Wednesday, October 14, 2015

If You're Happy & You Know It - - Take Your Meds!

I can think of a half dozen reasons not to take your psych medication before my eyes blink again...

- It makes me feel like a zombie
- I'm still depressed (they're not working)
- I can't sleep (insomnia)
- I'm always tired
- It's messing with my stomach
- My body needs a break (detox)

Sound familiar?

These are the most common side-effects I've personally experienced.

The main reason you're experiencing these issues? You're on the wrong medication!

Look, I know it takes a long time to find the right combination of pills before your perfect "cocktail" is discovered. It took me six fucking years. You've got to keep at it. You've got to work with your doctor; with the right doctor. It is work. Hell, it's a second full-time job for many of us. You have to give the meds a chance to get into your system and work out the kinks (up to six weeks).

Once you realize you found "the one(s)", it's quite the experience. The depression lifts, your head clears, and you want to participate in life again (I'm writing again for the first time in years-something I'm quite passionate about).

At my last appointment with Jack he asked me how I was doing the minute I sat on his over-sized poofy couch. The reply even shocked me..."I don't feel like dying anymore. I even feel sorta...happy!"

He made his usual move where he takes his left hand and smooths back what little hair he has left on his head, and then he smiled at me. In his raspy voice he replied very simply, "It's working."

Sweet funky Jesus, he's right! After all this time, I feel normal. Well, as normal as normal can get for me.

I've been through the ringer. I've tried medication after medication. I've experienced all the side-effects. I've vomited through going cold turkey. It isn't fun by any means.

I've been without insurance in my darkest of phases. At a time when I needed the medication the most, I didn't have the option. I made phone calls practically begging for help, and I was turned away. I was told the waiting list to be seen by a psychiatrist was upwards of six months due to a shortage of doctors at certain facilities.

If you have the ability to take medication you should swallow the damn pill(s). Go through the treacherous process of finding what's right for you. I'm living proof that it will happen. It won't be easy, but you can do it.

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