Hypocrites, Drugs And Mental Health

Your child is suffering. I think you should do everything you can to help. And sometimes that means medications. Drugs and mental health, what's the problem?

It is no secret that my husband has bipolar disorder and takes a huge cocktail of drugs everyday to keep himself stable. It is almost two years since his last relapse. And while I understand that his medication, therapy and self-awareness is not a sure-fire way to stave off a future episode, I truly believe that his treatment plan is his best defence. The drugs are a huge part of making it all work.

But it seems people have a real problem with drugs.

Except alcohol, caffeine, sugar, aspartame or nicotine mind you.

Cold and flu medications, cough syrup or lozenges.

They’re ok.

Antibiotics, acetaminophen, and muscle relaxants.

Perfectly fine.

And birth control, insulin, or blood thinners.

Absolutely necessary.

All the above drugs have huge side effect lists. But hey, sometimes you just have to make a trade-off for the greater good. Am I right?

But, OMG, any prescribed medication for mental illness is evil and bad for you.

This past week I have been having a discussion with a mother who refuses to put her 16-year-old on medication for severe anxiety and depression. What the hell?! I’m sorry but I truly don’t understand her stance.

Your child is suffering and I think you should do everything you can to help. And sometimes that means medications.

The excuses that your child may be labelled or that you don’t want them to feel like they are different are futile. That ship has sailed. Believe me, your child probably already has been labelled and is acutely aware that they are different.

Is this about you or them? Because if it’s about them, stop coming at this with your own pre-conceived bullshit and do all you can to help them before it is too late.

Stop being a hypocrite.


Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or a doctor. This post is based solely on my personal experiences and should not be deemed as advice or counsel. Please seek appropriate medical attention from a licensed professional.
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  1. Just reas a bunch of posts, and ummm… Please be my mom? I’ll move out right away I promise (I am 32 anyway) !
    You’re awesome. I wish there’s more women and mothers and wives like u in this sad world.
    P. S I followed ur Pinterest, Fbook, instagram, YouTube and all social media I’m on

  2. This gives me so many feels. I live in rural Ireland and people here are only just starting to wake up to the idea that mental illness is a thing. When I was a teenager and juggling an eating disorder and depression which left me with intense level of insomnia I was prescribe, having barely slept in three days; a warm bath.

    Which is scientifically nonsense anyway as the sensations of going from warm bath to cold air when you get out only -wakes you up more-. But that is that I was told. That because I was under 16, I couldn’t have any medication for it.

    It didn’t much matter that my brains felt like it was going to leak out my ears. Or that trying to deal with my other issues was impossible enough never mind trying to do that, and high school without sleep.

    The daft prejudice against drugs in mental health issues is unfounded, crazy and dangerous.

    Thanks for writing this 🙂

  3. Wow! your husband takes a whole cocktail of drugs? it’s great that it’s been two years since his last relapse…great that the drugs can help. 🙂 I feel bad for that teenager whose mother has that perspective about not treating the depression… I wonder if it’s her own pride and denial that’s making her do that. Okay for herself, but definitely not okay when caring for another.

    1. There are certain situations in which I would not go with the meds first but depression can down turn very quickly and once that certain line is crossed there is no turning back. It needs to be taken very seriously. If a child is even talking to you about it, I am of the opinion it is already really bad and they are reaching out for help.

  4. Well said. I don’t think medication can solve everything, but they should be used when they are needed regardless of whether the illness is mental illness or physical illness!

  5. You make excellent points, Elena! Rewind 30+ years go to when my little brother was diagnosed with hyperactivity. He had to drink goat’s milk (no Lactaid back then) plus take medication (at school) for his condition. I remember being embarrassed. He only took medication for a couple of years. He is now in his mid-40s, a PhD, and vice CEO of an education training company making 6 figures. If a child needs help, it is probably temporary and should lead to good things.

  6. As a person who opts to avoid pharmaceuticals as best I can, I can honestly say they still have a place when required. I’ve managed through the years to get off the debilitating drugs I was taking for my Crohn’s disease with natural alternatives, but that doesn’t mean other drugs aren’t required for each individual ailment. I have a step grandson with bipolar and I have witnessed what can overtake him when he chooses not to take his meds. Everyone has to assess what is best for their situation without being judged by others. Nobody walks in our shoes but us.

    1. Every situation is absolutely different and should be evaluated that way. I believe in this situation, it wouldn’t even be long term but just a tool to help create some good coping skills.

  7. It’s a touchy subject, but, I feel the parent is doing their child a injustice by not allowing them to take medication. Perhaps they don’t realize when a child has a mental illness, as well as an adult, suicide is more prevalent. Unfortunately for some, they realize they should have done something when it’s too late.

    Most people have some sort of mental illness, many have not been diagnosed. If they consider ADD or ADHD a mental illness, lord knows what else they consider one. Personally, I don’t understand why people are ashamed their child or loved one has one. After all who said the rest of us are normal anyway.

        1. Oh dear. Now isn’t that a sad thing to have to say. I have met many people, including my husband, who wish that the problems/issues they had when they were young were addressed properly. Would have saved a lot of heart ache for many.

  8. It is hard t know what to do, but if every avenue has been exhausted or if the good effects outweighs the bad than go for it. My 21 year old daughter has stress issues & has been getting anxiety attacks – after going to the doctor & having discussions she decided to change her diet & exercise more in order to relax rather than take medication at this stage. She has also taken the step to get a new job & is moving to a new town with her boyfriend & getting a new flat. It seems to be working so far.

    1. I am so glad she was able to quell the stress and anxiety but making a few changes in her life. Unfortunately, the anxiety in this situation is well beyond that and completely irrational in absolutely “normal”, everyday situations.

  9. I would love to live in a world in which herbs, essential oils and love cured everything. But we don’t. I wonder if the 16 year old son is getting a say in the medication decision. When my son was young, I made a decision to medicate him for ADHD. When he was 15, he asked to come off the medication and I agreed because he said while it helped him in some ways, he also felt it was hindering him in others. We both agreed that if his previous behavior returned, that he would go back on it. At 15, I felt my son was smart enough to be involved in the decision making process because we were able to agree on specific expectations in his behavior.

    1. I think you make a very good point. The 16 year old is old enough to at least have a say in such matters, especially since he’s the one whose life is essentially in his hands. I would do the same for my boys. After a certain age, they should be able to at least be a part of the conversation. My oldest is going to be 14 in a couple of months and he has Autism. He will be able to start sitting in on his IEP meetings. I think the same should apply with talking about medication.

    2. I absolutely believe that at that age, they should be involved in the decision making and I hope that does happen. Personally, I do not believe that medication in this situation is for life, but just to facilitate some new coping techniques.

  10. I choose not to medicate my 8 year old for ADHD because, at this point, he doesn’t need it. I also, with the help of my doctor, weened myself off of SSRI’s for PTSD. That was MY choice though. Fortunately for me, I can go off the meds because I am in the end stages of my healing and will eventually be no longer classified as having PTSD. However, my sister has bipolar and will always have it. She needs her medication and she knows it. I also have two other friends who have bipolar and they take their meds because they need to. I also have a brother who was medicated since he was 7 years old and when I say medicated, he was really put through the ringer with meds and with therapy that didn’t do any good for him. Now, when he needs it the most, he refuses both, blaming everyone else for his problems and not looking at what’s right in front of him. I understand your point of view but you can’t force people. Unfortunately,there still is a lot of stigma around Mental Health that is going to take some time to spread awareness and education about.

    1. Not every medical issue needs to be handled with medications but when all other options are exhausted, medication becomes necessary. I am so sorry your brother had such a bad experience. I understand his weariness but I hope one day he gives medication another chance.

  11. We struggled with those concerns, and the fear that some adolescents experience increased suicidal thoughts. But ultimately we realized she needed another choice, nothing else was giving her any relief. It is an awful dilemma for a parent to face. We talked about our concerns on medication in a post, sometimes the Doctors are far too eager to prescribe, yet in retrospect we would still opt to medicate. And as you know our situation hasn’t been ideal, but clearly she needs to be medicated.

    1. There is nothing worse than having to deal with medical issues with our children. We feel so helpless. Of course there are concerns when going on any medication and we must be cautious. All the options must be weighed for benefits versus side effects, every step of the way.

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