Thursday, October 15, 2015

On Medication

I wrote this post sometime last month, but then decided against publishing it as is. Why? I may have been a bit angry when writing it.

There's this weird idea I've had that I have no right to anger, so of course I didn't want to post anything that  may have been written when I was angry. Hurt and depression, or anxiety I can do. Anger, that I try to deny to myself.

But I'm human, I feel a wide range of emotions, and denying that just hurts me further. So I decided to go ahead and hit the "publish" button on this, rather than trying to rewrite it in a calmer tone. Which I did try to rewrite it, but didn't get very far.

... ... ...

I've finally realized one of the things that really bothers and upsets me: people being unable to accept facts or hear out other viewpoints because they're too busy living in their own little world and thinking that their experiences must be true for everyone.

Finally realizing this has helped me understand why some things bother me so much. Such as, something that I had to hear multiple times over the summer, and which I kept telling myself not to write about. But I came across someone else with the same attitude again, so I gave in and decided to address it.

One of my classes this summer was on how to write a research paper, and we got to choose our topics. A classmates decided that her argument would be that therapy animals need to be used much more often than they are in treatment for medical conditions, which is an something I won't disagree with. However, she went on to say (and I'm paraphrasing here) "When I was on meds they changed me and didn't help, so I went off them without telling the doctor. And I improved. They mess up everyone, and change people even if they don't realize that they've changed."

Cue silent screaming from me.

Given that I'm on meds for an anxiety disorder and depression, this is a subject that I inevitably get personal about, and which I wish everyone could understand.

A few quick points...

Can meds zombify people? Yes.

Have I been on meds that zombified me? Yes.

Have there sometimes been other unfortunate side effects for me? Yes.

Have I been on meds that were a huge mistake for me? Yes.

Have I also found that the correct meds at the right dosage can help me without messing me up? YES.

I lost track of how many medications I've been on some years ago. I can't even remember what all I've been on, just that most of them have been for ADHD. As I said above many were really not great for me, but when I find the right medication plus the right dosage (an important detail) it is a really good thing.

Does this mean I'm advocating for everyone with problems to medicate themselves? No. Meds are a useful tool, but that doesn't mean that they're the right tool for everyone. Nor would I say that meds should be the only tool used for those who turn to them. It's generally best to use meds in addition to another treatment, such as therapy.

...of course, now that I've written this, I wonder what the point of this post is. Just like the classmate who continued to insist that meds are the devil (ok, I'm exaggerating now) even when I explained my own experiences on two different occasions to her, this probably won't get through to anyone who agrees with her.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I think you have a healthy attitude toward medication. People who need medication but automatically reject taking them usually end up living chaotic lives.

Sarita Raine Rucker said...

It's so easy to go in either direction with medication, relying too much or avoiding it entirely. I may be more cautious than necessary actually, simply because of my bad experiences and anxieties around it.