How to Help Mental Illness Medications Work for You
For the past 10 years, mental illness medications have been an integral part of my recovery from schizoaffective disorder. Finding the right psychiatric medications and dosage was difficult at first. My medications now are very effective, but still occasionally need adjustment. I know the life I live now would never be possible without mental illness medications.
Benefits of Mental Illness Medications
When medication is able to lessen your symptoms, it’s easier to focus and work towards your goals. Before mental illness medications, my life felt out of control. There was so much I wanted to do but I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Now that my symptoms have been lessened, I’ve been able to hold down a full-time job, and I’m trying to be the best wife and mother I can be.
The first medication I was prescribed was a mood stabilizer that made me feel very foggy, but I tried another that proved to be more effective. Later, I was prescribed an antipsychotic that was great at lessening my psychotic symptoms but caused weight gain. Another medication worked better for me. Over the years, my medications have been adjusted and an antidepressant has been added. Mental illness medications have improved my functioning in every aspect of my life.
Tips on Taking Mental Illness Medications
Medications are important to many people recovering from mental illness; however, medications affect everyone differently. If you are prescribed medication for your mental illness, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Take your medications as directed. Often times people compare their experiences with medication and may make suggestions based on what has worked for them. Please remember, medications work differently for everyone; so, only let your psychiatrist or healthcare provider instruct you on how and when to take your medication.
- Remember mental illness medications work differently for everyone. If a friend or family member has done well on a certain medication, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Everyone’s body reacts differently to different medications.
- You may have to try several different medications before finding the right one. The first medication you try may not work for you and you might have to try others. Hang in there because there are many options.
- Your medication may take a little while to work. Some medications take a few weeks to feel the full effect. Other medications require the dosage to be increased slowly until the desired amount is reached. Be patient. It will get better.
- Be open and honest with your provider about your symptoms. For your doctor to give you the best care possible, you must be honest about all of your symptoms. You want to feel better, but your provider can’t treat what he doesn’t know about.
Mental illness medications have really given me a chance at life. Medication affects everyone differently and for many people, it is an important tool in recovery from mental illness. Be honest, be patient, and remember that there are many medication options available.
Rahm, M. (2017, November 15). How to Help Mental Illness Medications Work for You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2017/11/thoughts-to-keep-in-mind-about-medication-and-recovery-from-mental-illness
Author: Megan Rahm
Do not throw away the old list, you need to be able to track adjustments or changes to the medications. But the lists must be dated to avoid confusion.
Also, have an up to date copy readily available for first responders.
You can go to my website www.pillrite.com and create, print and maintain your own medication list.