ruthsamson2002
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I know this is a very sensitive question to ask but I really need some help for my EPQ about mental health. Would anyone who has had experience with being diagnosed with mental health illness tell me whether they think that medication or therapy was a better option for them?
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bfm.mcdermott
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I might not be the best person to ask because I haven't been given a formal diagnosis, but I will give my opinion/experience anyway.

I have had long-term mental health conditions (low mood, anxiety, social anxiety, disordered eating - with suicidal ideation and self-harm). I have been treated by CAMHS, and other organisations, however have not been formally diagnosed for a few complicated reasons. My therapist didn't want to diagnose me because she thought it would make it harder for me to recover?? And because I am autistic, they use that as an umbrella term for my mental health problems. I have had counselling and CBT therapy, although I haven't used medication due to weight gain side effects (and as stated, problems with eating/weight), except medications to treat the physical side effects.

I personally haven't found therapy at all useful, and believe that had I been willing to try medication, it would have been the better option.

I do agree that therapy should be offered first, because not everyone who has poor mental health will require medication to recover, and if medication and all its side-effects can be avoided then it should be. However, I think for very long-term or severe cases, medication is the better option and is more likely to have an impact.

It depends a lot on the individual and the quality of therapy offered. The therapy which I received was useless and a waste of time. However, had I had different therapists, maybe it would've been very different.
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Roseyr1119-20
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I am a girl so i get mood swings anyways. But i know when i have a reason to be sad. Like now my school is shut and i miss everyone at school literally. I have had an anxiety attack every 5 days at least more are worst than others. now i cant see my mates and all the funny people who help with my mental health. I recommend head-space. I pretty sure if your in England you will be doing pshe.
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JOSHKOIKKARA
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(Original post by Roseyr1119-20)
I am a girl so i get mood swings anyways. But i know when i have a reason to be sad. Like now my school is shut and i miss everyone at school literally. I have had an anxiety attack every 5 days at least more are worst than others. now i cant see my mates and all the funny people who help with my mental health. I recommend head-space. I pretty sure if your in England you will be doing pshe.
I am not in England yet, but soon will be to pursue my Masters in Energy. There is a saying in India, the more your mood swings, the more creative and stressed out you will be. I have served as a trainer for mentally disturbed students while visiting a christian missionary. I recommend you to find a friend who can listen to all your stuffs when mood swings.
Back to the point, You need someone to listen to you and keep you engaged while balancing stress in you. Majority in India, with these problems, figure out by doing the works which make them happy and relaxed. it can be listening to music, checking out photos of various places, drawing, enjoying with colors and paint etc.
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Roseyr1119-20
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(Original post by JOSHKOIKKARA)
I am not in England yet, but soon will be to pursue my Masters in Energy. There is a saying in India, the more your mood swings, the more creative and stressed out you will be. I have served as a trainer for mentally disturbed students while visiting a christian missionary. I recommend you to find a friend who can listen to all your stuffs when mood swings. (The user name you see in here, is available in facebook too, if you wish to meet me).
Back to the point, You need someone to listen to you and keep you engaged while balancing stress in you. Majority in India, with these problems, figure out by doing the works which make them happy and relaxed. it can be listening to music, checking out photos of various places, drawing, enjoying with colors and paint etc.
i love listening to music
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JOSHKOIKKARA
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(Original post by Roseyr1119-20)
i love listening to music
Well, listen to favorite tracks and collect as many as you can will help you feel fresh. Musiq do heal mental illness.
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bones-mccoy
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I found that both worked together, I personally don't think meds should be given without some form of therapy as you're only treating the symptoms rather than the root cause. Medication helped keep me more balanced and able to function better whereas therapy allowed me to speak to someone about to cope in times of distress, create action plans etc I don't think I would have gotten better with both meds and therapy imo.

Obviously it's different for everyone and it certainly took me a while to find the right mental health professional to speak to, but I think the issue with therapy is that people don't really understand the effort it takes to recover, you've got to WANT to get better so it requires a lot of work. Unfortunately it's not a quick fix and the realisation that you have to be willing to talk and be as open as possible with a complete stranger is difficult to deal with.
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glassalice
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(Original post by ruthsamson2002)
I know this is a very sensitive question to ask but I really need some help for my EPQ about mental health. Would anyone who has had experience with being diagnosed with mental health illness tell me whether they think that medication or therapy was a better option for them?
I very, very much regret going on medication, for the following reasons:
-Hudge weight gain: I put up on 15kg within the first month. Over the next 2 years I went from being mildly underweight to obese. This really messed up my body image, body image issues and my dx come hand in hand- not good.
-Shaking: Some of the meds make me shake really badly. For some people this can be permanent.
-High prolactin levels: This hormone caused lactation, irregular period and if I had taken the medication in the longterm may have lead to osteoporosis.
-I had never experienced any form of hallucinations/ perceptual disturbances before taking medication. Now I go through periods of time where I notice things out of the corners of my eyes, at best it annoys me at worst it terrifies me. In regards to perceptual disturbances, I misinterpret things around me ie. my rucksack looked like a chair.
-Sometimes it lead to extreme levels of agitation and intensified intrusive thoughts
-Withdrawals are hell. Withdrawal symptoms are often indistinguishable from the return of symptoms.
-Extreme tiredness/ lack of motivation
-Lastly it leads to early death and I don't want to die.

I do understand that for some people medication maybe a necessary evil. However side effects are often glossed over.
Inaddition, large amounts of medication (Inc. Antipsycotics) will often be prescribed to reduce behaviours despite clinical guidlines advising against and much evidence showing how ineffective it is, in autism, learning disabilities and personality disorder, however this is not a conclusive list.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Meds helped me a lot when I first started on them, reducing the voices I heard by about 80-90% (which was great!). These days it has been less effective for me (been on meds on-and-off since Dec 2010). What really transformed my life a LOT was undergoing schema therapy ( https://www.schematherapysociety.org/schema-therapy ) for 9 months on the NHS. I'd had two rounds of therapy before that: CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) and ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy). CBT was helpful for learning how to recognise a voice from my own thoughts and helped with my social anxiety, but only mildly. ACT was a bit useless tbh as I wasn't in the best position for it, and I didn't 'click' with the therapist.

If you have any questions about what I've written, feel free to ask here or PM me, ruthsamson2002
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