Do the meds change your personality? Do they change who you are? Do they make you high? Those are some of the most frequent questions I get when people ask about me taking psychiatric medications.

My usual answer goes something like this.

Of course the meds change who I am. The meds alter the chemicals in my brain. Since the seat of consciousness if contained in our brain chemistry and connections, how could changing brain chemistry not change who I am?

But that's okay with me. I like the changes. The changes make me able to function. Let me give you an example. 

Without meds I might wake up in the morning and walk to the bathroom. If I stub my toe on the way, I'm likely to cry. And cry. And cry. In fact, a little toe stubbing, without meds, is generally enough to send me back to bed crying for the rest of the day. Seeing as how I'm kind of clutzy, you can see how toe stubbing and lack of meds would make it difficult to hold a job and raise kids.

 

Now, let's repeat that example with meds. Assuming I'm taking my meds and said drugs are working reasonably well at the time, I wake up, walk to the bathroom, and stub my toe. Now, this time, I might let out a few choice colorful metaphors and jump up and down a bit a few times. But, and this is key, I continue on and take my shower and do whatever I'm supposed to do for the day.

Psychiatric meds, for me, are the difference between functioning and never getting out of bed. Psychiatric meds are the difference between enjoying the simple things in life and not enjoying anything at all. 

So, yes, the meds change me. They make it so I can live.

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