Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anti-Medication or Pro-Medication?

A number of years ago, I went to a mental illness support group meeting.  I enjoyed the meeting.  However, a group of people there were passionately anti-medication.  At the time, I was taking Seroquel and it was helping me immensely.  That was a strange situation to be in.

The impression I got from most of the anti-medication people is that they were against medication because of their personal negative experience with it. The reasons and experiences varied from forced medication to negative side effects.  Actually, forced medication during hospital stays is what I remember being discussed the most.

It's not that I think all medications are great.  They can be dangerous.  I've had some negative experiences.  Topamax triggered a small seizure in me.  Geodon made me feel physically ill.  Celexa made my moods worse.  That last one isn't a surprise, because an antidepressant alone can be really de-stabalizing for someone with bipolar disorder.  That's more the fault of my really stupid psychiatrist than the medication.

Seroquel may have caused some lasting problems with me.  I have hypoglycemia.  I may have had it before the Seroquel.  It may have made it worse, or perhaps that's just something that would have happened anyway. Who knows.

The difference, I think, between me and those who are anti-medication, is that I found a medication that helps, and every day I decide that I want to take it. I don't have to take it, but if I do, my life is better.  (Currently, that medication is lithium orotate.)

I don't think there should be two groups of people, those who are pro-med and those who are anti-med. It's just not black and white.  What's good for me probably isn't good for you, although it might be.


  1. I agree. I'm not sure why some people are often all or nothing. What works for one may not work for others. That is true of everything in life. Or, what works at one point in one' life may not be needed at other times in one's life. Life is rarely black or white.

  2. Some of the "anti-med" camp I've encountered have had a problem with the stigma of having to take a med for mental illness. They rationalize that if they don't take the med, they won't be labeled mentally ill. In truth, the opposite is actually true because if they're properly medicated nobody will (likely) know they have a mental illness.