Taking medication for mental illness is a common treatment option, and no single experience is the same.
1. Needing medication for a mental illness doesn't mean you're weak; it just means you have a condition that medication can help. Simple as that.
2. And taking an antipsychotic medication doesn't make you a "psychopath" or a danger to society.
3. It's just like taking medication for any physical illness.
4. Getting on the right combination of medications and dosages could be a long process of trial and error.
5. Sometimes, it can take a few months for the effects of the medicine to kick in — it's different for everyone.
6. And some meds can have a lot of different side effects.
7. The purpose of medication is not to magically get rid of your mental illness.
8. Or give you ~superhuman~ abilities.
9. Medication is meant to get you to a place where you can feel OK every day.
10. Just because a medicine works now, doesn't mean it will work forever.
11. Constantly taking your meds can make you feel dependent on them.
12. But even if you don't like taking them, stopping cold turkey could cause serious withdrawal symptoms — so talk to a doctor about tapering off of them.
13. They could affect your sex life.
14. Not being able to get your prescription refilled on time can be pretty scary.
15. And so can a company discontinuing a medication that really works for you.
16. Medication can help you get more out of therapy and put the strategies you learn there into practice.
17. You might only take medication as needed, rather than a daily dose.
18. Or you may need to be on them every day for a long time, and that's okay too.
19. All the costs for prescriptions and psychiatrist appointments can seriously add up.
20. The ups and downs from trying different medications can be really tough on your relationships.
21. But finding and taking the right meds could drastically improve them, too.
22. Or help your doctor find the right diagnosis.
23. People asking if you have ~extras~ that they can have or buy off you gets really old.
24. There are going to be people who don't understand.
25. But there will also always be people who do.
26. Most importantly, being on meds can help get you back to a baseline that feels right.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
If you need to talk to someone immediately, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Suicide helplines outside the US can be found here.
Follow along at BuzzFeed.com/MentalHealthWeek from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8, 2017.
Shannon Rosenberg is a health writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Shannon Rosenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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