I’ve posted a blog about my medicine before and I’ve talked a lot about it on the podcast as well. Recently, someone asked me my opinion on prescription drugs for mental illness. Though I’m very loud and proud about how helpful prescription antidepressants have been here for me, that question made me realize that some people are either liking the medical treatment that they are receiving, or they’re struggling with the side effects or stigma of medicine.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a success story. Finding the right dosage and the right medicine has been a hell of a struggle, but I’m finally in a place where I’m comfortable with all of it. I truly know that I’m one of the lucky ones, as some people struggle with finding the right fit (or not finding one at all) for years and years longer than I did.
That’s not to say that I don’t have days or moments when I don’t wanna throw the whole bottle away. When I introduce new products, medications, or regiments, I have to be really really aware of my mood changes. In the past, when I’ve changed birth control methods, it drastically effected my mood the days immediately surrounding my period – like my antidepressants were just a wash. Most recently, I had a huge issue with migraines. Let me just tell you, finding a headache medicine that didn’t make me feel like either a Zombie or She-Hulk has been a hell of a time. I settled on a pretty big dosage of Topirimate.
Coincidentally, this medicine effects my current birth control method AND my hormones!!! So, I was sporting THIS for a good amount of time before I had enough:
Grand scheme: this isn’t that big of a deal. I bought some expensive full coverage foundation and did some more cleansing face masks in an attempt to rectify. However, the medicine was working to quickly, and my skin & hair were NOT fans. Of course it’s TMI, but I also went from almost never having a regular period, to having one for 3 weeks straight. Hell. on. Earth.
Again, having a good relationship with medical personnel is always a benefit. I was able to shoot my primary care doctor and my psychiatrist about the problem. They advised to half the pills and see if the problems persisted… which puts us to right about now. I have gotten more headaches and migraines because of the lower dose. My skin, hair, and menstrual issues have cleared up though. So, it’s really weighing my evils at this point – deal with migraines as they come occasionally and experience a little pain before I can stop them OR going through puberty for what feels like the second time & be worried about my birth control being ineffective sometimes. I chose the former.
End of the day, even the people who have a good fit when it comes to one medicine, might find it really hard to ever take antibiotics or other prescription medications. I’ve dealt with the physical icky feeling, the absolutely impossible to deal with acne, weight gain, and changes in birth control because of the medicines that rectify one issue in my body. It’s so so so hard. It sucks. It also sucks that some people’s bodies need these little boosters in the form of pills while others don’t. It just further adds to the stigma that is mental illness medication. Sometimes, medicine isn’t the right path for you. Holistic approaches can also be really helpful for mental health specifically (I’ll do a blog about some that I’ve experimented with very soon!)
No matter what your path may be, stick with it. Work with the medical professionals in your life to find the right fit because I promise it does exist. Even people who are thriving at one end of the medicine spectrum might not be thriving at other parts of their medical well being. As much as it sucks, you are strong and you can persevere. You’ve gotten through all the moments to make you brave enough to reach out for medicine or make the professionals prescribe you with some. You deserve the feeling of finding a good fit for YOU and YOU only.
Next blog goes up on Tuesday! Anything specific you want to hear about? Hit me up on socials, slide into any of my inboxes, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about anything going on in your life!