the toll of the alcohol without your realizing it. Alcohol poisoning is a real danger in this situation. The Office of Alcohol and Drug Education at the University of Notre Dame validates this concern: “It is important not to mix alcohol and stimulants such as Adderall. The stimulant effect can cause students to prolong use resulting in consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol which has lead to cases of alcohol poisoning. Stimulants in the system can block the depressant effect shutting off the warning signs to a person’s body that they may be drinking too much.” You can read more here.
In that example above is it even worth it to take your adderall and drink? Of course not. So please don’t take medication and drink alcohol.
There’s a reason your doctor has you on certain medications, they want you to get better, so do as they prescribe. If you had high blood pressure or heart problems, you’d take the medicine because you want to live a longer, happier life, right? Okay, so mental illness medicine is exactly the same, you want to live a longer, happier life also. Taking medication for your mental illness isn’t bad, you just have to way your pros and cons on if YOU think it’s good for you. As for me and my mental illness issues, I’m content with the medication that I am on and I am living a better life as well as being able to sleep minus night terrors. It’s a peace of mind for me that I will never take for granted again.
If you have any questions, please email me Dean(AT)VixenVarsity.com and follow @MizCaramelVixen on twitter.