Medication is not everything

Medication is not everything

I often use a forum on the http://www.patient.info site to seek help, learn about mental illness from the experiences of others and offer words of support when I can. I wrote the following in reply to someone who was struggling but was only relying on medication and I thought it might help others.
Anxiety and depression as you may know are all about mood and dealing with emotion, so while medication is great it is only a tool. What you have to do is help yourself. I like to describe mental illness as a journey, its long, hard and some days it rains, some days its sunny. when we stop on our journey and give in we sit in the rain or get burned by the sun, either way we are in pain as long as we sit. when we move it still rains and the sun still burns but drugs are like a unbrella that can reduce some of the discomfort.

So in this example the best thing you can do is reach your goal, and to do that you need to motivate yourself, the umbrella will only do so much for so long.

Self help comes in many forms but mostly it centers around learning to control your mind and emotions, mindfulness helps you stay present and grounded, meditation (my choice) helps you learn to clear your mind, CBT helps you in many ways but is goal orientated. Self hypnosis helps you change your thought habits, so there is so much more than medication. A bit of internet research and give each a try to see what fits you. what matters most is that you are using the strength within you to help yourself. We can give you support and encouragement, doctors can give you medication and counselling but at the end of the day, you have to use these tools for you.

David Leader

6 thoughts on “Medication is not everything

  1. 100% agree. Learning your triggers and how to reduce their effectiveness as triggers is nothing to do with medications. As a future Psychiatrist I hope to use medication as a last and a temporary approach. A stop gap so to speak until the patient can be taught coping mechanisms for their illness and triggers. It is a journey into self and of self improvement. There is much our own minds can do and medications should be used to create the safe environment needed to teach the patient how to make themselves a safe place mentally without the medication.

    Also there are so many medications out there today it’s extremely hard to keep up with each and it’s proper usage. Anyone who claims to know them all you should run from and quickly. Anyone who starts off with medication before having a full understanding of the patient you should run from. It’s a sad world today that wants to medicate and not solve the problems.

    ~Michelle

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    1. Michelle,

      The sad part here is that the NHS is so stretched it is easier for Doctors to prescribe cheap medication than it is for them to afford counsellors. Also the new wave of SSRI medications take several weeks to take full effect but the side effects are instant leaving many people who were already in a bad place feeling worse. They also start to distrust the medication.
      It is a massive step for people to admit they have a problem especially with the mental illness still as strong as ever but they get little to no information even when they do go and I’m not blaming GPs they are often sympathetic and understanding but just prescribe Sertraline, Paroxetine etc and if the patient is lucky they may get referred to a CPN.
      People need support, information and most of all belief in themselves.

      Thanks for the reply (sorry for the rant)

      David

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why I won’t be a general practitioner but instead an actual psychiatrist. My first duty is to the mental well being of my patients. Which means first speaking with in detail and understanding the trauma or illness. Then carefully balancing sound medical counseling with limited drugs to affect the best outcome. That balance takes time but leaves the patient with dignity that someone (me) is taking them seriously.

        It’s ashamed the system is about money now and not the patient. Honestly stripping and my IT career set me up. So for me it’s not about the money and that is why I will work directly in crisis centers, and women’s shelters. I won’t be rushed for anything and I may get paid less but in the end it isn’t about money, it’s about the patient.

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      2. It does not matter what we did to get here, what we do now is what counts. You Michelle are the kind of person the system needs. Sadly I am a bit old for a medical career (40) but I would love to be a hypnotherapist/ CBT, I think just by helping people see that just by changing certain thoughts they can improve their lives.

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