“Do I really want to put this into my body?” “Taking this will make my condition real” “Why can’t I do this on my own?” “Will I become a zombie?” “I’m so worried about the side effects”

“Is there ANY other way?”

Does any of this sound familiar? If you were diagnosed with a mental or physical health condition, more than likely, you were encouraged to order a prescription or two. By saying “yes” to new treatment, did it stir up inner turmoil for you? You are NOT alone.

The difficult reality is—

when our bodies need the extra help, the solution isn’t always easy.

A little disclosure, I take CellCept—an immunosuppressant (what my neurologist calls a “low dose of chemo-therapy”) for my autoimmune disease. The black-boxed side effects range from loss of appetite, alopecia, fetus malformation— to potential development of skin cancer. You may be asking yourself: was this my first choice? Absolutely NOT.

Like many people do when faced with a similar situation, I compiled research and made several drastic lifestyle changes. However, these attempts did not facilitate the results that my body needed in either a timely or effective manner.

So, like many, I faced a wall—this daunting barrier of disappointment and helplessness.  Moral of the story: when we decide to move forward with new treatment, the decision may contradict our beliefs, ideas, and values.

 At the end of the day, we find hope in knowing the BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE RISKS.

 

Here are some helpful tips to cope with your decision:

  • Advocate for yourself

Never be afraid to ask questions—you need to know what is going into your body. If the treatment does not sit well with you, always ask your doctor if there are other options (even natural ones!) available to you. You’d be surprised what solutions they might offer.

*Always, remember that YOU make the final decision*

  • Go into treatment with positivity!

Start this treatment with the belief that you WILL be able to get off one day.

  • Do your part

When you decide to start a new treatment, whether for a mental or physical health concern, do your best to make the lifestyle changes you need to. The medication is just the “life saver that keeps you afloat”—not the end all. Your initiative (i.e. medication adherence, healthier eating, therapy, listening to your body) will be the steps that take you to shore!

  • Know that you are doing your best

Frustration can arise even after starting treatment. When this occurs, remember why you started the medication in the first place. If you know that this is still the route you want to take, stay strong and have faith in your decision.  That being said, know that if you decide on a different option, always speak to your doctor prior to ending your medication for safety purposes!

 

Can we have a vent session? I’ll start— “Though I’m happy that my medication is working, I sometimes battle with the reality that I take pills multiple times per day”

 

Your turn 🙂

 

C. Hunter

#medication #advocate #difficultchoices #selfcare #justaspoonfullofmeds

#aspiretoempower #mindovermg #mentalhealthmindset