I will be sharing my insights into pharmacotherapy or more commonly referred to psychiatric medications based on my experience off course. Although my experiences with medications are my unique experiences, I believe anyone can learn from my experiences. You see I have experimented and experienced with many medications such as Abilify, Paxil, Zoloft, Lithium, Risperdal, Depakote, Effexor and Xanax for year and half in the periods of 1997-1998. I also took drugs for half a year in the period of 2004-2005. Please understand that it is your decision to take the route of drug therapy and what drug to take and what not to take with the help of your psychiatrist. I am only sharing the lessons I learnt in my healing journey so that you can avoid making the same mistakes I made.
Psychiatric medications have its place with regards to dealing with emotional and mental issues depending on individual’s circumstances. Several significant drugs were developed in mid-20th century. They are taken to exert an effect on the chemical make-up of brain and nervous systems. If you are going to take the route of taking drugs, here are my suggestions:
- Learn about the possible temporary as well as long-term side effects of the drugs you are taking. I didn’t suffer any long-term side effects at least not to my awareness. However, I experienced short-term side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, sleep trouble, dizziness and last but not least was constipation. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that I developed constipation for many months. I started taking FIBER (Psyllium husk) to deal with constipation eventually. I wish I knew earlier. I also informed my doctor about that too.
- Find out about possible withdrawal effects of the medication you are going to take since you can’t just stop taking any medication whenever you want to. You need to consult your doctor how to stop taking those medication slowly in an organized manner before you actually stop taking it. Furthermore, you will be prepared for the withdrawal effects.
- Get a notebook and start writing any possible changes and affects you notice in your behaviors and feelings for first 2-4 weeks anyway. For example, I was getting even angrier after taking certain medication and as soon as I noticed I discussed with my psychiatrist.
- You need to understand that most if not all medication helps you with your mental and emotional problem temporarily at least in my experience. Medication usually manages symptoms not really heal or cure the individual. Therefore, you need to start healthy and pleasurable activities such as walking, meditation, yoga, eating healthy diet, forest bathing etc. That way your body start making feel good chemical such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins and oxytocin organically and naturally.
- You need to be mindful of the time of year while you are taking medication. I felt much more drowsy, lazy and sleepy in the seasons of Winter and Summer because I was staying inside deprived of sunlight and fresh air. I flunked my winter semester in 1998 partly because I was drowsy and sleep being inside. I wasn’t able to focus and study. You can plan how to get more fresh air and sunlight in Winter and Summer if and when you aware.
Disclosure: However, this blog is for informational purposes only. You need to use your own discretion and get medical and psychological help if needed.