I’m mentally ill, and I will not take my medication. I don’t want to, and I feel a wave of indifference pass over me when I see others who do. The reason for my change of heart is due to losing many years of my life in a drug haze. Decades passed me by, and yet, I cannot remember huge chunks of my early life. I’m mentally ill, and to be honest, I wish I could have been free in my madness. This is my reason and my argument.

Medication For The Sick And The Mad

So, it’s a consensus that something must be done to heal the sick. We don’t just sit around and watch cancer patients die, so why would we watch the mentally ill perish or live in chaos. We don’t do that, we medicate them. From radiation to pills, if we can’t cure it, we treat it. After all, no one wants to endure too much pain, right?

So, what’s the problem, you ask. There’s apparently a wide gap between my hatred for medication and the need for help. The thing is, or rather, the problem is, medication doesn’t have to be all bad. I mean, it does help relieve symptoms so that our day to day routine can continue undisturbed. It does help us sleep, help us eat and even help us socialize in some cases. But what’s too much? How do we draw the line?

Over-Prescribing

As for mental illness, psychotherapy is the gauge in which physicians determine the dosage and the need for prescription medication. Unfortunately, so many drugs are prescribed with no psychotherapy at all! Around 50% of patients receiving anti-depressants and psychotic drugs receive no other form of treatment. It’s check in, get medicated and check out. It’s like fast food therapy for the mad!

Most these drugs are used to treat depression or anxiety, and per witnesses, some of these drugs actually cause worse bouts of depression when discontinued for a short time. Also, if depression is treated for a long period with prescription drugs, it becomes labeled a disease rather than a temporary issue. Even though depression can be a live long issue, there are those few who only experience temporary depression and need a whole other approach to the issue.

Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry thrives off sales, and any decline in those sales causes the industry to push for more clearly defined mental illness disease labels. What this means is the more mental illnesses are diagnosed, the more drugs that will enter the market and make money for the producer. This is another clear reason why over-prescribing is such a problem today.

When Medication Is Needed

Okay, so I pulled from my opinion about medication, now I want to talk about why some drugs are necessary. Yes, I guess I sound contradictory, but I want to be fair. Although I don’t care for medication, in some instances it works and can save lives.

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About The Author

Sherrie is a freelance writer and mother of three. She spends most of her time lost in the curiosities of the mind, while learning more about herself. Here she finds solace and a desire to share her daily learning experiences with others. After all, discoveries never cease, and neither does the human spirit.

16 COMMENTS

  1. No, not the only solution, but there are those of us who live daily with a combination of symptoms. We have a chemical imbalance, also environmental symptoms attributed to mental illness. For us, medication, a comfort animal, therapy, journal writing, affirmations are all prongs. I know, I am in the utilizing all of them. It has been over a year and doing better. =D 😀

    • However, for those for whom a crisis may lead to suicide, if medication can alleviate the desire to end one’s life, then medication must be considered as an option. For those who live with a chemical imbalance, unless shock treatment or some other drastic measure, medication is the least of them to consider. What about those who are bipolar? They in a manic state need something. Carrie Fisher, the actress got shots every six weeks for her bipolar condition.=( =(

    • However, in the meantime, while researching and finding a qualified person or book, or iPod program to learn those skills, what does someone who has a mental illness, like those who hear voices, or suffer from depression, anxiety, or some other symptom which incapacitate do in the meantime? Find a drug dealer?

    • Patricia J. Dunstan Depression with a chemical imbalance and other conditions for which any measure other than medication warrants should also be excluded. Seeing others who may have for various reason not been helped by medication is not definitive. There are some people for whom medication is not short termed. For these people, it is the difference between coping and not being able to do so. A chemical imbalance is not going to be a short termed condition for which something else can replace what medication does for them.

    • There are always exceptions but I believe that in the case of depression and anxiety, we can through hard work, change the chemistry and develop new nuero- pathways in our brains. Exercise has been proven to increase endorphin’s and has been effective in my case, ( I was hospitalized with clinical depression and put on drugs years ago). I also feel that diet is another factor as well. But I understand that sometimes drugs are needed when one is down so low, one can not even bring them selves to get out of bed. Sending you blessings.