All forms of science and medicine are evolving. This means staying one to new developments and concepts. Unfortunately, thanks to social media and social norms, we can get stuck in certain belief patterns. A clear example of this has to do with the many myths swirling around medication management for mental health. It’s an area overloaded with confusion and stigmas.
To follow, I’ll discuss and debunk some of the more common myths. But keep in mind, it’s always important to keep an open mind when it comes to medicine. Knowledge shifts and thus, so do recommendations. Stay updated and informed!
Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About Medication Management for Mental Health
1. The Stigma
If you have digestive issues, you’d probably feel okay with trying some kind of medication to ease the symptoms. With mental health, however, society has constructed many a stigma. Choosing medication for a mental health disorder, to some, is a sign of weakness. You can handle the “normal” stresses of life like other people. Wrong.
If your feet hurt when you walk, you’d say yes to using an insert in your shoes. Let’s take this in the direction of mental health. If your brain needs some help keeping the proper balance of hormones and chemicals to keep you healthy, why would it be weird to seek assistance?
2. Medications Are Magic
When managing your mental health, quite often the goal is to decrease the impact of symptoms. It’s not a magic pill. Medication will not work alone. You will need to make lifestyle changes. You will also need to work with a skilled therapist. Being prescribed a pill is not the end of your journey. More likely, it is the start. When entering into mental health medication management, stay focused on the long-term and the big picture. Medicine is just one part of the program.
3. The Side Effects Are Overwhelming
Any medication contains the risk of side effects. With mental health medications, this risk can be greater because it involves brain chemistry. So, for starters, let’s clarify: They will not change who you are. Of course, certain behaviors and thought patterns may shift over time. But that’s why you’re taking the pills in the first place. Your therapist can be an immense help in parsing out such side effects.
But remember, you are the captain of your ship. You decide which meds you try. You decide if the side effects are not an acceptable trade-off. To get back to the theme of this post, it helps to stay open to new ideas and input.
4. One Size Fits All
With both medication and therapy, treatment is a personalized process. Each of us has unique characteristics that can influence how a medication works for us. Keep in mind:
- There is little value in comparing your experience with a drug to anyone else’s experience
- It can take time to find the right medication, dosage, and balance
- Talk with your therapist about developing patience and flexibility with this process
5. It’s a Never-Ending Commitment
Far from it. Everyone’s path is different but mental health medication is not automatically ongoing. Plus, you are ultimately the arbiter of that decision. That said, never discontinue any medication without proper supervision. If you feel better, that’s wonderful. But you must still consult with your physician and therapist before making any change.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that you get all sides to every topic. An excellent starting point on this quest is to speak with a therapist. If any of the above resonated with you, read more about medication management, and let’s connect for a safe and confidential consultation soon.