Psychiatric meds: a frustrated rant

Nowadays, it seems like, they don’t want to see you get better. They want to create consumers. That is, Big Pharma, the Dr’s, hospitals, intensive outpatient treatments, any place that would have you on medication management for psychiatric disorders.

I am speaking from my own experience of course. I mean, I will be the first to tell you that psych medication is a great thing. I find it endlessly fascinating. And in the right circumstance, I think it can be a very useful tool. But far too often, we are overprescribing these medications and not dealing with the problems at hand.

Take for instance, inpatient treatment. It’s more about, medicating and pushing you out the door, than really getting to the root of the problem through therapeutic means. I know, I know, inpatient is supposed to be for rapid stabilization but still, they don’t even help you with facing life once you’re back on the outside. So, what’s even the point of stabilizing you in the first place? (I know, I’m a bit dramatic)

What I’m trying to say is, at least in my case, and what I’ve seen with so many others, first hand, is that they would rather put you on medication. Medication that has a block box warning, rather than try to teach you to handle your emotions and the things in life that seem too hard. They would rather sweep it under the rug, than really put any effort into seeing what is wrong because a quick fix is a quick fix. I know that sometimes and at first it might be needed but then it becomes such a crutch, you just rely on the medication to help you.

As, I’m writing this, I am realizing I’m going to get some backlash. I just want to say, there is nothing wrong with taking medication. Hell, I take a cocktail of meds. More than most patients do, trust me I know, I’ve gotten flack for it.

I’m just frustrated because now that I’ve been on these meds for so long, I don’t know how to handle my emotions off them. I tried and it was a disaster. I don’t want to be dependent on medication my whole life, I want to learn to not be afraid of who I am, I want to learn to handle my emotions and my ups and downs.

So, that’s the end of my rant. I hope I didn’t offend anyone.

-B. 6-16-18

Bad patient.

Being borderline you hear a lot about being on the rollercoaster. It can be a very destructive force in ones life but that’s not the dangerous thing they should warn you about. What they should warn you about is how seductive it is. How good it feels to be on the rollercoaster, even the pitfalls.

I found this out when I was 24. When they put me on antipsychotics. I never realized I was on a rollercoaster until it was gone. And once it was gone I missed it but at the same time I could finally breathe. So, I was a good patient. I stayed on the meds. Missing the rollercoaster, less and less, as I forgot what it was like to be on and how to handle such harsh conditions.

I would think back on those days and think to myself, how did I ever get through that without antipsychotics. In a way, the meds were making me weak. They turned into a crutch.

When I was 28, I decided to try and get off my antipsychotics. First day, I was euphoric. Few days after that, tail between my legs, back on the antipsychotics. How could I completely forget how to handle these emotions that were once so ingrained in me. I did this a couple more times but always feared these emotions.

Now, present day. I just had a complete mental breakdown, and you know what? I didn’t do something stupid. You want to know something else? I haven’t been on my antipsychotics for a week or two.

I am conquering my emotions one step at a time and for the first time in years, I can feel again. I’m not dulled down.

I don’t know what the future has in store for me or if the rollercoaster is going to get crazy but if it does, bring it on. I got my DBT, I got my supports, I got my strength and I am ready. I want to face my emotions, not hide away from them. I want to feel not dull myself into a depression.

So, why is this called bad patient? I probably should have informed my Dr. kids don’t do what I did. Always tell your Dr. I’m just an Asshole.

-B. 6-5-18

One magic pill

One magic pill.

We’ve all wished it was real. Something we could take to cure us. Make us normal. Take away all the bad things and make us whole again.

Psychiatry, the idea of getting on medication, is often a tough choice for some of us and an easy one for other. Whatever it is for, the journey is not the same. Some have luck and others don’t.

I like to think of it as one big guessing game.

As in other fields of medicine, you have a disease process and a course of treatment. In most cases it’s that simple. But with mental illness, it’s not. It’s far less simple than that.

You have all these psychiatric medications and you get to see your psychiatrist once a month. So, once a month you try a medication. Then the fun part. Some of these medications take weeks to work, so the wait. Then the side effects. On the other hand, they can completely not work all together or even worse do the complete opposite and make your symptoms ten times worse. So, next month, back to the drawing board.

Suppose it does work, but then it doesn’t take all the symptoms away. Then you have to start the cycle over again. You have to add another medication.

Then, finally you find the right combination that works. Everything is going fine for a few years and then BAM. You need to adjust the dosage or the medications have stopped working all together. Back to the drawing board. Back to the cycle.

Like, picking out of a hat.

These medications are so abstract and have so many applications in how they treat various symptoms. The lists go on.

And one day you wake up and you realize, you aren’t just a person seeking treatment for your mental illness but you’ve become a slave to these medications, a product of the pharmaceutical companies.

I’m not saying that taking medication for mental illness is bad. Absolutely not. I have no right to. I am on numerous medications just to be a functioning member of society. But, do I wish I could remember what it was like to handle it on my own or learn to handle it on my own. Yes, I do. Do I hate carrying around 6 pill bottles with me, when I go out? Yes. But, I’ve learned to have no shame in taking out my meds when needed because who the fuck cares what they think. I need them. I need to take care of myself.

But, oh, how I do wish, that there was one magic pill…

-B.

3-21-18

The Adderall lifestyle 

I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD at 7 years. But don’t get it wrong, I’m not one of those people who was just written off as having it, that is really just a “problem child” growing up. Trust me. I have stories I could tell you, but that is not what this is about. This is about now, me, 28 year old, me. As you have read the title of this, so named because that is what adderall is. Maybe it wasn’t at first. At first it was so I could focus in school but as I got older, it became my monster. I loved it. Then it was a problem. And now, now that I’m getting it in control, it’s a lifestyle. 

I call it a lifestyle for a few reasons. You see, as I got older the effects of it changed, morphed in how it worked on me. It stopped being the kind of pill that would turn me into a robot that sat for hours focusing on school, to a superhero who could do anything, and finally to a functioning human being. 

I now take it to feel normal with a side of pep. It’s the only way I can do daily tasks. Things that “normies” wouldn’t bat an eye at. 

Now, instead of it being my focusing med, it’s my motivation med. I can get out of bed because of it. I can think clearly, take care of myself, do creative things, have energy. 

This is why I call it the Adderall lifestyle. Because it really is a lifestyle. It changes everything. Having BPD, PTSD, anxiety, these are fucking exhausting. Battling myself everyday is exhausting. So, if I need a little help to get up and do the most mundane tasks, ones people don’t usually need to think about, then I think it’s okay. As long as I’m careful because that lifestyle can become a problem real quick. 

But that’s just one of the meds that keeps this borderline functioning in society. 
-B. 

12-15-17