This article is a bit glamourous, but it does make these groups known to those who read these columns, so it is beneficial to some extent. Who knows, maybe someone will be able to manage thier "illness" with help from these groups that they discovered via this article.
I had imaginary friends as a child and my family saw it as a sign I was horribly ill, so I was put on medication for 8 years between the ages of 11 and 18. I was prescribed more pills as the medicated years progressed because the first medication, an anti depressant caused me to go into manic episodes. I was prescribed a "mood stabilizer" to counter act the mania. The "mood stabilizer" that was supposed to cure the mania was causing me to go into deeper depression, thus having to go on another anti depressant which caused me to continue to go into hypo manic episodes and then fall back into the lows of depression. The pill salad I ended up with caused me many health problems, including my thyroid becoming dysfunctional, causing hospitalization, a prescription for synthetic hormones and the risk of the condition becoming worse, which would have resulted in the possible of my thyroid. After discontinuing the twice daily doses of 2 different anti depressants, 1 mood stabilizer, and a sleeping pill that pulled double duty as an anti psychotic, with the doses being raised as time went on because they "should be working but must not be at the right level", my health dramatically improved, I lost weight, regained my energy and my thyroid recovered so I did not have to take the synthetic hormones.
Doctors need to go easier on prescribing pill combinations, study up on how some medication can cancel out or even aggravate a symptom that another medication is prescribed to relieve. You'd think all doctors would keep up on this sort of thing but they do not. They, those who do not do this already, need to listen to the patient as well as their care takers(minors and those adults who need assistance), they can learn more by actively listening to the patient instead of nodding, taking notes and then talking over their head to their parent or guardian without seriously taking into account what the patient has said. Even if the patient isn't telling everything, or perhaps purposely contradicting what their care taker is telling the doctor, it's good to get both sides and see what correlates, for better over all treatment. Not all care takers, parents or assistants as well as health care providers realize that they may be wrong.
Fortunately or unfortunately these medications are for treating symptoms, not curing the "illness". Sometimes it's like taking over the counter cough syrup for pneumonia, you may feel a bit better and be able to go to work without being completely miserable but the pneumonia will still be there, and could even worsen. If you insist on only treating the symptoms you'll never be "cured".
Sometimes the medications do what they are supposed to, help the person be able to take a step back and take into account what is addressable and "Real" and what is not. Thus helping them go about the daily tasks they are required to do to live "normally".
Who's to say the "chemical imbalances" are wrong anyway? How can you test every person in the world to determine what is balanced and what is not?
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