A few weeks ago, I came across a blog advocating the non-use of drugs for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. People that wrote this blog were trying to say that pharmaceutical companies do not have the evidence to support drug use in these types of mental diseases and only have interest in their “agenda”. Funny enough, at the end of the same blog the authors were pushing their own agenda – selling their alternative therapeutic services.
I think this is quite an irresponsible way of approaching the issue of drugs in a mental health setting, so I decided to write this post.
One thing that many people do not realize is that treating a mental condition is not the same as treating diabetes or high cholesterol. It is much more complex due to the mental factors. What might work for me in regards to my anxiety or depression might not work for another person. Drugs can be processed by our body differently amongst different individuals (due to genetics) which might explain why certain drugs work for certain people and others not. It also explains why treating the same condition might require different daily doses.
A couple of things to take into consideration:
-Is the drug treating anxiety, depression or OCD? -(Unfortunately no ROCD drug exists!)
-What is the drug supposed to do? (This helps build better expectations about the drugs)
-What are the possible side effects?
-How long will the drugs need to start making a noticeable effect?
During my initial ROCD period, I was treated with a drug for anxiety and depression. Even though the initial two weeks of treatment were difficult because of the side effects, “fixing” my anxiety and depression symptoms helped me put my mind and body in a better place to benefit from psychotherapy and mindfulness. I also worked with my doctor in setting my daily doses. I was very reluctant in taking high doses because I knew that it might take me longer to get off them.
Will drugs be needed in every case? No. Can drugs benefit certain individuals progress faster? Yes. Ultimately, the decision to take these types of drugs is ours and no one else’s. What we shouldn’t do is take someone else’s experience as the main yardstick in our decision making.