Friday, 24 March 2017

Medication.

I want to talk about medication and mental health, it's playing on my mind a lot recently.
I want to start by saying there is nothing wrong with taking medication for your mental health problems or illnesses, there is also nothing wrong with choosing not to! Medication has played a huge part in my recovery thus far, and I'm not ashamed of that.
I think a lot of us realise that mental health conditions have a very physical element, brain chemicals are involved among a number of other factors, and medication can bring these levels back up or down or wherever it's most helpful that they are!
From my experience though, as a person with BPD (borderline personality disorder), there is something I do not understand. If you've ever seen a psychiatrist about BPD im sure you will have had a similar experience as the one I'm about to share. So you have BPD, your not managing as you are, so we start to talk about medication with my psychiatrist. This is when your told something along the lines of 'There is no medication that can cure BPD, we can only treat the symptoms, so im unsure if we should use medication', at first this may sound disappointing to some, but for me I already knew that BPD can't be fixed by medication, and that's ok with me, but it can help with the symptoms.
Now just stop and think for a minute about diabetes that requires insulin. Imagine you have diabetes and you go to your doctor and they say 'there is no medication that can cure diabetes, we can only treat the symptoms, so im unsure if we should use medication'. You'd want those symptoms treated right? It could threaten your life not to have those symptoms treated. It's not going to cure you, and that's ok but its not expected for you to just live with the symptoms and problems it causes.
So why do we expect people with mental health conditions to not use medication simply because it won't cure them? Why are we told that because they can only treat the symptoms and not cure it that they shouldn't bother?
For people with diabetes medication can be part of the wider picture of what treatment looks like for them, managing they're symptoms, and no body shames them for needing it. Yet when it comes to mental health conditions we are shamed if we want to try medication or if we take medication to help with our symptoms as part of a range of treatments.