10 things you need to know before taking medication for Mental Illness

There is a lot of debate over medication and mental health. As someone who takes medication, I wanted to put together 10 things I feel you should know before taking medication.

  1. It’s not an easy fix – These aren’t ‘happy pills’ as people like to joke. For me, taking medication was similar to a fog rising, it didn’t instantly make me happy but it gave me the strength to make changes and help myself.
  2. Medication isn’t for everyone – It works for some, but not for others
  3. Your body needs time to adjust– In my experience, and that of most people I’ve spoken to, the first few weeks on new medication can have negative side effects. I had a week of feeling really poorly BUT it was worth it. If you can, see if you can get through that period.
  4. If you don’t feel it’s right, go back to your doctor – That said, if you really are struggling and don’t feel you can carry on or after a while feel your medication isn’t working as it should, go speak to your GP. I had three adjustments in a year on the same medication.
  5. You’re not weaker or less of a person for taking medication– There is so much BS about there about not being your ‘real self’ while on medication. If ‘not being my real self’ includes feeling better, not feeling exhausted and unbearably unhappy, I’ll take that, thanks.
  6. There are so many different types! There are so many different types which are used for different symptoms and reasons.
  7. A lot of people are ill-informed, don’t let them scare you – I’ve found two types of people in this category. The first type, people who’ve had a bad experience on medication. I don’t think they mean any harm but no medication is the same for everyone, just because it didn’t work for them, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. The other type of people don’t know anything about medication and just have, in my personal opinion, uneducated. Do what’s right for you.
  8. You can still have children if you’re on medication – This was something I was really concerned about because there are quite a few side effects and as a woman you have to be extra careful if you want to have children. I have been reliably informed that medication can be managed and monitored, hooray!
  9. You might need to try different medications to find the right one – This happens with a lot of medication, it’s no different when it’s for your mental health. There are so many different types for different issues. Keep going until you find the right one.
  10.  You’re the only person who matters – Everyone has an opinion, but that doesn’t mean they control your life. If you find medication helps you get through the day then you do you, this is your body and your health, no one else’s.

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @chloemetzger

9 thoughts on “10 things you need to know before taking medication for Mental Illness

  1. maisieruss says:

    I would add that it’s not an awful thing to be on them for a longer period of time. When I first started taking medication, I was convinced I could come off them after six months and I’d be “cured.” Fast forward two and a half years later, and medication still helps me to function.

    Also- don’t EVER stop taking them. I’ve had a couple of instances where they pharmacy have messed up my prescription leaving me without medication for up to five days, and became very poorly indeed.

    Thanks for sharing this Chloe. So many misconceptions when just a case of awareness will help with the stigma towards taking medication. Depression and anxiety are ILLNESSES. People with diabetes or heart problems need to take medication, as do people with mental illnesses. No shame!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ashaketchum says:

    This is a good post and I agree with all the points. It’s important not to be scared or disheartened after hearing horror stories from other people. I have had some very bad experiences with medication in the past, but now I am on a combination that works well for me and have found that my mood and emotions are nice and balanced and I’m dealing with stress and anxiety a whole lot better that I have in years!

    You can also order your medication online and have it delivered! I found this helped with my anxiety and fear of being judged for my big bag of Meds every month!

    There are loads of different ways to manage loads of difficult situations for someone with anxiety and depression.

    Try them all, find you’re feet, and don’t be afraid to try again


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gemma says:

    A very good post Chloe. I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and still taking medication. I discussed this with my GP and midwife and it was agreed that it is perfectly safe x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gemmaneal83 says:

    I like this post. Medication can seem super scary.
    I think I’d add get informed. Like you say there are a plethora of medications available.
    I also think it’s really important to work with the professionals. We are the expert in what is going on for us the GP/Psychiatrist needs that knowledge to give us the options. If things change let them know. (I’ve learnt from bitter experience it’s best not to isolate myself/hide what is going on and going cold turkey is a bad idea!!)


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