Mental health medications seem like the answer to all our anxieties, depression and other various disorders, but what are doctors leaving out?
From the beginning, I have struggled with mental health issues, and I have also struggled with regulating medications.
I’m not here to wage war against the medications, neither am I here to advocate their usage either. I am here to tell you what the doctors won’t tell you. I think you should always be aware of the truth about mental health medications.
Why do we need these mental health medications?
I guess the answer is obvious, we need to control the conditions that we haven’t been able to cure. Mental health issues get in the way of living a quality life that you deserve. We’ve done the therapy, even the group therapy and we have practiced every tip, trick, and program in existence, at least I have.
Medication is formulated to take the edge off mental health symptoms, basically, and possibly heal some parts of the brain. I’m not a doctor, but I can tell you that some medications actually work by reconnecting broken regions of the brain which enable sound logical thought processes. This I have learned by simply reading. But there’s more to it than that.
Why have our medications failed us, and is there a better way?
Mental health medications have failed us. I am sorry to say this. After decades of developing solutions to mental health issues, medications have fallen drastically short. Here are a few things that doctors aren’t telling us about our mental health medications.
Let’s take a look at side effects
My personal experience with having bipolar disorder has educated me on the various side-effects of medications. As I have talked about before, my medications include Welbutrin, Risperdol and Lamectal. This is the routine cocktail for many bipolar patients. Welbutrin combats depression, Risperdol is for psychosis and Lamectal is for mania. These medications work together to pull all three extremes into alignment.
As far as side effects go, I experienced horrible pain in my side, down my leg and throughout my abdomen while taking Risperdol. With the Lamectal, I live subdued and lacking in emotion. I would say Welbutrin is the best choice medication for depression, as it seems to have few notable side effects.
Mental health medication side effects differ from person to person. Some experience weight gain while others, weight loss. Some suffer memory loss as well, which is the case with those who use medications such as Norpramin, Tofranil, Anafranil, and Sinequan.
While this topic is more the responsibility of the patient, doctors still hesitate to alert you of the dangers of medication withdrawals. There are special circumstances where medications must be halted, and what happens directly afterwards can be a living hell.
If you choose to stop taking medications, or cannot afford them, you must be prepared to ride out the withdrawal symptoms. Both depression and anxiety symptoms are twice as bad when medications have left the system. Normal physical reactions are heightened as well as risks of suicide.
When changing medications, halting medications, or simply adjusting dosages, make sure to talk with your doctor about the withdrawal symptoms. Most of the time, they won’t fill you in on the whole picture beforehand. Maybe they will share a few words of encouragement, but there’s much that will be held back.
Anti-depressants are designed backwards.
Older studies have shown that antidepressants are designed to increase low levels of serotonin. With new information, however, scientists have discovered that depression produces higher than normal levels of serotonin. This means that anti-depressants are being designed to bring opposite results than intended, actually creating more depressing moods instead of lightening them.
There will always be an adjustment period.
When I first started my dosage of Lamectal, back in 2012, I realized it took a few days to go into effect. Lamectal is time released and takes a while to get into the system. All the irritability and mania was still strong until, at least, a week later after taking my first pill. My doctors did warn me about this, but what they didn’t warn me about was the fact that my dosage wasn’t going to be effective.
I know that doctors aren’t perfect, but the truth is, they won’t tell you how long it could really take to get medications regulated. In fact, sometimes, you have to become a temporary inpatient to adjust to medications.The reason why some patients have to be institutionalized is because adjusting medication can be dangerous.
Too much medication can cause accidents, drastic unregulated chemicals in the body and even loss of sleep, appetite, and memory. Not enough medication can leave you experiencing mental health disorder symptoms. Hospitalization allows doctors to monitor your progress during medication adjustment, and this can take some time.
Anti-depressants do not work on everyone.
Despite what your doctor or therapist tells you, anti-depressants don’t work for all people. As we are individuals with unique brains, so we also have unique mental illnesses. Each case must be approached in a different manner. For some, medication works nicely, but for others, the only way to heal is through counseling and natural remedies. When seeking mental help, most doctors won’t tell you this either.
Medications work better paired with natural substances.
As for me, my regimen consists of three doctor prescribed medications along with Vitamin D, Omega-3, and Magnesium. Without the vitamins, my medications aren’t as effective. With them, I can see a major lift in my mood and relations with others. My doctors didn’t tell me to do this, to use this mixture, I discovered the solution working with a nurse instead, just a family practitioner who dealt in colds and infections.
For some people, using vitamins and natural remedies in conjunction with prescription medications works much better than mental health medications alone. The vitamins seem to amplify the effects of the medications and regulate the mood much quicker than working alone.
Let’s not discredit our doctors just yet.
While some doctors refuse to inform us of all the things that can and will go wrong with our medications, not all of them are bad. Some doctors take the time to fill us in on these things. I have found, by personal experience, that hometown doctors, practitioners, and nurses are more prone to share details about mental health medications.
I’m not sure why this is true, but one thing is for certain, I will do my research from now on. If you are taking prescription medication for mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, please be sure to research this product and learn all you can about what you are putting into your body. It’s up to you to keep moving ahead.
Also, take the time to learn about natural remedies. In many cases, these choices have produced even more results than doctor prescribed medications. Plus, you don’t have to worry about what you ingest because you will be using only natural ingredients.
Remember, Healing requires education, so let’s learn all we can!
By Sherrie S.