a brief reflection on medication
There's two people I know who are going through the mill just now. One is struggling with medications and the other is struggling without them.
The first friend has been on meds for nearly 40 years now, and has got it down to a fine art. He tweaks the pills regularly, to adjust his state of mind; a sliver of a tablet can make a difference. He reads up on all the literature, knows milligrams and side effects like the back of his hand. He reads the DSM for leisure and surfs the psychiatric med forums to find out what other people say about the drugs he takes. And yet... he's been down lately, and demotivated. The drugs aren't working as he wants, and he is counting the days until he can see his doctor and adjust the prescription.
The second friend is philosophically and viscerally against the idea of taking medication, and went cold turkey off the prescriptions he was forced to take while in hospital. He is surviving now without drugs, and taking life straight on the chin, with all its ups and downs. And yet... he's been down lately, and demotivated. |Things are getting to him, and colouring his perspective into bleak cynicism. The reassurance of the moonlight isn't reaching him.
So which of these two friends has got it sussed out? They are both suffering. They are both wrestling with forces beyond themselves. And they are both doing their best.
I don't know the answer. I take meds myself, and at present they work for me, despite my unease at my dependance on them. Philosophically, I agree with my anti-meds friend – but finding one's way though this crazy world just isn't always so simple. The one thing I do know is that it is an intensely personal decision, whether or not to take medication into one's body, and I respect wherever someone is coming from on this tricky issue. I respect both of my friends, because they are each following their own truth in the matter, and both trying to live well. That counts more than anything.
(Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash)