The decision to try psychotropic medication for mental health symptoms can be a hard one. There are so many factors that come into play when we are deciding to try Western medicine including ethical dilemmas, side effect fears and emotions connecting with seeking medical help.
As a therapist and a person who has had my fair share of mental health struggles, I have seen first hand how challenges this decision can be.
I have seen clients who desperately need a solution for crippling depression, anxiety, trauma, who aren’t able to find enough relief with holistic and therapy measures alone. I have also seen folks who take medication and find the side effects are so severe that it has negative consequences past the time they stop the medication. Some people are able to fully heal from holistic measures and therapy alone.
Whether to try mental health medication to help cope with symptoms is completely a personal decision. I’d highly recommend listening to your doctor’s requests as well as your own intuition/research.
Here’s five questions to consider if you are wondering if mental health medication is for you or not…
1. Are you in therapy? Research proves that for the most effective results: people need therapy alongside mental health medication. Consider this in your decision and if you are not currently addressing symptoms with therapy, it is important to add that to your self-care routine in a way that feels manageable to you.
2. What messaging have you received on mental health medication? Your decision needs to be based on your own mind/body/spiritual needs and not the judgments or needs of others. There is a whole lot of unsolicited advice out there and when it comes to this important decision: leave the final call up to primarily you and then your doctor.
3. Do you have judgment against yourself for “needing” medication? This is a common belief I’ve heard from folks as a barrier for medication treatment. It is okay to ask for help, it is okay to take medication if you’re experiencing a chemical imbalance. It doesn’t mean that medication is the right decision for everyone, but we definitely shouldn’t let self-judgment be the barrier in our healing.
4. Am I basing my opinion off online reviews from others who have taken medication? This can be really tricky because the majority of people who leave reviews on online platforms such as Reddit have extreme experiences with medications. Most of the folks that go out of their way to post their medication experience unfortunately ends up being biased. I would base your opinion on medication based on your own experiences and doctor recommendations. Each medication will affect each person differently.
5. Am I ready to change? This can be really scary. We may fear that if we get better that we will lose parts of ourselves that we have grown to embrace or at least be comfortable with. Who would I be without my anxiety? Without my depression? Without my ADHD symptoms? It’s a good question to consider.
Each person has the right to make the decision for themselves if medication is right for them. There is a stigma in our society around mental health medication but it doesn’t have to affect our decision for ourselves. Some people choose to try therapy first. Some people decide to try holistic measures only. There is no right or wrong answer for most people. I’d ask yourself some questions and then trust yourself to know the right answer for you!
PS this isn’t medical advice and I’m not a medical doctor 🙂
If you have any more questions about your feelings about mental health medications please reach out via the Metta Holistic Therapy contact page or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much for reading until the end! You are worthy of wisdom, healing, and being LOVED.