Medication for DID: From Stigma to Appreciation
I’ll never forget the first time I was prescribed medication for my mental health. At this point in my life, I was undiagnosed and had suffered a panic attack. At a loss, I met with my primary care physician for help. After a brief consultation, she sent me home with a prescription for a common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). I did not know that this would be the first of many medications I would take on my healing journey.
Over time, I became tolerant to the original SSRI I was prescribed, and it ultimately stopped working for me. Luckily at this point, I had a psychiatrist who could talk me through other options with me, but I was still years away from being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID).
Fighting the DID Medication Stigma
It wasn’t until I met with a therapist who specialized in DID that I was able to fully understand the state of my mental health. The fact of the matter was that I had a serious mental illness, and there was no cure. The same can still be said today, but we are lucky enough to live in an era when there are several treatment options for the symptoms of DID, such as anxiety and depression.
Since I began medication all those years ago, I’ve been on more than a handful of different prescribed drugs on my healing journey, all with different purposes. Some are aimed at tackling my trauma nightmares, while others are meant to combat my panic attacks. While one might be grateful for all of the medications that exist for the mentally ill today, I’ve had an adverse attitude toward the whole thing.
Why me? Why do I have to have DID? Why do I need medication to live a normal life? These were all questions I asked myself as soon as I could grasp the situation.
Developing a Healthy Relationship with Medication
The stigma surrounding medication, specifically for mental illness, is very real. I know many people who won’t take prescribed drugs for their mental health, primarily because of the stigma.
Over the years, I’ve had a rocky relationship with medication. I’ve been known to get fed up and stop taking my prescribed drugs on a whim, only to find myself extremely ill from the withdrawal symptoms. I’ve also had to go through years of trial and error to find medications that work for my specific DID symptoms.
At this point, I am grateful for medication for saving my life. Without it, I know I wouldn’t be here, nor would my symptoms be tolerable on any level. I credit my psychiatrist for working with me through the ups and downs over the years, and my therapist for reminding me that I’m better than what any stigma may represent.
Whether you are weighing the option to take medication for your mental health or you’ve already started taking it, it’s important to remember that the ultimate goal is to establish stability. There is no “normal,” there is just you. A mental health professional can help you identify your symptoms and find what medication works best for you and your lifestyle.
How do you feel about taking medication for DID? Have your feelings changed over time? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Vermes, K. (2020, June 16). Medication for DID: From Stigma to Appreciation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2020/6/medication-for-did-from-stigma-to-appreciation