I have had so many happy days recently. And thoughtful days. And busy days. And a few anxious moments. A few moments of disappointment. Joy. Disgust. Frustration. Calm. Peace. Satisfaction.
When you talk about psychiatric medications with a group of people, you’ll get a lot of different opinions. Some based on personal experience. Some based on theory. Some based on bullshit.
Today, I’m only interested in discussing the ones based on personal experience. And there are many reasons that folks have had less than stellar experiences. However, many people have good experiences. I’m one of them.
Two tiny doses per day of Abilify, along with my tiny daily dose of nortriptyline and my also small dose of Vyvanse, and I’m experiencing this radical state called normal. I have a full range of “normal” emotions, which is pretty darn wide, considering what qualifies as normal in the human animal. But I’m not stuck in a pit of despair, terror, and self-loathing. I’ve felt this way before…but it’s a been a long time, and rarely for a long period of time has the “normal” lingered.
I respect the experiences of those whose experiences have not been good ones. There are so many ways that a psych meds experience can go wrong. Some individual meds and individual people just don’t get along. Many prescribers, because they follow the parameters set by the FDA, start people at doses that are too high, which causes a variety of problems. Some prescribers are just bad at what they do. Some patients lack self-advocacy skills.
There are so many issues that need to be addressed in that paragraph above – but the only point of my post today is to beg you to consider that if you have had a bad experience, that doesn’t mean that your experience applies to everyone else. Nor does my good experience.
When I read blog posts or articles that damn psych meds across the board, I cannot help but take this personally. Essentially, when I read it, I feel that I am being told that I should be denied this opportunity to feel this good. That my experience is not real or relevant. I’m not high, I’m not addicted to anything, I’m not experiencing any irreparable harm. I simply have the opportunity to live and to live more fully and happily. Isn’t that what we all want? Why should I not be able to have that experience, because of someone else’s injury, anger, or denial?
Black and white thinking isn’t helpful here. I’m an informed consumer. I can make my own decision.
And I deserve to be able to feel normal. Not perfect, not happy all the time…just normal. A range of emotions that allows me to live my daily life with some amount of hope.
I don’t think mental health is too much for any of us to ask for.