Meds vs no meds

One of the biggest post requests that we’ve had, and something that is covered in the book (which is currently in it’s second edition and being set up as a self published book, which will be available at $2.99 on Smashwords/KDP in November),  is about medication.  So I thought I’d answer a couple of questions and see whether some of it can be discussed in a calm way – the reason, so far, we’ve avoided this conversation is because we’ve felt and saw outrage in the community.

So, before I start, I thought I’d say one thing.
YOU CANNOT CHOOSE to take meds based on one blog post.  YOU MUST RESEARCH!

My meds

After ten years of being med free, last year, I had a horrible time when we moved.  Between moving and my university carreer (which got put back a year after struggling through all of it) I broke, and spent four weeks incredibly depressed – I was put onto medication that made me very manic once it took effect, and then, finally, they decided that I have both a personality disorder (which explained why, in part I hated myself as much as I did) and that I’m also bipolar.  So I was prescribed Seroquel (Quetiapine).  I was also given antidepressants, which I came off of when they interacted with my migraine meds.

What I learned

The first thing I learned was that I wasn’t as ‘aware’ of what meds could do for me as I thought.  I had chosen from earlier experiences, to refuse meds, and that may have been the wrong choice.  I also learned that I had a severe problem with anxiety, something that I thought was just ‘normal’.  When that lifted after two weeks on Seroquel, I was amazed, and gratified.
But I’ve had to stop taking them, as we’re planning on having children, and I’ve seen studies that suggest Seroquel isn’t suitable during pregnancy.  My GP was a bit concerned about it, but I’m making that educated choice after researching.

On or off meds

It’s of vital importance to understnad that being *on* or *off* meds isn’t something that you should do lightly.  Both are lifestyle choices, and both can change your life, positively and possibly negatively.  It’s crtical to understand that you’ll have side effects, either mild or severe from most meds, even if that side effect is taking away your anxiety.  It’s also possible, in some cases that you will have unwanted side effects such as excess sedation.  I never grew used to how tired seroquel made me, or, at least, I never learned when I could take them before going to bed.
You may also need to work with a dietician, or avoid certain foods, based on interactions.  You may gain weight.  You may have other problems.  But the important thing to look at is whether it improves your lives.

Your thoughts

So – to open the floor to you – what are your experiences with meds.  Please keep the conversation calm, and let people know how you feel, but also respect others opinions.  I’d love to hear from you though.

One comment

  1. very well said I agree with you entirely…….with meds it must be an educated decision between yourself and your physician being forced to take something you know nothing about or what to expect is not a road to success or trust when it comes to long term management, speak to your doctors, do your reading, most importantly ensure you have a doctor who will listen to you and answer your questions in relation to medications or not taking them, and allow you to have equal contribution or deciding vote on treatment options… should be a discussion not a lecture during consults.

    crisis care is one thing, keeping you alive to one day Manage the Disorder and should not be mistaken for “treatment” treatment and learning to manage the disorder is the ultimate long term goal of anyone living with chronic illness….and while I do not believe sedation equates to treatment it has its place in crisis care. it does not have a place in Management of a disorder. people need to be able to function in order to be considered “treated” or “managed”.

    I am not anti-meds or even remotely pro-meds, I am all for responsible treatment options and mutual health care management which produces results in the long term.

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