“It takes, on average, six attempts to find the antidepressant that works for you.” ~ my social worker
And I’m not actually on that one any more.
I do make a conscious effort to talk about meds a lot elsewhere though so it seems to be worth explaining a bit more about why I do this.
I want to start by saying that I’m not forcefully pro or anti medication, any more than I’m particularly pro or anti any other type of treatment.
What I am is very strongly in favour of people finding whatever works best for them.
Mental illness is HARD.
Living with the illnesses themselves is hard, getting access to the appropriate services is hard, getting any better is hard.
I don’t see any reason to then go making things even harder by insisting that any one way is the only correct way when it’s clear that actually it’s a lot more complicated than that and different people need different things.
On the other hand, when I was first prescribed a medication – it was paroxetine – I almost didn’t take it.
That was because when I Googled it, and indeed medication in general, what I found was a chorus of horror stories and insistence that medication will ruin your life even more than it has been already, and Just Say No, basically.
Now, I don’t doubt those people’s stories, and of course it’s terrible that they’ve had those experiences, and it’s clear that for some people medication just isn’t the answer.
But it doesn’t work that way for everybody.
Some people try several medications and then find one that actually works.
And some people get the right one first time.
For me personally medication has been the most useful thing in tackling my mental illnesses. It’s the reason I’m still here to talk about them.
So I want to add my voice with the other perspective to the conversation.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to write some little summaries of everything that I’ve tried over the last five years and tag them all with #medications so that it’s easy to find them all.