It has been quite sometime since I’ve last posted. Between working on exposures, doing summer semester and spending time with family, my summer has been booked. I’ve wanted to write a post and I’ve been contemplating what to write on. I decided I wanted to give my perspective on medication. I know this can be a very touchy subject so I want you to know that this post is strictly my view of things and what has helped me the most. I respect all of you and your choice of which path to take when it comes to recovery.
When I was in 9th grade I went a saw a doctor to see if I had ADHD. A family member had been recently diagnosed and my parents thought I might benefit from seeing this doctor. He diagnosed me with ADD and mild anxiety and prescribed a low dose of medication. I can’t remember the name of it but I remember that it made things better for me. After that I was on lower doses of medication all the way up to 2016.
When I moved back with my parents I went a saw a doctor before we knew I had OCD. He diagnosed me with Bipolar II disorder and increased some medication I had been taking. He didn’t do it gradually, he did it immediately and drastically. Those few months were the scariest months of my life. I have never felt so scared and so evil ever in my life. I called him after a few days, I explained to him that the medication was causing me horrific thoughts and that I had to have my parents hide the scissors and knifes. He told me it was just an adjustment period… needless to say, I never went back to him.
December of 2016 I went and met with a new doctor. This doctor was the person that diagnosed me with OCD and after doing research on the subject it fit every feeling I was having. He decided that we needed to start fresh. He had me completely go off all of my medications and we then re-evaluated what was next. Those next 2 years were the hardest years I have ever had. It is difficult to explain just how bad my mind got.
I tried at least 5 different medications within a year, adjusting the doses and going through a lot of physical and emotional pain from them. I had to have my mom or dad with me at all times. We kept the knifes hidden or in a cupboard. I was scared of myself. The thoughts I had ranged from hurting me to hurting others. The thought of ropes and belts scared me to the point where I would cut the strings off my sweats because it felt safer, and I would use a butter knife to cut my food. I would dread having to shower or to go into the kitchen because my whole body would tremor. I spent a lot of days in my room with the blinds shut, the lights off and the door slightly opened. It was horrible and I am so happy those days are behind me.
You are probably thinking I’m going to say how medication doesn’t work, but I actually think the opposite. As hard and as scary as it was to go on and off so many medications, when I finally took the right dose of the right kind, my life changed completely. After years of struggle I finally found the right dose and what a blessing it has been. I finally feel like I have control over my thoughts again and it’s because my brain has a chemical imbalance. I was also prescribed a medication that helps me during intense panic attacks. My panic attacks used to get to the point where I would rip my shirt off and hit myself repeatedly. But now, when I see myself getting to that point I take a small dose and can grasp on to rational thoughts. It has made a significant difference.
Why do I tell you this? Why does it matter? To me it matters. Sometimes I hear people talk about medication as a negative thing. People associate taking medication with being ‘crazy’. I want to spread the word that you are no less of a person if you choose to use medicine as a tool in your mental health recovery. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing whats best for you. If you decide that medication isn’t the route you want to go in your recovery, that’s a valid choice too. I feel like we sometimes forget that each of us has a different story and a different path.
I urge you to remember that we are all unique in our journeys. Somethings that work for you might not work for everyone and that is okay. There is nothing to be ashamed of with taking medication. You should never feel bad for doing what’s best for you. Thank you so much for your support. I want you to know that you deserve happiness. You are enough. You are strong. And as always… You Got This!