Thursday, 10 July 2014

#5 BP Series: Pros and Cons

[Note: Please do not use this post to make a decision on whether to take meds etc. This is purely my evaluation of these things from my personal experience; it is not a generalization and should not be used to go against professional advice.]
 
Mental Health Medication
Pros
  1. Improvement in your symptoms
  2. Feeling like you have a safety net if things get really bad
  3. Feeling validated as professionals acknowledge things are so bad that you need medication
  4. Feeling more hopeful as things improve
  5. Improved safety/risk to self

Cons
  1. Side effects
  2. Worrying that you're only 'well' because of the meds
  3. The stigma of mental health medication e.g. if you're in a medical hospital and they ask what medication you take
  4. Having the opportunity to overdose on them
  5. The affects of side effects e.g. weight gain side effects might affect your confidence
  6. The uncertainty of when is the right time to begin reducing them or coming off them altogether
  7. Inconvenience with having to take them at times when you might be out or busy
  8. (as with most anti-depressants) being unable to drink alcohol
 
 
A Mental Health Diagnosis
 Pros
  1. Knowing there are others; you're not alone
  2. Gaining a better understanding of your symptoms
  3. Meeting alike people who understand
  4. Professionals have a better idea of how to help you as they know what's worked in the past for others with this diagnosis
  5. Feeling more hopeful to hear that people have recovered

Cons
  1. Being viewed as your disorder and not as a person
  2. Stigmas attached to your diagnosis; even within mental health, some professionals refuse to work with people with a certain diagnosis
  3. Worrying as you hear of people taking years to recover
  4. Feeling it's all hopeless if usual methods don't work in aiding your recovery

My point is, some usual methods don't work for everything they're meant to. Making a list of pros and cons doesn't help you make a decision based on which has the most points. It's the importance of each point and the significance it has to you. Some might say that silencing their hallucinations with an anti-psychotic (as I do) is worth the weight gain side effects, others might say they'd rather listen to some voices than lose control of their appearance. It's so important to tailor methods to yourself. Don't accept the status quo. Don't think that because the usual method doesn't work for you then it's hopeless. Modify it to make it work for you. We aren't all robots; we weren't built the same. What works for one may not work for another but you don't give up; you keep going and you keep trying until something does work. Because it will. Eventually, it will.