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is medication worth it despite the side effects?


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context for this post is that i've struggled with depression for most of my life. i wasn't in a position to do anything about it before, up until very recently, because it was never just the only problems i had going on. there was always some other Serious Issue slammed into eight other things that i had to work my way around every day in order to actually function.

a lot has happened these past two years. i have stabler relationships, i have friends who i like (i just can't really talk to them about any of these issues because they've never experienced long lasting significant mental health issues and have personally told me that while they are here for me, they don't understand and have no frame of reference to understand what i'm going through).

most of the things that i've had to deal with these past six or seven years- extreme mood swings, crushing apathy towards anything, loss of interest in activities and eating etc. have mostly died down into what i would call normal levels that almost everyone experiences in their life. they're manageable i guess for lack of better words.

the only downside was that it meant that the week long (sometimes even months long) depressive episodes and sudden onsets of debilitating depression (its just depression in it's severe bland dictionary meaning. severe feelings of despondency and despair. i don't have any other way of explaining it) have gone from being pushed to the side lines in order to deal with other stuff, to front and centre of my life now.

i cry on the commute back and forth between my classes. two weeks ago the feelings of depression that i'd been crushing down all week suddenly peaked and i skipped my last two classes because i genuinely did not feel up to it mentally or able to concentrate or focus because of how bad i felt and how depressed i was.

i wish i was exaggerating in order to make a coherent and simple case of 'yeah here is proof that i have debilitation depression that affects my life 24/7' but i'm not, when i say that every day i have to fight down the majority of me that goes 'avoid your friends hide out in the bathrooms during intervals and breaks until you are normal and capable of human interaction again' even if i know in my head that being around my friends will make me feel better and that seeing them will remind me that no matter how stupid things are for me mentally right now that they're there. sometimes i win and sometimes i don't.

it feels like an uphill battle where none of the lessons i learn (being with friends is good. don't isolate yourself) get retained or remembered through idk brain muscle memory or anything. this is the best that i've been in years, if only because i've managed to keep it at a 'one step forward two steps back herculean effort to take another one step forward to balance things again' cycle.

but i know its only going to get harder and more intense for me at school next year because of the increase in workload and just the general insanity of stress and uni applications and important exams that determine your future and decisions that i'm making this year that are supposed to be plans for the next five years of my life.

right now feels like the only opportunity i'll have to take some kind of action (medication lmao) and get used to all the side effects, while the academic stakes are still relatively manageable even if it makes me cry sometimes. i guess for me it was always the money that made feel 😐 about getting diagnosed and the leftover remains of when i was more seriously mentally ill (being alive is a waste of money complex hahaha).

the counsellor i've been seeing for the past three or something years tried to broach the topic of possible diagnosis for depression just in my opinion it mgiht be wrong just let me say my opinion and you can disagree this is based off of what i know from seeing you semi regularly for these last few years two weeks ago (same day i missed those last two classes lmao) but i shot them down because there's really no pathway after getting diagnosed, at least not for me, that doesn't end in medication.

i've been friends with a few people who were diagnosed with major depressive disorder among other depression disorders, all of which took medication. we've fallen out of contact due to the past year of lockdown and pandemic etc but i still remember talking to them about the side effects of medication and whether it was really worth it because they were still in pain they were still struggling even on medication.

talking to them made me realize that they were right and that it could only get worse if treatment wasn't taken. some potentially severe side effects are worth not feeling like hell and being obstructed by your own mind every day of your life.

the only issue is my parents, who despite knowing almost zero if not absolutely nothing about depression and other mental health issues (genuine quote from one of them was 'i know nothing about this and i don't understand and i don't need you to explain it to me. medication has terrible side effects that will ruin your life) yet still manage to have hardline anti-medication, for lack of better words, views because of their percieved horrific life ruining side effects.

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I think life ruining side effects are rare, general side effects that are unpleasant and would make you want to stop do happen but you have to do what you have to do if you really want to feel normal, i say its worth it but i havnt experienced the gamet of them, only tiredness, apathy, alittle disassociation which is very not fun.

But the relief i have felt when they worked was incredible and im working through the system to try and figure out meds that work for me still.

 

I dont understand people who are anti medication, if you had a disease that can be treated with meds they would take it but if its a mental illness oh nope nope i dont understand. Nobody benefits from you being in pain.

Edited by isaac s
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I suppose the commercials are right if you really watch them.  The medication makes us better for the people around us.  It makes us easier to deal with.  That's it really.  Do they make me happy though?  Of course not.  They just make you numb at best.  Then after 20 years of dealing with that and dealing with people saying you're always the problem in a family where everyone is mentally ill you become very bitter like me.

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Just now, sober4life said:

The medication makes us better for the people around us. 

LOL, true enough, and it makes it better for the general public to know we're being treated, medicine is taking care of us.   And it's rarely one medicine; it will take a combination of RXs to get us right, and the only problem is to find the right combination, and dose.  I believe in medicine, Western medicine too.  But many depressives search--under Dr.'s direction--for the right combination like it was the holy grail, and the right chemical mix will lead to happiness. The docs will be glad to lead you on the quest.

Bulgakov

Edited by Bulgakov
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/23/2021 at 2:47 AM, isaac s said:

I think life ruining side effects are rare, general side effects that are unpleasant and would make you want to stop do happen but you have to do what you have to do if you really want to feel normal, i say its worth it but i havnt experienced the gamet of them, only tiredness, apathy, alittle disassociation which is very not fun.

But the relief i have felt when they worked was incredible and im working through the system to try and figure out meds that work for me still.

 

I dont understand people who are anti medication, if you had a disease that can be treated with meds they would take it but if its a mental illness oh nope nope i dont understand. Nobody benefits from you being in pain.

i agree, all medications have side effects, and this is a very serious illness. in the past i have taken some that worked and had very little side effects, but i would rather have the side effects than feel the way i feel now. now some people are anti-medication that's their own belief and opinion and i can respect that. personally, i wish something would work for me and i'd take the side effects that are manageable so i could live a better productive life than i am living right now.

for example, my friend is bipolar and the medications that work for her make her gain some weight and she would constantly stop it. ever since a few years ago i told her that i'd give anything to be a little overweight and have something work for me so i can live a productive life, go to work, go on vacations like you do i'd take it...so we both cried and she hugged me and said have hope something will work, but im still waiting. ever since that day she has not messed with her medications and is honest with her doctor . this illness is real, the struggle and pain are real, i'd give anything to find some relief, and im glad and happy that people are able to find some relief, even if it means that you have to put up with certain side effects, if you have a good doctor and work close with them perhaps you can adjust the dosage and work around side effects too. not all doctors are bad either. 

While I do respect the opinion of those who wish to not take medication, in my person experience throughout my lifetime the only time I felt relief and was able to live was when the medications worked. some categories of medications make you more numb than others, and it also depends on the individual as well and how they will respond..you need to work closely with your doctor and hope that the doctor is a good one , because like i said they aren't all good and caring and understanding..

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