Do I Need Medication?
A lot of people have very mixed feelings about the use of medication to treat mental health issues, and some people have very strong beliefs for and against it. Here’s my take on it from my experience.
I want to start out by saying I whole-heartedly respect everyone’s beliefs and values when it comes to medication. I am not one to push my clients to seek a Psychiatrist and get medication unless I truly feel it is necessary. I do believe that we have a culture that over-prescribes medication, a pill for every ill. I don’t think it is right for everyone or for every situation, but I strongly believe that there are some situations where medication is necessary.
There are some situations that talk therapy is not enough. I am not a Psychiatrist nor am I able to prescribe medication, so again, this is just my take on it in my professional experience. Talk therapy can do a lot for a person, however sometimes medication can help enhance the benefits of talk therapy. How is this? If you’re reading this, you probably already know a little bit about medication and the reasons why they’re prescribed. Here’s a tiny crash course on the matter. When we are struggling with mental health issues, there tends to be a chemical imbalance in the brain. Our brain isn’t shooting out the proper neurotransmitters in the proper amount. Our brain may be over-producing or under-producing certain neurotransmitters which ends up literally messing with our head. Now, it is very possible to re-structure our brain and our brain chemistry using certain tools. And no, not a hammer or screwdriver, but rather the tools we learn in therapy. When we utilize these tools, we start to restructure the brain.
Talk therapy can be extremely powerful, however sometimes it simply is not enough. Sometimes, our chemical imbalances are so out of whack that it blocks us from being able to even use the tools to help ourselves. This is where medication can help. I always tell my clients that what makes recovery so difficult is that the very antidote to most mental health issues is doing the exact thing(s) it tells you not to do. Think about it. When you’re anxious and you don’t do the thing that makes you anxious to avoid feeling that anxiety, you’re fueling that anxiety. When you do the thing that makes you anxious, it gives you exposure which will make it that much easier for you to do it next time. Sometimes, it feels impossible to do this on our own and the anxiety, depression or whatever the issue is gets so overwhelming, that it prevents you from being able to help yourself.
Let me give you an example of how it may play out for an Eating Disorder. Often times, Eating Disorders coincide with anxiety, depression and other issues. While sitting down to eat a meal may be nothing to some people, a person with an Eating Disorder may have debilitating anxiety that makes it extremely difficult to even take a bite. Medication can help bring the anxiety down to a more manageable level which can then help the person suffering to engage in the very events that can help him/her.
To summarize all of this up, sometimes medication is needed to be able to allow the person to accept therapy and to do the work to get better. If you are unsure whether medication is right for you, talk to your therapist to discuss it, and be open to their recommendations.
I hope you found this post helpful! Please share with anyone who may be struggling with the idea of using medication. If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you openness on your journey to finding your State of Balance!
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Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder