I love my medication
It gets a bit tiring when you’ve so often heard both service users and health professionals moaning about the effects of antipsychotic medication. And the way some people talk about medication you’d think it had been invented by the devil. The truth is though that medication is created by highly educated people, some of whom are in their profession because they want to make a difference and they have a passionate desire to help and alleviate human suffering, which a lot of antipsychotic medication does.
The side effects of a lot of antipsychotic medication can be horrible, but we shouldn’t just focus on this side of things, but should be grateful for and acknowledge the positive aspects of medication.
I first became ill in 1992, age 24, after I was released from prison, where I’d spent about 8 years locked up. I had a schizophrenic breakdown and had three spells in Springfield hospital, twice on a section. I was last discharged from hospital in 1993, and since then I’ve spent most of that time on medication.
The side effects I experience from the Olanzapine I take, and from my illness, means that I often feel nauseous, especially for the first few hours after waking up. I also go to toilet a lot when I’ve awoken. And I need much more sleep than a normal person. And I often feel lethargic and feel mentally and physically debilitated, which makes me feel like I’ve got less mental and physical stamina than many pensioners, and I’ve felt this way since I first became ill.
Its not the end of the world though. Things for me could be so much worse. I could be in a wheelchair, could be deaf, dumb, blind, or a combination of all these things, but thankfully I’m not.
If I kept moaning about medication and stopped taking it, I would probably end up in and out of hospital. Instead I’ve been out of hospital about 21 years now. I met my wife in church and I’ve been in a relationship with her for about 14 years now and have been married nearly 11, and I’ve got two grown up step children and two daughters age 9 and 6. I’ve also now got qualifications in Video Production. I’ve made loads of short films and have got over 60 films on Youtube, ranging from music videos I directed, to weddings and little home movie and family clips.
I’ve also now written 17 mainly slim books, and so far I’ve got 3 of them published as ebooks by Chipmunka publishers under my pen name Christophrenic. I also passed my driving test over three years ago and I regularly drive on short journeys. Without medication I’d never have achieved any of this. I’d be in a psychotic hell, that had previously made me starve myself of food and drink for several days at a time, stop washing for weeks, drag knives across my stomach, walk miles around the streets crying, wet myself, and on one occasion I smashed a bottle over my own head.
Those are some of the things I did when I first became ill before I took medication. And it makes me gratefully aware of the difference medication makes. It’s the difference between heaven and hell.
Even though I’m on medication, I do still suffer and experience mental oppression and feel anxious and tense a lot. But there are other times that I feel so blissfully at peace, that I feel like I’m floating round in heaven. And every day I experience moments of beauty, joy, warmth and laughter, and its thanks to the medication that I can feel these things. But without medication I’d be extremely ill.
I feel its time for people to stop complaining about medication and its time to praise the people who create it and feel some gratitude.
I’ll also say that as someone who’s been a Christian for many years, I’ve developed my own theories about health and healing. Some people say that people aren’t healed because they lack faith. And I do believe that some people are miraculously healed by Christ, but miracle healings are rare and only a tiny percentage of people genuinely experience this. And I don’t know why some people are healed and others not.
I do believe though that God uses many methods of healing, and that he uses doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors and pharmacists, or a combination of all these things to make people better.
And I know that medication isn’t always natural, and that its often synthetic and partly toxic, but my medication when I’m feeling well, does make me feel like I’m very natural, and without it I’d feel like I was demon possessed. And the difference I experience from being psychotic, to being well on medication, makes me feel like I’m being kindly and gently loved by God, and for this reason I will take the medication gladly and believe that God is providing it.
I’ll also say that over the years I’ve received sound advice from Christians in regards to my health. Pastors, psychiatric nurses, counsellors, friends and family have all said ‘Don’t just come off medication suddenly’. And when I have done this several times I’ve gradually become ill again. And also when I’ve tried to wean myself off the medication by reducing the dosage lower and lower, I’ve also became ill again.
From trial and error I’ve learned to stay on the recommended maintenance dose, as this makes my health better. And the fact that Christians have given me advice like this, doesn’t affect their own faith and relationship with Jesus, but its like we all realise that God is in control and that all things work for the good of those that love God, and the reality is that some people simply need medication to get better and experience improved health.