Adjusting to Life without Medication

Having a mental illness and being medication-resistant can make life just that much more challenging. It also makes coping with a mental illness way more challenging. There is a persistent feeling of being doubly broken as well-meaning doctors prescribe the latest new “miracle” drug and it has no effect. After running the gauntlet of medications and varying dosages with no real results, the reality that there is no medical relief starts to set in. That realization is often accompanied by a loss of hope and beginning to feel as if things will never get better. That is, point blank, not true. Life with a mental illness can improve without medication. If medication is working, then please continue to take it. This post is not an anti-medication post; it is a post intended to give hope to those who have not found a medication that works.

Being medication-resistant is not that rare. A lot of people are, and it does not mean that these people are broken. It’s ok to stop the cycle of taking every new drug that comes onto the market or readjusting levels. It is ok to decide to stop chasing a medical cure for mental illness. I think that those who do find relief in medication are fortunate and should not take that for granted; however, those who do not find relief in medication need to know that there is still hope that things can get better. It requires a bit of selfishness and a lot of awareness and self-acceptance. The first step is to get properly diagnosed. The right diagnosis is the key to getting the right therapy. Once a correct diagnosis is given, the process of education of what that means for daily life can begin: understanding why life is the way it is allows for change.

Knowing why sensitivities exist most often leads to resolution of the underlying issue. Finding the root cause of why specific things are triggering allows that root to be pulled out. Finding when and where it began to hurt creates a deeper understanding of why it hurts. Understanding of self creates patience and the ability to nurture, rather than condemn and blame. Mental illness is so often viewed as something to be ashamed of, rather than something to be treated and aware of. Awareness is life-changing. Awareness highlights the good times and provides light in the darkest of times. Being aware of the rhythm of mental illness helps the good times resonate loudly enough to provide hope for the bad times. Hope is the ultimate miracle drug, and it saves lives.

Learning how to hope is hard when mental illness crashes into life and destroys good times. Awareness of when problems from a mental illness are most likely to strike will allow for a battening down of the hatches to ride out the storm. It also provides the knowledge that storms pass. Even the most violent and persistent of storms pass, allowing moments of joy. Mental illness is so often about surviving the storm. Knowing that the storm can be survived and that it is worth surviving makes all the difference, and this knowledge comes through self-awareness and acceptance. Being mentally ill and medication-resistant doesn’t mean that life will just be an endless storm. Storms pass. It does get better. Life will be good again.

Posted on 07 Jun 2015 04:41

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