The Trouble with Medication

I have been having a lot of trouble with medication, including both antidepressants and antipsychotics. This is my personal view, it in no way means that you will have the same experience or that you should cease to take your medication.

First of all, each time you take a new medication or switch medications, you’re left with the 6 – 8 weeks waiting period before they begin to take full effect. That typically means around 8 weeks of hell before you start to get better, and that’s if the medication you are taking is right for you. As a lot of the time, it’s merely a guessing game until your find the right medication or mix of medications that work for you. I am yet to find that medication. Dosage changes can also have a big impact on how the medication will effect a person; I know many people who were fine with a medication to have the dosage increased and then they are unable to continue to take it. The side effects of antidepressants and antipsychotics can be enough to make people not want to take them, although the side effects are different for everyone. Finally, the medication may work for a person for a certain length of time, then cease to work, making them change medications and once again participate in the guessing game of finding the correct one.

The first medication I had a bad experience with was Prozac which is an antidepressant. As I am prone to severe manic episodes which can be triggered by almost anything and everything, I should never have been placed on an antidepressant in the first place. I had at least 4 appointments with my psychiatrist cancelled consecutively, which left me on Prozac for 2 or 3 months; during which I lost almost all of my money, weight and pretty much anything good in my life at the time.

After that, I found myself threatened with hospitalization in order to ‘correct’ my medication. I refused, and was put on an antipsychotic called Seroquel. My experience with Seroquel hasn’t been all that great due to the fact that it has no effect and is useless to me. The longer I am on it the more my brain feels like it is ‘shutting down’. I personally feel that it is doing just as much if not more damage to my brain than the disorder itself. This is another issue that concerns me with antipsychotics, brain damage and brain shrinkage caused by the medicine which has been shown in multiple studies.

As I also suffer from extremely severe insomnia, I have been given a vast variety of sleeping tablets and benzodiazepines which also have taken no effect on myself.

All of the above is what is leading me to question the effectiveness of medication, although I could continue in the search for the right medication it does seem pointless so far. Which leaves me with the option of living through hell or being brain dead (due to years of medication). Stuck between a rock and hard place here.

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11 thoughts on “The Trouble with Medication

  1. Seroquel XR was one of my first prescriptions for my illness. It’s the one I’ve been on the longest now, I felt no difference whatsoever on seroquel alone. I had to add a couple of antipsychotics to feel anything close to “normal.” I hope to keep improving as well. Risperdal has helped me the most. Taking everything at night has improved my sleep so much.
    But as you said, everyone’s different. I hope you find some relief.

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  2. I relate to this post so much. Similar response to Prozac -brought me out of depression no doubt, but then I actually believed that ‘God’ was inside me and started preaching to the unsuspecting public (I am not even remotely religious.)

    And I agree with the Seroquel. 5 or 6 days out of the week I walk around with my brain feeling like it’s being pickled in the empty jar that is my head.

    As for the insomnia, it comes part partial to this illness. Over the counter Promethazine tablets have helped me feel drowzy enough to switch off in the past and get my sleeping pattern closer to normal (if you ever take them dont take too much as to drag yourself in to a depression!) and for the past four years I have used youtube hypnosis every night to help divert my conciousness in to dreamland. Night time is usually the worst for having a “chatty mind for me”, and the hypnosis has been somewhat a saviour, you should see if it helps!!

    Take care ❤

    M x

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  3. Meds can be ridiculous. Like you said, it can be quite a process finding what works for your body chemistry. I have come to the conclusion minimal medication is better than none. It’s hard though because I was heavily over-medicated for about a year and it took a long time to strip back to the bare minimum. It’s kind of hard to decide how much of a burden you’re willing to bear (whether it be no meds and psychosis or meds and side effects).

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  4. Sorry to hear your not sorted. They tried few meds with me eventually ended up on risperdal but still have symptoms. I find it helps to police my thought and not follow crazy ones down the road as I know where these go. Best of luck hope you get sorted

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  5. Pingback: Managing Mental Illness without Medication | A Schizoaffective Story

  6. That has been a constant dilemma for me, suffering the symptoms of the disease or the side effects of the medication. I had a great experience with Seroquel for about 2.5 years but it seemed to stop working so had to switch. Started on Clozapine last year which just made me a zombie and gained a lot of weight! After that experience I went off meds for 5 months but I was in a bad place so this year I am back on antipsychotics this time I am on Amisulpride which seems to be working wonders.
    You’re right that everyone’s experience with medication is different…hope you’re at a good place now!

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