Fluoxetine, Alprazolam, and Chlorpromazine – oh my!
To all of the non-physicians in the room,
those words seem very intimidating. Heck, I’m sure some doctors don’t even like them. These words are all types of medications used for various mental illnesses – and there are plenty more where that came from! Unfortunately, sickness in the brain is much more difficult to diagnose and treat than your typical bone fracture or bacterial infection. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to treatment. Some people do just fine with psychotherapy alone. Some people use alternative medications or choose to battle their mental illness on their own. Others… well, we need a little more help than that.
I will never forget the moment I decided to pursue anti-depressants as a treatment option for my mental illness. I cried harder than I did when I found out I was diagnosed with a mental illness. I thought only the “really crazy” people had to take medications. When did I become “really crazy”?
But that’s just it – I wasn’t crazy. And the people I thought were also crazy weren’t either.
Think about it.
Have you ever been sick with strep? The sore throat, the miserable fever, and more? If you could afford it, you would take medication to get rid of it, right?
If you had diabetes and were dependent on insulin, you wouldn’t try to find “natural ways” to make your body heal on it’s own, would you?
The same can be said of taking medications for chronic or acute mental illnesses. It is much more common than you think to be #Medicated.
Here’s the catch…
Remember when I said not one size fits all? Yeah, that’s something you can’t forget.
When I began on my first anti-depressant, my anxiety sky-rocketed. I was constantly on edge, but hey – I didn’t mind getting out of bed in the morning! However, I was so anxious that the walk to class from my apartment kept me from attending English 206 on a regular basis. I told my doctor, and we decided to try another anti-depressant (because yes, there’s more than one).
The second one I tried seemed to help calm down my anxiety, but I could feel my depression lurking. The smallest thing would go wrong and BOOM – tears. for. days.
The next time I went in, I started sobbing immediately upon seeing my doctor. This time, we decided to increase my dosage and increased my visits with my clinical therapist.
Then, my friends, I had found my jackpot.
While this story only took up a couple of lines, this process lasted over a years time. And while things have significantly improved, I still experience bad mental health days (just ask my boyfriend – special s/o to Colin if he’s reading this right now). However, the “ups” and “downs” look less like a rollercoaster and more like a slightly bumpy road you’d find in the middle of town. There are less extremes, and for that I am so grateful.
So, my friend and fellow warrior, don’t give up on getting better quite yet. You’ll find your “jackpot,” too.
And when you do find your perfect remedy, don’t expect life to be all sunshine and rainbows. You’ll still have to fight, but golly-gee you’ll have no problem conquering those small battles. They’re nothing compared to what you’ve conquered before.
YOU. GOT. THIS.