How To Make Sure Mental Health Medication Doesn’t Destroy Your Life
The biggest way to make sure mental health medication doesn’t destroy your life is to make sure you actually need it before taking it.
When we walk into an office for a mental health issue often times knowing something is wrong, but not know what. Getting through the examination with its many questions, some of which are super personal is difficult. Then when they tell us we need a prescription, there are a couple of thoughts. Either “my life is over” or ” hopefully this helps”.
We know that we are putting a drug in our body. Rarely do we know it may or may not help. When we start this, most of us don’t know it will probably get worse before it gets better.
If we seek out our personal physician first, then some of this will be taken care of. If we are honest with them about everything. For example, if we tell them we hate water and don’t drink it, they should be telling us we need it. Our bodies are 75% water. That water needs to be replenished.
Our Bodies Need Water
If we are eating too much sugar it will cause problems. Sugar and other chemicals are bad for us. Just do an online search for sugar and all its fake counterparts. Our personal physician should be able to tell us what is wrong before recommending we go see a different doctor like a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Again. They can only do what they know. The issues I mentioned above show up as a mental issue like depression, anxiety, and bi-polar if untreated.
It’s not the doctor’s fault. Most doctors and psychologists will tell you that taking care of health such as eating and exercising will help. Now, they will send you to a nutritionist if you don’t know how. Unfortunately, it costs too much money so many people these days skip this step and assume they have an emotional or mental condition when they really have a something else going on. If your in the no-money boat, a great place to learn about healthy eating habits is at sparkpeople.com.
I could be wrong about all of this, But I have the personal experience that drives this opinion that we should be taking care of our bodies. That we should not be seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist until we have seen an actual physician first to rule out metabolic issues, like thyroid issues which will also show up as a mental illness.
Metabolic Issues Show Up As Mental Health Issues
But if we don’t know, we can’t do anything about it. These days everyone is trying to get us in to see a doctor but not always the right one.
One thing is for sure. As we begin our journey with medication we see weight gain or weight loss depending on our circumstances. We also see many types and many different medications. Often times the first one isn’t the right one. During the process of trial and error, our loved ones are dealing with us as we go through the up and downs that medication causes. The weight gain/loss causes, even more, depression. Even when we are done with the medication the weight is still there, causing even more depression. The biggest problem of all is sometimes we really do need the medication.
What do we do?
If we have already ruled out some other illness like thyroid problems then we begin our journey with medication. We need to make sure the Psychiatrist has a lot of experience and practice. That way if they spot something that might be another issue they can tell us.
My Experience With Medication
I first started my medications journey at around 8 years old. I don’t remember it but my mom said it didn’t help and that I said it stopped me from feeling anything at all. Mom recently told me all of this. However, my real start happened when I was getting clean and sober the first time. I had checked myself and my 1-year-old into a 6-month facility. Within 2 months they said I needed medication for depression, and sent me to a psychiatrist. They, of course, came to the same conclusion and put me on my first medication.
That medication stopped me from wanting to be intimate and started putting on weight. While the psychiatrist kept insisting that the weight would come off over time, I just kept gaining more and more. What they fail (or at least the ones that were dealing with me) to understand is that someone who is coming off drugs or alcohol is going to have ups-and-downs in their moods and certain cravings, like sugar.
I went from one medication to another and 125 pounds to 238. I am currently 228 and I still have the cravings for sugar. You see I didn’t learn how to eat during all that time and now I struggle with it. I have gone from diet to diet and have finally given up on diets and decided that the only way it will come off is with hard work. It didn’t get there overnight and is not going to come off overnight.
For Me, The Nightmare Had To Stop
I went through my mental health medication nightmare from 2001-2007. In 2007 I began learning how to eat and learning how to deal with my moods without medication. During this time I had a complete mental breakdown and also went through a horrible divorce.
It has been and sometimes still is a struggle. Somedays I remember to eat right and not have a bunch of sweets and others I do not.
I did recently start recording my food again. Recording our food intake helps us to be more accountable for what we are putting in our bodies. Telling someone else or having a buddy is even more helpful. I have also been seeking a female accountability/exercise partner.
Some Things I Have Done To Deal With My Emotional State Are:
- Try To Drink More Water
Water really is essential to our health. When we don’t have enough it affects everything from concentration to our moods elevations. Our mood ups and downs are a huge part of our mental health. The way react to something makes it worse or better depending on our reaction. If we always react badly it could be a sign of mental health. Many times it is a simple deficiency like water and dehydration.
- Use A Mood Lamp
I have also been using a mood lamp lately. It helps to stimulate our brains as if we are getting extra D from sunlight. Winter time affects a lot of people and even causes some of it. (makes it worse for others) Mood lamps are sold in many places. I got mine from a friend who got it in Costco but your local Walmart probably has one too. Amazon also carries them.
- Maca Powder
For myself where I know I have some hormonal issues (after lots of ups and downs after having another baby), I started taking maca powder which helps me stay level for the most part. Maca powder comes from maca root which is grown up in the mountains of Peru. It has helped a lot. Known for helping with hormonal issues, it is popular in helping with issues like menopause. I take it every day!
- Eating Healthy
Eating a bunch of sugar is not eating healthy. Lately, the struggle is real for me in this area. One of the biggest problems with losing weight come from our sugar intake. It is in everything. The more we have the more we want. One of the new drugs of this day and age. I am learning how to cut it from my diet and let me say, It Is Not Easy!
If you do end up needing medication for mental health issues, It is helpful and works better if you take it at the same time every day and if you take it exactly as it is prescribed.
This is some of what I have found. There is so much more. A whole world of information and much of it is contradictory. But with time, study and practice, we can overcome this. It’s up to you what you do with your body.