Some of my beloved humans on Facebook are starting on a medication journey to help them with different mental health issues. The following series is dedicated to them.

  • The Analogy: Mental Illness has stigma written all over it. Let’s work on changing that.
  • Medications Bazaar: An overview of how medications for psychological issues are prescribed and how they work.
  • Medications Bazaar II: What to expect when you’re first on psych meds, and how to tell if they’re working. This post ties into medication types and why they’re prescribed.
  • Med Check, Please! This blog post will overview when it’s time to check in with your doctor/prescriber for an adjustment or a new medication altogether.
  • Keep on Keepin’ On: How to stay on your medications and hang in there.

My experience as a former supervised therapist brought me to working in a mental health hospital where patient education kept them from coming back (among other things).

There are some people who will tell you that you don’t need medication and that you should “just try” other methods. These will range from the practical, such as Cognitive Behavioral  Therapy (CBT) to the bizarre—lemon juice will cure your Major Depressive Disorder (no it will not). Or worse, you should “just live with it.”

These are people you should ignore for the rest of your life.

You need to do what is best for you, and others around you, as well-meaning as they may be, have their own ideas about mental illness. Some are informed and biased. Some are uniformed and malicious out of ignorance.

Some people can manage their illness without medication by using talk therapies and the like. That doesn’t make them better or stronger or smarter. It makes them different. Some people need medication and don’t need any kind of therapy outside of medicine. That doesn’t make them better or stronger or smarter. It makes them different. Some people need a combination of medicine and therapy to manage their illness. You guessed it: That doesn’t make them better or stronger or smarter. It makes them different.

Every single person on this planet with an illness of any kind will find there are some medications that will work, some won’t, and some won’t be necessary. The most important thing to take away from this?

YOU NEED TO FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, AND YOU NEED TO FIND IT FAST.

That means when you’re diagnosed with a mental illness (and yes, I use illness not as a judgment term, no more than having a broken arm is a judgment), you need relief as quickly as it can come. Why torture yourself? Pick a medication with your prescriber and get on it. Go to your therapist and work on a solution.

You don’t have to suffer. There are so many treatment modalities available in mental health that one of them is bound to suit your needs. It may not feel that way, especially if you’ve tried several methods, but there are so many of them out there that you may never even have heard of that there’s always hope.

So don’t give up. Just fail quickly so you can find the one that works as fast as you can.

This post is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This post is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.