Mental Health – Why I’m not on meds

Hello, my pretties! How are you all? Doing well, I hope! I’m doing well enough, and trying to get a little more active when it comes to posting on my blogs. We’ll see how long that will last.

Before I go any further, please be aware that this post is going to talk specifically about my mental health, and, as I type the posts when I publish, I can’t tell exactly which themes I will touch, but there may be some sensitive ones there. Reader discretion is advised.

With the warning out of the way, let us move on, shall we?

I can’t really look back and pinpoint when I started noticing my mental health wasn’t what it was supposed to be. Having been raised by a mother who could be described as neglectful at times and abusive at others, let’s say my normal was never… what is usually accepted as normal.

The earliest I can remember about my childhood not being normal is that around the age of six I was sure I was my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s. In my young mind, I believed that I was his love child with someone else and that’s why my mother didn’t like me. That’s something my mother finds very amusing, by the way, make of that what you will. It was also the age when I remember being treated differently from all of my grandmother’s other grandchildren, because she didn’t like my mother. So I basically didn’t have many people to turn to.

As years went by, I became more and more into myself. I spent a lot of time with a “friend” who was very overbearing, and who acted as though me having other friends was an act of betrayal. Add to that living in a household where my mother was a religious fanatic prone to raiding my bedroom for ‘satanic’ literature, and I felt more and more stifled.

At some point during high school, I started talking to myself – a lot. I was so stressed and isolated I felt like nobody but me would listen to me. My school counselor noticed it when she saw me walking home once and asked my mother to take me to therapy. She did, though it didn’t help that much. On one end, there was the therapy telling me I was perfectly normal and mentally healthy (really, lady?). And then when I came home from my sessions, my brother was there saying things like ‘look, the crazy girl is home’.

I was around 16 back then, and branching out into more friendships. I was still stressed and unsure of myself, though, as I wasn’t used to having friends. The ones I had were nice, but I had spent so many years isolated by a bad friend I didn’t really know what to do. This was the state of affairs for the rest of my school career, and it was when I started taking some pills in a clumsy attempt at ‘sleeping and not waking up’. It never worked, and if someone at home noticed, they didn’t say anything. Neither did I.

Fast forward to university – which I didn’t want to go to right away, but went to because my parents pushed for it – and things were getting worse. During exam weeks, I was literally not sleeping for full weeks straight. I’d pass out in exhaustion for a couple hours, then wake up and be unable to sleep at night. I was this close to breaking, and death was constantly in my mind. I just wanted the agony to stop.

After trying to bottle it up, I finally broke down and begged my mother for help. She mercifully listened and took me to a psychiatrist – even though she was mortified I needed one.

The psychiatrist talked to me (with my mother sitting right there) and decided my problem was anxiety and I needed medication for that. I was on board with it, of course, anything that could ease my agony would be welcome. So he prescribed the medication and I started taking it.

It. Was. Horrible. Whatever effect the medication was supposed to have, it backfired. I was exhausted and sleepy all day and still awake at night. I gave it time, maybe it needed more time for my body to get used to it. Nope, months in and I was still dying during the days, when I had to work, and stark awake at nights, when I could rest.

I asked the doctor to review my medication. He increased my dosage… during the day. I still tried again, maybe it would work? Nope, it didn’t. I was still a zombie all day and awake all night.

And this is when I decided to drop this doctor and the medication.

Do I advise anyone to do it? Nope.

Do I regret it? No, I don’t. It was the right decision for me at the time.

Well, I guess I’ve said enough already! If you have anything you want to share, the comments are open!

See you on the next post!

18 thoughts on “Mental Health – Why I’m not on meds”

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s good that you were willing to ask for help. Sometimes it takes a while for people to find the right doctor or therapy, whatever that is.
    I have no healthcare right now, so I turned to meditation to help with my anxiety. Mindfulness especially let me figure out what my triggers are. It keeps me in touch with what’s going on so I can care for myself when I’m struggling. Nothing is perfect for everyone but it works for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s always a pleasure! We need to get rid of the stigma of discussing mental health, and openness helps! It does take a while, and I wish I had gotten the chance to look further, but getting the help at all was harder than I could handle at the time.

      Meditation and mindfulness do seem to help a lot of people, and I’m so glad it’s working for you! Keep taking care of yourself, and I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed for your job search! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds to me like your biggest advantage in dealing with your problems is self-awareness. I would also offer that you might be less “unhealthy” than you think because you understand yourself well enough to know what you need – or not need – to keep it going. I know that my self-awareness has helped stave off many serious bouts of depression, and when I couldn’t fight it off (many years ago now), I knew that I had to ask for help.
    The stigma of “normality” is just that… stigma. I have to wonder about what is normal all the time. The question is how to feel about not being normal and then what needs to be done to get past feeling bad about it or not feel bad about it in the first place.
    I doubt my insight is all that great because I am fortunate enough to have learned what I need to not get depressed more often than not and know when I need help to get over something. But I see no shame in talking about stuff like this, especially if it helps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! I do my best to stay aware of how I act, my patterns, what triggers a bout of anxiety or depression, etc. I have been keeping alive for 37 years, so I think I may be doing something right… hopefully. And knowing that you need to ask for help is one of those very important, but not very easy things.

      I also agree, I don’t really know what is actually normal. I do a lot of mimicking behaviors that look like they fit into the norm and hope that’s enough. And your insight is always welcome! Writing about it sure helps me, and I hope it helps others be more open as well! Take care!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been through six different anti-depressants. Either they didn’t work or their side effects were too much. So, I live with it and work around it when necessary. What choice do I have?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oof, that sounds exhausting! I can relate, many friends had the same experience. It’s too bad that it seems to be more common than it should!

      Thank you for sharing your experience too and take care!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve had to adjust my medication up or down over the years, depending on my mood/events/coping abilities. It’s good that you know yourself enough to understand what is best. Finding the right doctor is so important (and not easy).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure is a permanent adjustment – sometimes dose, sometimes changing meds, and sometimes changing doctors. It truly is not easy, but it is important! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! <3

      Like

  5. It sounds like you’ve had some terrible and dismissive doctors. I’m really sorry they’ve made all this so much harder for you, and that you family situation was so toxic.

    I’ve tried several anti-depressants over the years, but I was lucky and mostly had really good doctors. Some of the my medications had side-effects and were overall not so great, but my doctor listened and helped me find one that worked really well for me. (And also made sure I got other support, such as a psychologist who I respected and felt I could trust).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mental health care here in Brazil is still very much behind where it should be. Doctors don’t give the attention it needs. Oddly enough, family medicine doctors have given my mental health more attention than doctors whose job is to take care of it.

      I’m so glad you found the right medication for you and supportive doctors! Stay safe and take good care of yourself! <3

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It is, it’s sad that mental health is not taken seriously here. It’s even worse for men, as there is still a very strong culture of machismo here and they get treated as weak people if they can’t just ‘suck it up’.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, wow. Thank you for sharing your story, Jay. I didn’t realise that it had gotten so bad to the point that you attempted suicide. What a horrible and terrifying thing to go through, especially so young.

    Oh, no. See, I wouldn’t have advised faking anxiety medication throughout the day because much of your experience is related to a lack of sleep (yes, due to anxiety). If it were just for the night, and the rest was CBT, that would have been far more effective. But I also hear that some people have experimented with anxiety meds until they found one that was right for them, but that’s not a route for everyone. Sometimes, for some people, it’s better through CBT to find out your triggers and how to effectively respond to them. How are you feeling now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for reading it, I’m sure it wasn’t an easy read! I read it over and it sounds so jumbled, like I was hopping from one idea to the next to the next! Yikes! It was pretty scary, but I’m glad I failed at my attempts. Life is good, even with the struggles it brings!

      And I agree, my issues happened at night, but the doctor didn’t really listen to me, and I still lived with my mother, who believed mental health issues meant you were not praying enough/didn’t have enough faith in God, what have you. I might look at something after things settle a little at work! I have been doing my best to sleep at night (ASMR actually helps me a lot) and doing what I can not to stress myself more than I must! Thank you so much for reading my jumbled mess!

      Like

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