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Psych Meds – I’m not CRAZY!

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Psych Meds – I’m not CRAZY!
Psych Meds – I’m not CRAZY!

My doctor told me I need some kind of psych med.  NO WAY!  I’m not crazy!!

Stop right there.  This needs to end right here, right now.  I’m SO sick and tired of people thinking only “crazy” people need psychiatric medications.  There are a ton of different medications for a ton of different problems!  And what do you mean by “crazy” anyway?  Who do you call crazy?  Besides, your doc offered you a psych med for a reason.  Why?  Do you think you deserve to keep feeling like you do right now?  Would you like to feel better?  If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t have gone to see him/her.

Those drugs just mess with your brain!

Well, kind of.  I mean, that’s what needs to be messed with.  Let me break this down for you.

Your body relies on balance.  It only works right when everything is in balance.  So all of your organs need to be in balance to work right.  Your liver needs certain chemicals to work.  Your kidneys need other chemicals.  Your guts need different chemicals.  All of your organs need their own specific chemicals in just the right amounts to do their jobs.  Guess what.  Your brain is an organ.  *gasp*  Right?  If it’s an organ, it needs to be………..in balance!  All of its chemicals need to be just right for it to work like it should.

What does that have to do with the crazy-meds?

How are you feeling right now?  Not so great?  And you’ve been feeling this way for a while?  That’s most likely because the chemicals in your brain are out of balance.  You may not have enough serotonin or dopamine, or too much GABA, or a host of other mood related chemicals.  When you don’t have enough of something or too much or something, there is no balance and you feel crappy.  The job of medications is to bring things back into balance!  Get it?  They don’t do anything to change YOU, just put an organ in your body (the brain) back in balance so it works right.

*2 weeks later*  You said I would feel better if I took this pill.  I’ve been taking it for 2 weeks and I don’t feel any better!

Yeah.  It’s only been 2 weeks.  Psych meds take longer to get into your brain and start working.  Your brain is very smart (well, some people’s brains are smarter than other’s); it has a thick barrier to prevent stuff from getting to it, kinda like a moat or force field.  It takes at least 4-6 weeks for enough medicine to creep through the barrier and start working.  When enough makes it in, it can start messing with your levels, trying to get things straightened out.

*6 weeks*  I still don’t feel better!

I’m really sorry.  We may need to try a different medicine.  It doesn’t mean you’re hopeless.  It means the drug we chose wasn’t fixing the problem.  We have no way of seeing exactly which chemical in your brain needs to be bumped so we pick the most likely culprit and try to even it out.  But that isn’t always the chemical that was out of balance.  This is when you get annoyed, I apologize profusely, and we try a different drug that works on a different chemical.  This is a process of elimination.  But when we hit the right chemical, you’ll feel so much better!  Don’t you think it’s worth a little trial and error to get your brain in balance and you feeling like a person again?

So ditch the stigma.  Seriously.  I don’t want to hear anyone else call someone on psych meds “crazy”.  The only “crazy” people I know are the ones refusing to get help because of a stupid stigma.

If you feel like you could use a little help getting yourself under control or just know you don’t deserve to feel like you do, talk to your PCP.  Sometimes psych medications can help.  If so, at least consider them.  Regardless, always reach out.