I live with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Many, many people think of this as a very serious illness. And I’m not saying I don’t have struggles. I do.
However, many lay people think they know what’s going on in psychiatry. And, unfortunately, they think meds are a cure-all.
So let me set the record straight on this: There is no cure for schizophrenia. There are merely treatments.
I have theories about why people think they need to insert themselves into my healthcare–and most of them are not good. If you are such a person, you should probably examine your motives. Do you really want what’s best for me? Or is it something else?
I have tried about 7-8 different medications. For each med, I was pressured by other people to stay on these meds–even though they caused lock jaw, drooling, an extremely fuzzy mind and more.
Look, it’s my healthcare. Not yours. And, sometimes, people with mental illness are taking their meds not to make themselves feel better but to make you feel better.
Psychiatry is known for often using a shotgun approach to treatment. They try this. They try that. See if anything works.
I can’t tell you how many theories there are about the cause of schizophrenia. Is it the result of trauma? Is it a vitamin deficiency? Is it poor gut health? Is it chemicals in the brain? Is it the structure of the brain?
I know of other people with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Most of us use a multi-pronged approach to treatment. For example, I take Abilify Maintena, go to counseling and take vitamin supplements. Some people take medication and incorporate nature therapy into their regimen. Some people, who have tried several different medications to no avail, rely on a slew of vitamin supplements. Most of us try to eat right.
For none of us is there a “cure.” None of us do exactly the same thing when it comes to treatment. There’s not a pill that works for everyone.
So when you come to me, demanding I take my meds, I’m going to, first of all, ask you about all of your medical treatments. Are you taking your blood pressure medicine? Is your diabetes under control? It’s none of my business, of course. But my treatments are none of yours, either.
In the end, many people who have schizophrenia want their symptoms to go away. Some of those symptoms may be more terrifying than you can imagine. Whatever your personal view is about schizophrenia and controlling it (yes, it’s often about control), I’m sure the symptoms and stigma the person with the diagnosis has are far, far worse.
So make sure the people in your life are not taking their meds simply to placate you. Psychotropic medications come with serious side effects. These are not to be downplayed. You don’t go around messing with the brain haphazardly!
If you are a lay person trying to “help” someone with the diagnosis of schizophrenia, know your place. The person with the diagnosis has the absolute right to try this or that–or even to not be treated at all! Yes! They have that right!