Why it is More Complicated than “Just Take Your Meds”

It is amazing how many people who have absolutely zero background in clinical psychology, psychotherapy or psychiatry feel like they are capable of providing the best mental health advice… like, “just take your pills” and you’ll instantly be fixed.

There are so many misconceptions. For one, those who have never dealt with mental health treatments/providers/diagnosis/hospitalizations/meds have this oversimplified concept of what mental healthcare is: going to a psychiatrist, instantly getting an accurate diagnosis on the first try, and getting pills that make you normal right away. NO.

 

It can take YEARS to get an accurate diagnosis.

It can take YEARS to find the right medication, dosage, and/or combination.

It can take YEARS to find a medication that itself doesn’t cause significant impairment or side effects, such as chronic fatigue, nausea, noticeable weight gain, organ damage, and “brain fog.”

It can take YEARS to find the right provider, whether it is a psychiatrist who listens to your concerns or a therapist who makes you feel heard.

It can take YEARS to find a balance, to find what lifestyle, therapy, and meds work best.

 

Even after all of that, going back to your “normal” is not guaranteed. This is a hard fact to accept. While some people do say that they function just as they had before their first episode, others continue to battle debilitating symptoms, even with access to quality providers.

Sometimes, a medication that was working perfectly fine stops being effective for that person. Stressors or scenarios such as childbirth could complicate treatment (i.e. cannot take some meds while pregnant or nursing but sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and stress could trigger episodes). Comorbidity, having more than one diagnosis at once, is far from rare in the mental health field… adding even MORE complications to treatment. This is far from comprehensive regarding all of the ways treatment is not simple, but this should give you some insight.

 

So, no, it is not as easy as “just take your meds.”

2 thoughts on “Why it is More Complicated than “Just Take Your Meds”

  1. You took the words right out of my mouth…after months of my boyfriend repeatedly asking me if I took my meds or accused me of not taking them every time I had something to say or did something he didnt like, I realized that he will never be able to see anything I do as credible. Explaining that not everything can be blamed on my bipolar disorder, that I am a human that has feelings and makes honest mistakes just like everyone else did absolutely nothing. When i started feeling ashamed of my BD I knew it was time to hit the road.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an incredibly difficult & frustrating scenario… I’m glad that you were able to see that his viewpoint was problematic. I think that type of invalidation can be toxic; people with BD shouldn’t be seen as an ILLNESS, but as a PERSON. Hope things are better now! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

      Like

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