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#48149
What are your feelings about using medication to treat mental illness?

I'm aware that there is a stigma both against those who are medicated and those who are not. It's a topic that's been talked about more frequently lately and I wanted to open the question here.

Some follow up questions you may consider:
How do you feel about therapy?
Should home remedies be taken more seriously?
Why is the combination of therapy and medication often overlooked?
Who should prescribe medications for mental illness: primary physicians or psychiatrists?
Does the threat of becoming dependent on medication outweigh the benefits of being medicated?

Feel free to pose more questions in your reply!

Keep it civil y'all.
#48150
I am medicated for anxiety and I have been in therapy before. The combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy works for me. I'm not currently in therapy because my insurance decided they didn't want to cover the only non-religious therapist in my area anymore. I still use techniques I was taught to lessen the impact of my panic attacks and my doctor and I are working on finding the right dose of medication for me.

Question:
Why do insurance companies make therapy and certain medications so hard to obtain?
#48957
I personally suffer from schizoaffecto disorder which is basically symptoms of schizophrenia and a mood disorder all in one. I believe that a psychologist should be the one to prescribe meds to a person since they are more qualified and informed on mental/emotional health then a regular doctor is. I think that taking meds is perfectly fine but if you are against it then at least learn different coping skills and techniques in order to better manage what your going through. I’ve been through a lot of therapy and I will admit, it’s not suited for everyone but if you are willing to better yourself and learn while keeping an open mind, then it will help ( different and changes from person to person)
#48961
I personally suffer from anxiety and depression and to be completely honest medication is different for every person some people need it more than other some people don't need it at all it really depends on yourself. I take medication and I feel that it helps dramatically with my mental disorders. I also go to therapy once or twice a month which I find it helps as well like I mentioned before its different for every person.
#49015
I am medicated and I honestly cannot survive in the world without being medicated. I tried to go off my meds for a long time because I just flat out didn't have the money for it and I struggled and made stupid decisions based off my mental status and it got me into a lot of trouble. If I have it my way, I will never go off my meds again.

I am also going through therapy. I have a kink friendly therapist. I don't see her often these days, but for awhile she was my absolute lifeline. The problem was, it took me a very long time to find her. You have to visit a lot of therapists to be able to find one that works. At least in my case.

I tried the "home remedy" route while I was off my meds. I know the St John's Wort worked for a friend and collegue of mine, but it didn't do jack for me. Excercise can help and all the home remedies can get you out of a funk, but if your brain chemistry is messed up like mine is, I need the meds when the depression gets clinical.

Therapy is overlooked a lot of the time because your primary care doctor can give you the meds and a lot of insurance doesn't cover mental health services, but they will cover antidepressants. So. It's cost prohibitive for a lot of people. I'm one of them. So I don't go as often as I would like to because I can't afford it.

Honestly, either your primary care or psych can prescribe them for you. Shrinks know more about the effects of the drug for specific conditions, but my PCP has made herself knowledgable because so many of her patients have mental health issues and she understands that counseling and psychiatry can be expensive.

My brain chemistry is what makes me dependent on the medication. There is always always ALWAYS the option to get off the meds or use them for a short time. Just always follow your doctor or pharmacist's instructions for getting off the meds so you don't screw yourself up. One of the meds I was on gave me serious hardcore brain zaps when I was weaning off so we adjusted my taper. When I started the new one, it was easy peasy. There are always options. It's just what you're willing to do, how much you can afford and what benefits outweigh the risks for you. There are some antidepressants that are far less risk of addiction than others. Clonazepam is a class 3 drug and regulated BECAUSE it has addictive properties. I only used that when I was suicidal and couldn't keep my snailpoop together or sleep or remember to eat. I was really bad. They do not have to give you that kind of medication and, honestly, I would suggest NOT starting with a controlled medication to begin.

Sorry. Pharm tech coming out to talk here.

My brain chemistry is f---ed. I know it is. The meds make me a functional human being and help control the obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions and make the depression basically non-existent. However, if you're on the wrong meds that, for whatever reason don't work for you, then you need to try something else. A different class of drug, one that will alleviate side effects and so forth. You have to have a good relationship with whomever is providing your care and know that they're genuinely interested in helping you get well and not just looking for another number. Finding that can be hard, too.

If you need help, get it. No one is going to make you tell anyone about it. And it's far less stigmatized than it was when I was first seeking help. The general public makes it sound like you have to be in a mental hospital and are a danger to society if you're on antidepressants which is completely the opposite for most of us. :)

I'm a big proponent of getting help rather it's talk therapy or meds or both or neither... whatever it is that is going to make you healthy and happy is what needs to happen and the only person who can make that change is beginning with you. The hardest part is looking at someone and saying "I can't do this I need help".
#49016
Question: Why do insurance companies make therapy and certain medications so hard to obtain?
Because they are not in the business of human health. They are in the business of making money and keeping their company from having to pay for anything. Insurance is a bet. You bet that you will need it and they bet that you won't. Most people keep health insurance and many people are only on a few medications.

I see this day in and day out in my pharmacy. I go to bat for people. I harass doctors for people. I get prior auths to go through. I go through the stupid automated systems and then through the chain of command until I get the answers I need. However, this all takes time that my company doesn't give me. So it's on an emergency case by case.

They don't want to pay for it because then they have to shell out money against the money that is being paid in. it's a racket.

That being said, some companies are less evil with what they will and won't pay for. There are some insurance companies I don't have to do many Prior Authorizations for and luckily I have insurance through one of them. They charge a fair price (that is still hella expensive) and don't give me snailpoop about what I can and can't take. My doctor writes it, they cover it for a 90 day supply. Boom.

They do not, however, cover more than 6 mental health visits in a year. And they still don't cover chiropractic or massage, both of which would really help me. But. Here we are.
#49017
I have anxiety and depression issues. Maybe agoraphobia too. People have told me to take medication for it my whole life, but I don't want to! I feel like no one respects my choice to stay unmedicated and it is very sad and frustrating to me! My therapist I think is the only person in my life who respects that choice and I am very glad she is at least willing to listen to my feelings about it. I see a therapist obviously and I use a lot of different techniques to manage myself. I think learning how to handle my symptoms without medication is a good goal for me to have and I think it is something that is possible for me.

There are a lot of people in my life who use medications but they don't see therapists. I think therapists can help a lot and give a lot of tools that medication can't... Like medication might be able to improve my mood, but my therapist helps me address a lot of the root causes of my problems. She helps me understand myself and my life. I think seeing her and reflecting on myself works a lot for me. If I listened to the people in my life who just want me to have medication and nothing else, I think I'd be missing out on a lot of helpful stuff.

I'm sure not everyone on this forum lives in the same places, but the culture I live in is very kind of.. overly medicated. A lot of people like to throw pills only at problems and then not do anything else to help... And I have heard stories about people asking for depression medication and stuff when they're dealing with normal grief over losing a loved one and stuff....Like to some level people in my culture are acting like all bad feelings should be gotten rid of with medication. It is kind of unsettling to me.

There are other cultures where other techniques to manage a person's health are taken more seriously. Things like "home remedies" are a person's first choice in some cultures, and if those remedies don't work then they begin to try other things. I wish the culture I lived in took these other options more seriously. Where I live so many people act like medication is the only solution.

I definitely don't have anything against people who take medication. Some people need it! The loved ones in my life need their medication and I can see a huge shift when they stop taking it. I encourage them to take their medicine! But medication is a choice everyone should be allowed to make... And I feel like people don't respect me and think it is stupid I do not want medicine. It makes me feel sad.

Sorry if this was kind of long!! I just have a lot of feelings about this. Thank you a lot for making this topic and giving me a place to talk about this!

Again, I think with medication and stuff it is just very important to respect everyone's free choice and let them decide what's best for themselves!

:hugs:
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