Making the Tough Choice

I have always been afraid to try a medication. I have never thought negatively of people who do, but it was something I had always stayed away from.

I had convinced myself that I did not need to go on medication. I had convinced myself that I was coping well enough that I did not need to. When I went to a psychiatrist for the first time last week, I had no desire of going on medication. Doing mental health crisis work, I understand that psychiatric assessments take quite a while to get set up, so I made the appointment over a year ago. I went into the appointment planning on sharing my coping strategies and making it obvious that I did not need to be on medication.

I had my back up when I first went in. I had no idea what to expect from this psychiatrist and was horribly nervous. I ended up having a really good appointment with her. She introduced herself by her first name and immediately made me feel comfortable and on the same level as her. Once we finished talking for about two hours, she brought up the idea of medication. I started to get uncomfortable again because we had talked a lot about how my mental illnesses affect me.

The psychiatrist actually listened to my concerns. I talked about how I still want to feel things. I told her that I still want to have those typical good days and bad days outside of symptoms. I explained that I still want to be able to cry sometimes and get genuinely excited about things. She explained that her intention is to stop my mental illness from affecting my day to day life, not to stop me from feeling. To be honest, I had not even thought about how much it still affected me. I had become so busy that I stopped recognizing how much of a burden it is on me.

She also explained to me that for every episode I have, I further damage my brain which also makes me more susceptible for further episodes. We talked about starting at a very low dosage on a medication that is specifically designed for more of what I am looker for which is more manageable lows and highs that are capped so they do not become too dangerous or out of control.

Today I am going to get a prescription from my family doctor to finally start a psychiatric medication. I am still terrified of how it might affect me (thanks anxiety), but I am hopeful that it will make my life a little more manageable.

Photo by Jordan Snobelen

Photo by Jordan Snobelen