The joys of psychiatric medication

One of the main problems that people with mental illness face is taking medication.

I am taking 2 medications which means that I have to not only remember to take them twice a day, but also have to deal with the side effects.

The side effect that causes me the most stress and worry is weight gain.  I put on a lot of weight when I first started taking my medication and then again every time the dose has been increased (which has been quite a few times).

I feel quite embarrassed when I go to see the GP and they say I need to loose weight.  It’s funny, when I tell them what medication I’m on they tend to say “OK that explains it” and stop pushing the issue.  This doesn’t actually help much as no matter how hard I try it is difficult to loose the weight.

I feel so self-conscious about my weight now and wish there was a away around it.  This can lead to me really not wanting to take my medication any more, even though I know I need it to maintain my mental health.

The other side effect of medication that really bothers me is sedation.  It makes me get tired really easily and my boyfriend can sometimes call me a zombie.

Before I started taking medication, I used to have so much energy, which I really miss. I used to be able to work full time and then do extra hours on my day off.  Now I can’t do that and it makes me sad.  Sometimes, its all I can do to go into university and I find it hard to do much else.

People just don’t understand what its like to feel like a zombie and think that I am being lazy or pathetic. They just don’t understand what its like to feel so tired that the whole world is spinning and you just can’t keep your eyes open.

Having said that, I try to remember how important it is for me to take my medication; without it I don’t even want to think about what my mental health would be like.  When I feel bad all I have to do is think back to when I have had a breakdown and ended up in hospital. I know I never want to be like that again.