I was invited by the American Recall Center to blog about my medicines in October, and I agreed– there is still such a stigma attached to taking medication for mental illness (and to mental illness itself!), and I think that talking about things reduces stigma.
I started my search for a medication for my OCD as soon as I was diagnosed, which was back in 2003 or 2004. It took five years before I ended up with the right “cocktail.”
The five years included:
* 3 psychiatrists
* 1 physician’s assistant
* a beta-blocker that I was allergic to (which almost killed me)
* vision blackouts
* rapid weight gain
* & a year in the middle when I avoided all medication due to the above.
But when I started meeting with my former psychiatrist (the now-retired OCD expert Dr. Suck Won Kim), he got me onto the right medication almost immediately. These days, I take a combination of Prozac (SSRI), Effexor XR (SNRI), and a teensy dose of Risperidone (an anti-psychotic).
Am I ashamed?
Am I grateful?
Do I rock the boat?
Not usually. Though my current psychiatrist (also a lovely, amazing man) helps me to feel confident in making slight changes to my regime as needed. For example, I now take Ativan for panic as needed.
Do I think medication is the right choice for all people with OCD?
No. It varies from person to person, and in EVERY case, I would recommend ERP as the first/best treatment. If I had to choose between my medication or my twelve weeks of ERP, ERP would win every time.
But isn’t taking medication like saying I don’t trust God to heal me?
What if medication is part of how God is healing me? Let me tell you a story about three boats …
Want to join the discussion? Comment below about your medicines (or mine!).