But, I feel better?

Sometimes I get the urge to stop taking my meds. It usually happens when I start to feel good, ya know? Like I’m normal. It took a long time for me to realize that they aren’t cures, they’re treatments. They help manage your symptoms, not get rid of them completely. Ongoing treatment is usually required to keep Mental Illness symptoms in check, so you can live a life you can enjoy. Thinking about being on the pills for my entire life makes me tired sometimes. So, what are we supposed to do when we start questioning our path to recovery? There are different ways to go about it, but you should always choose the safest way. If you are thinking of stopping or switching your path of treatment, make sure you speak with your doctor.

Stopping medication isn’t uncommon, but it usually isn’t approached as carefully as it should be. Get with your doctor guys. Quitting anything too quickly is risky. The longer you take something, the more your brain/body has adapted to it. Detoxing is what I found every time I searched this topic. Your body/brain should have time to readjust to how it was pre-medication. I found a few things that might help you decide if you are thinking of getting off your medication.

  1. ALWAYS refer to your Psychiatrist before doing anything.
  2. Stopping psychiatric medication can cause your symptoms to return, sometimes even worse. 
  3. Medications can take time…are you sure you gave them the time they needed? I went through a lot of different meds before getting to where I’m at now. And, I’m still adjusting them to this day. 
  4. Pros & cons. We love a good list. 
  5. Keep your regular appointments so that your progress can be monitored.

Psychiatric medications are not “cure-all” pills. There is a lot of emotional work that should be done alongside these medications. Opinions on this subject vary, and that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I read there are a few trends regarding people and psychiatric medications. Some consistently take them, some refuse, some go on/off of them, some suddenly stop, and others simply refuse. All medications have benefits, and all have risks. Stopping any medication too quickly can cause damage to your body. It should be done gradually over time so that your body can readjust. The slower you wean off your medications, the less likely your symptoms will return.

Risks of stopping your medication too fast:

  • Rapid return of symptoms
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Seizures
  • Withdrawal (yes, withdrawal). You can experience flu symptoms, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, irritability, and anxiety.
  • Risk of suicide grows higher.
  • Hospitilization
  • Episodes of violence

Tips for preparing to stop your medications:

  1. Be honest with your loved ones. Discuss with them your reasons for stopping, and what help you will need from them during the process.
  2. You can look into making an Advanced Directive. It’s essentially a layout of what you want your support system to do in the event that you cannot care for yourself.
  3. Identify your triggers. You can keep a journal to help you better spot the patterns. The more patterns you recognize, the more you can understand what is going on. Keep monitoring your moods, this can help you spot things you normally wouldn’t.

Nothing good has ever come from me deciding to stop my meds. I legit have a psychotic break EVERY SINGLE TIME. Lmfao. But, everyone is different. Medication is right for me, but it might not be the path for you. And, that’s okay. It took me a while to realize that mental health treatment is ongoing. There’s no cure. No magic pill that takes away all your pain. Kinda sucks, huh? Search for a good doctor, one that listens to your needs. It took a few tries before I found the right doctor for me.

I ended up starting Cerebral. It is a Mental Health app that came around during Quarantine, and it has helped me tremendously. She has helped me understand myself better and has made my road to recovery a lot less bumpy. I’ve grown up the past few years (LOL, I know what you’re thinking), and I know what’s right for me. I’m prepared to be on psychiatric medication for the rest of my life, and THAT IS OKAY. Anyone who tries to make you feel bad for that is wrong. No one has the right to judge you for choosing to do what is best for you. Maybe when I’m old and gray, I’ll stop them. It might be fun to go cuckoo for a little bit.

Any recovery takes time, but all recovery is worth it. It IS worth persisting. It takes work. You have to stay focused on the light on the other side of all the darkness. Stay on top of your appointments and actively share your thoughts/concerns. There are different reasons people don’t take medication for their Mental Health. Some fear side effects, don’t trust their doctors, or just cannot afford it. It’s amazing how expensive it is to stay healthy. Our healthcare system is a crock of shit and I’m not sorry if that pisses anyone off. Our country has to do better.

In the end, it is your own decision on what to do with your body. Do what is best for YOU. Don’t worry about what others will think. They aren’t the ones experiencing what is going on in your head. They aren’t the ones who matter on your road to recovery. YOU are the only person who matters.

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