The topic of mental illness and medications has always been a hushed topic in the society that I grew up in. Maybe because the category of "mental illnesses" is a very big category and also because people with mental illnesses are typically pushed into a circle labeled crazy or unstable, and nobody wants to be labeled either of those things. It wasn't until I got into high school did I truly realize the extent of mental illnesses in my community and how many people had been shamed into thinking they were unfit to be included in the typical activities and groups. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with several disorders did I begin to see that people with these disorders are just like everyone else. Something I've learned is that everyone has that little bit of ADHD or anger disorder or depression and anxiety, just we all handle them differently. Some of us handle them with pills, different levels of therapy, or just trying to keep themselves under control the best they can without any other help.
One thing I've noticed that people do, is they blame their mental disorder on the way they treat people or how they act. Often times you hear "Sorry I haven't taken my medication yet" or "My medication doesn't work for me and I still feel angry/depressed/anxious and I can't control myself". Being someone who was once on medication and used to use these excuses, I understand. At the same time though, I know that whatever medication you are on, whether that's Adderall, Zoloft, Xanax or anything else, that you have to work with the medication to get it to help you. The thing that many people believe is that just because they are on a certain medication that is supposed to help their disorders that their disorders are just going to immediately go away. This is not true. The medication only does about 40% of the work. The other 60% is you having to keep a positive mindset and learn how to control yourself because you're not going to be on those medications for forever.
Some psychiatrists very strongly push the medications but you always have a right to say no, that you do not want that certain kind or you do not want any at all. The right is so often over looked by patients because they believe that the doctors are only giving them the medication to make them better. Recently, I've been reading on how there is much belief that some psychiatrists only keep on prescribing you the medications because as long as you are on medication, then you have to keep going back to them to get the prescription renewed and they get money from your constant doctor appointments. Now, whether or not this is true, it does lay out a whole different perspective on how things work. I still remember the day I asked my doctors to take me off my medication. It wasn't that the medication wasn't working or making me feel weird, it's just i had realized that I was suddenly feeling numb to almost everything that I used to have feelings about. It scared me because I had this thought in the back of my head that said "If you keep on taking this then you will never learn how to control your thoughts and emotions and it'll only get you into more trouble than you were before".
It was a scary and surreal idea because I know myself well enough to know that I needed to learn how to control my anxiety and depression. So, I asked the psychiatrist to take me off of my medication only six months in. He did not believe that I was ready to be taken off of it. He believed that if I was taken off it then my depression and anxiety would come back and eat me alive, even more than it did before. The thought was scary and I almost gave in to what he told me, but I stood my ground and told him that I was completely confident that I could handle whatever came my way. Needless to say, I could tell he was rather upset and disappointed but he canceled my prescriptions. There have been a few times since that day that I have almost caved and asked to be put back on the medication, but then I remember how it feels to be able to feel love, pain, anger, happiness, all without being controlled by a little pill.
I no longer go to the doctor for my illnesses but I do talk to a therapist about my accomplishments and failures and how to handle certain situations differently. In my opinion, that is the better option because a therapist can be someone you talk to about all the little and big things in your life, no matter how important and unimportant the topics are. So, when you're having an anger outburst or feeling down about something and are about to blame the medication, think about what you can to help yourself and make your self feel better. I promise you, it'll make your life easier in the long run.