5 Unexpected Benefits of Taking Psychiatric Medication
The benefits of taking psychiatric medications include a reduction in troublesome mental health symptoms, but there's so much more to taking pills on a regular basis. When I was first prescribed psychiatric medication, I was definitely open to the idea, but I know that's not the case for everyone. Many people are skeptical, and the massive amount of stigma surrounding psychiatric medication certainly doesn't help. Here are five unexpected benefits of taking psychiatric medications I've experienced over a decade of taking pills every day.
The Benefits of Taking Psychiatric Medication
1. Taking psychiatric medication is important to my daily schedule.
Taking medication is a crucial part of my daily mental health routine. I don't forget to take my pills just like I don't forget to brush my teeth. The few times I haven't taken my pills I could feel it physically. It can interfere with my sleep schedule and throw my whole day off. Taking medication is an important part of my daily routine.
2. While in therapy, psychiatric medication is an important component of treatment.
While at this time I am not seeing a therapist regularly, I have seen therapists several times in my recovery. Therapy was a huge part in overcoming my eating disorder. Many times for those in therapy, medication is just another piece of the puzzle. Taking psychiatric medication can keep your symptoms at bay so the real work can begin.
3. You are finally free to make those dreams a reality.
When your symptoms subside, you can pursue your dreams. Once my symptoms were under control, I was able to finish college, work full time, and start a family. I didn't think all this was possible before I was prescribed medication. Reducing my symptoms allowed me to focus on the things that are important to me.
4. Psychiatric medication helps you enjoy the present moment.
Benefits of psychiatric medications don't only apply to future goals. With the reduction of symptoms, you are free to live in the here and now -- enjoy the present moment with family and friends. This has been especially important to me now that I'm a mom. My medications allow me to be present in my daughter's life and to strive to be a mom she can look up to.
5. Psychiatric medication can make a stressful event a little easier to deal with.
My medications make me feel balanced. I'm not happy all the time, but I'm never numb either. Life used to feel so dramatic, and now everything is dialed down a notch. I still feel everything, but my emotions are manageable. When I hit a rough patch, it's easier to cope, and that's a huge benefit of psychiatric medication for me ("How to Deal with a Crisis When You Have Depression").
Before I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, I was plagued with symptoms that kept my life at a standstill. When medications reduced my symptoms, I could finally move forward. I've experienced several benefits of taking psychiatric medication.
I'd love to hear about your experience with psychiatric medication in the comments.
Rahm, M. (2018, December 5). 5 Unexpected Benefits of Taking Psychiatric Medication, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2018/12/5-unexpected-benefits-of-taking-psychiatric-medication
Author: Megan Rahm
Everyone has their own path and relationship when it comes to prescription medication. There was a time where no one was speaking about the potential downsides, but now there is a lot of talk about only that and it's so important to remember that for many, medication can serve a very uplifting purpose. Thank you for sharing your personal insight and journey.
I've always struggled with being on meds - am I hurting myself or being weak by using them? Everybody telling me how bad they are. Been on them since age 15 with going off them about a half dozen times since then (I'm now 58) for anywhere from 2 months to 6 months at a time. I am schizo-affective, but have not been hospitalized since my teens, never been arrested, never been homeless, drug-addicted or alcoholic, no abortions. I could never hold a job for long (2 years max) but with help from the state and my family I've been okay, never been evicted, never had a bankruptcy, always low income but never feeling poor. When I'd go off the meds, my depression would become very bad and I couldn't eat, would lose a lot of weight (once 60 lbs in the first month) and eventually go back on. I'd regain the weight (I'm an overeater) but the reduction in pain always made life tolerable again. I was lonely a lot (still am) but often could experience some pleasure - even if just by eating (LOL). I'm still overweight and underemployed, unmarried /no children (never really fell in love). But I was able to care for my mother the last ten years of her life, can volunteer a little now, have some good friends/close relatives, and I don't seem to get sick as often as other people around me or get allergies. There's been some trade-offs as far as romantic relationships and creativity - I really do believe that - but overall, my quality of life has been pretty good. Still have both visual and auditory hallucinations once in awhile but mostly hypnogogic ones, and the depression and anxiety are less troublesome for me than for lots of non-mentally ill people I know.
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Thanks for your comment. You are not at all weak by using meds. You are strong for realizing you can benefit from them. It sounds like you have a lot of good things going on - volunteering, spending time with friends and family, and your symptoms have been reduced. Keep going forward! Good luck to you!