Thursday, 18 November 2010


People tend to be sort of reluctant when it comes to taking medication. No wait, let me narrow that generalisation a little... Brits tend to be reluctant when it comes to medication- I've seen many a documentary (maybe I should just stop there, I've seen many a documentary. I'm a documentary junkie, I'm not kidding, I'd watch a documentary on bloody patch-working or brick making or, I don't know, paint drying) on American's polluting themselves and their kids with pointless chemicals.

I don't really understand the reluctance. I mean, I do. Ish. I don't think a boisterous child needs to be fed ADHD meds or powerful psychiatric drugs. If a child is happy, let them be. And I don't think anti-depressants are a singularly effective treatment for eating disorders, for example. Oh my, especially not fluoxetine (prozac). DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED. I swear that drug is more dangerous than... Oops, I got started. Back to task (I'm a little drunk, last night was corkin'). I think really, well, I don't really care about taking medication, either way. Would I rather not have to take it? Maybe, just for the convenience- not having to get prescriptions and all that. But the action of taking five tablets a day, as I take at the moment, doesn't take more than a few seconds. Most of the people who have issue with taking medication are the ones who don't NEED medication.

And that's lovely for them, for all of you, you CAN sit there and say that you don't like things messing about with the biology of your body (even though you pump yourself full of pesticides and chemicals in your food and drink, but I'll not go there because I love Pepsi Max and much as I love documentaries). But please don't get on your high horse and don't presume that, for example, taking anti-depressants is taking the easy route. Anti-depressants are easier than depression, sure. But I don't believe anyone who has genuinely been depressed would judge another person for doing anything that's likely to free them from the prison. It's stupid. It's like not getting your vaccinations and it sort of takes the piss out of people who haven't access to... Oh shit, another rant for another day.

Weirdly, people seem to be more put off by drugs that they think are going to change their personality. I say that's weird because it's so uneducated. It's such a big claim and such a ill-informed one, but so many people have it. My mum is so brilliant and the most tolerant and open-minded person I have ever had to privilege to meet, but she's hesitant even when my medication changes. And so let me tell you categorically, psychiatric drugs do not change your personality.

One of my friends asked me whether I ever though about coming off everything and just being myself, which is extremely adorable. But also madly laughable. Without the drugs, I am the same person. What makes up a personality? I'm not off to get scientific (mainly 'cause, like, I can't get scientific. I'm doing politics and not, um, science for a reason, yanno. Or hair-dressing... I need to remember NOT to cut my own fringe), but it's basically likes and dislikes and characteristics and wit and intelligence and all that kind of shit, right? Psychiatric drugs do not change that, no more than any other sort of medication. Maybe your moods change and maybe a break from symptoms brings out new sides to a person, but again, recovery from any, not just mental, long term symptoms will do that to a person. Priorities probably shift, but usually they shift to what the person wishes they could have been before- it's not that it's a new focus, it's more that there's now an ability to make what was previously a desired focus into something more.

And sure, I've thought of coming off them. Not seriously for a long while, because it's always absolutely disastrous when I try to go without. Yes, I'm dependent on them. But again, why the negative connotations there? Most women are dependent on tampons for one week out of four. Most adults are dependent on caffeine. Every human (shut up, Anorexia) is dependent on food. Air. So fuck it, relax. If a medication helps, what's the problem?

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