It never fails to amaze me, and not in a good way, to hear a person say they are of the opinion that using psychiatric medication is "taking the easy way out".
How can you possibly be serious.
The stress, the rage, the uncontrollable feelings. The sadness, the anxiety, the constant companion of worry. Feeling not good enough. Feeling too good. Feeling as if there is a force pulling you down every moment of every day.
Knowing, every day, that you are wrong. You are off. Not good enough. Everyone else gets it. Everyone else can do it.
Fear of the dark. Fear of perpetrators. Fear of paper. Fear of germs. Fear of people. Fear of lint.
Feeling like the lights are too bright and the sounds are too loud. Like someone ruffling your hair is the equivalent of sandpaper in between your fingers. Smells and tastes are too strong. Feeling always off balance. Feeling spacey and unsure. Feeling like your head is swirling when you are lying still.
People do not make sense to you and you cannot trust them.
Nothing, no matter what you do, no matter what you think, seems to help. Maybe you can alleviate some of it for a short time with your "coping skills", but it always comes back stronger and stronger. You cannot sleep, or you cannot wake up. Food is unattractive to you or you are always uncomfortably hungry or sometimes both.
People around you think you want to be this way. They think that if you just tried harder you could be better. Just focus on the positive.
You cannot trust your own brain to give you an accurate depiction of the world around you. YOUR OWN BRAIN!
Think about that, really sit and think about it. Look at your child. Is there anyone who could use a break more? Allowing the tiny advantage of possibly balancing brain chemicals that do not do their job is not taking an easy way out of anything. Rest assured there is no magic pill that will cure your child's past, present or future. What you might be able to achieve is that extra 1/2 second to process before exploding, to think before acting, and to interpret the actions of others with accuracy instead of threat. That extra 1/2 second that everyone else has automatically.
Please think back to the people you know who have mental illness. Now go through and find all the folks who are successfully managing their mental illness without medication. Seriously. I do not mean people who live on their own using social services or family to provide their food and rent. I mean people with jobs, in positive relationships with stable living conditions and without legal issues.
Most people around us don't know that Genea takes psychiatric medication. It's on a need to know basis and most people don't. Of those who do know, about half are judgemental in a negative way. I asked one close family member the above question, how many people she knew who were able to take care of themselves and she quickly said "none". Just as I was about to crow my point to her she clarified, "I mean, I don't know anyone with mental illness". I was stunned.
"What about your brother?" I asked her. "Your brother had agoraphobia and didn't leave the house for weeks at a time. He had bipolar disorder, probably OCD and committed suicide."
"Oh", she said. "You think that's what it was?" I was silent for a moment not believing what I had just heard. "He used to wash the mail" I reminded her. "He boiled pots of water on the stove everyday and poured them out on the floor".
This is my own personal opinion about medication for psychiatric disorders. There are certainly other ways to look at the issue and everyone has their own take for their own reasons. The medication on its own is controversial. Using these medications on children is even more controversial, I know this. I also know that if my daughter had Lupus for example, no one would tell her to "suck it up". If she had Scarlet Fever, no one would tell her to change her attitude and try harder.
I welcome all opinions, whether in agreement or not. Just be respectful please.