In last weeks group people offered their thoughts, feelings and experiences of medications and treatments for mental health issues.
Firstly we talked about the array of anti-depressants, after establishing the difference between these and mood stabilising medications; mood stabilisers are for people who experience very high and low mood whereas anti-depressants are for boosting mood, though some people may need to be on both.
People had experienced some frightening side effects of anti-depressants and considered that the balance was in weighing up the symptoms with the side effects in deciding if some medications were beneficial to use or not. While for others anti-depressants have proved to be helpful. We acknowledged that some people need to be on their medications to stay well all of the time, whereas for others it may be of temporary assistance and not necessary in the long term. It was agreed that probably for the majority of people, a combination of treatments can be very effective such as medication, talking therapies, mindfulness and exercise, some people choose not to take medication. The Rethink website offers some helpful information about medications
Some people talked about more controversial medications and treatments used in mental health treatment, but these had proved highly effective for them, allowing them to live well at home and not end up ‘institutionalised’. This led us onto being thankful how far mental health treatment has come…..and it still feels like it has a long way to go……but we are glad people are no longer just sedated with insulin and locked up in asylums. In conclusion there were no pro or anti opinions about the use of medication with the general consensus being that whatever helps an individual’s health and wellbeing is by far the most important thing.