As a lot of you will know, I suffer with various mental health issues. Recently, for the first time in a very long time-I’ve felt a little out of control with coping with the issues I have.
After a conversation with my cousin discussing whether it was a good idea to go and see my GP to speak about the possibility of taking medication to help me cope, I decided to see if any of my fellow bloggers had an opinion on whether or not to go down that route.
Additionally, I wondered if there were any alternative ways of coping with my depression or anxiety attacks.
The Positives Of Medication.
Katy from Katykicker said; I take medication to help with a condition I have, and it is also a drug to help with anxiety too. Taking this has helped me feel calmer, less anxious and be in pain less too. For me taking medication for this allows me to be a better person, feel better and be more active.
Eileen from 2 Nerds & A Baby said; I fall into both categories, I have ADHD so I’m prescribed Ritalin to help me focus, but I don’t take it when I’m alone with my son because it makes me more restless and anxious but when his dad is home I take it so I can catch up on all the jobs I didn’t get done during the day.
Charlie from Our Altered Life said; I got to a point in my life where I was doubting my sanity and questioning my own safety. I absolutely did not want to go on medication as I felt like it was a huge failure. I took Rhodiola for a while which did help but it wasn’t enough and at the end of 2011 my mum dragged me along to the doctors feeling ashamed but desperate and I was put on antidepressants. I didn’t feel immediately joyous as I’d expected but it levelled and calmed me. I was only on them for 2 years and I’m not on them now but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back on them if I needed to.
The Negatives Of Medication.
Rachel from Coffee, Cake, Kids said; I suffer with anxiety. I’ve tried a couple of different Meds and they’ve just made me feel a lot worse. At the moment, I don’t take anything but I use an app that helps me to
Calm down and through a few phone calls to an NHS mental health team I’ve learned a few strategies to help me deal with it. I would have no hesitation getting medication if I could find one that seemed to agree with me.
Emma from Emmareed.net said; I took anti-depressants after my Mum died almost 14 years ago. I wasn’t offered any counselling or any other form of help, instead I was handed pills. These had an awful effect on me and led me to become suicidal. All the doctors did was take me off them and left me to it again. I understand that there are people out there who need the pills and some do help, but for me this wasn’t the answer. I have found talking to family and friends, keeping busy and exercising are my forms of medicine. I think doctors can be too quick to hand these pills out when perhaps talking to a professional would be a more productive option.
Christy from Welsh Mum Of One said; I suffer from anxiety and have been diagnosed with postpartum PTSD. I have taken medication in the past; but it’s not for me. It may fix some of the problems, but I find it causes others and it changes the way I feel – I don’t feel like myself anymore. I’m currently medication free and working through CBT and EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitisation And Reprocessing). Medication may be suitable for some, but there are also many therapy options out there which could offer long-term solutions without the potential side effects. That being said, I do trust my GP and would take medication in the future if it was strongly recommended, but would like to explore all other options first.
Christy has CBT through the NHS but pays for EDMR privately. She pays £70 per session so it is not cheap.
She was told she would need a full psychologist evaluation to qualify for EDMR on the NHS and the waiting lists are quite long which is frustrating – but she was referred straight away for CBT and also has group therapy through the NHS.
Louise from Little Hearts, Big Love said; I’ve suffered from depression on and off throughout my adult life. I had a brief period on anti-depressants but came off them as I hated the fact that they made me feel like a zombie. Since then I’ve preferred to avoid medication if I can, and have had psychotherapy and several rounds of counselling at various points. It’s been a couple of years now since my last counselling session and I’ve mostly self-managed the times when the depression has started to make a return using the techniques I’ve learned from the various talking therapies I’ve had over the years.
Louise has tried some mindfulness she’s learnt from the internet and has found it helpful so far.
Clare from Neon Rainbow Blog said; I don’t take medication because I am too scared to tell a doctor about my panic attacks and anxiety so I am not diagnosed-I have anxiety over my anxiety. However, that said, I’d be reluctant to take medication if it was offered as I am scared it will make me feel worse, or I’d be forever reliant on it because I also suffer with paranoia. Can’t win can I- I do however try apps and techniques I find online to help.
Clare recommends an app called “relax melodies” – enabling you to listen to the sound of rain or thunder.
She also uses the relax mode on her FitBit to calm a panic attack-she wrote a blog of her own about it-have a look HERE.
Carly from Mummy and the Chunks said; I have bad anxiety and rather than having specific anxiety reducing medication, I told my doctor that I would rather just have something to treat the physical symptoms as I get heart palpitations and struggle to breath and so I now just take tablets for that. I have been on depression tablets in the past which helped me not feel the lows but also stopped me feeling the highs and I felt nothing which I hated more than anything. I still have my issues now and then but I like that I Can still feel like me with this form of treatment.
The tablets Carly takes are beta blockers called Propranolol and they stop the horrible palpitations that make you feel like you are going to have a heart attack.
Carly also practices guided meditation which she finds helps her non-physical symptoms when she’s feeling overwhelmed and recommends this video on YouTube HERE.
Rebecca from The Everyday Mummy said; I’ve had anxiety disorder since early childhood, as a co-morbid of other disorders. I’ve never taken any medication. After having my first child I did find my anxiety reached an all time high and I developed postnatal depression, which I hid from everyone except my partner. We were too frightened to speak out about it in case we were reported, my anxiety made me feel that my child would be taken away because people would think I wasn’t coping.
Looking back, medication may have helped but who knows have-they have many side effects.
What I did find helped me, was learning my triggers and spotting the signs so I could take a few minutes out or change tactics and prevent the anxiety from taking control.
There are some really good opinions and ideas here-on how to manage anxiety and mental health issues.
I’d like to thank my contributors for their help and advice on this personal and sensitive subject.