Medication Myths Debunked: Why Medication Can Help You Get Through Tough Times

If you have been told a number of times that you should consider medication to treat your mental health but you have been resistant, you are not alone. Many people believe that if they begin taking medication for mental health, they are giving in and not trying hard enough to overcome their symptoms. Medication used correctly is a tool that can help you get your life back, yet many people equate medication for mental health with weakness. When you work closely with your treatment provider, the right medication can help you overcome obstacles that have been holding you down. 

Will medication change my personality?

One of the biggest fears many people have about mental health medications is that the medication itself is going to change their personality. In a word, no. Medication will not change your personality, but it will give you a chance at allowing your true personality to shine through the anxiety and depression. Medication will help you feel like a healthier version of yourself, but you will still feel like you.

Will I get addicted to medication for my mental health?

Typical medication used to treat depression and anxiety are SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRIs are not addictive, but they can cause physical dependence, which is different than addition. If you come off of an SSRI abruptly, you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as headache, nausea, and dizziness. You may even feel the anxiety or depression you were treating return. You should taper off of an SSRI under the guidance of your treatment provider to avoid symptoms of withdrawal.

Will I be able to stop taking medications for mental health once I start?

This depends on how you respond to medication, your goals, and how you respond to traditional therapy. While many people go on anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication for a short period of time, others find that the benefits of long term use far outweigh any side effects. You don't have to take mental health medications forever, but you may feel much better while being on medications than being off.

Are certain anxiety medications addictive?

Benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Klonopin, Valium and Xanax are all used to treat acute symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some individuals become addicted to these types of medications, and they are one to be used only as prescribed. These are short acting medications that should be taken only as prescribed. Contact a healthcare clinic, such as the Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc, for more information about depression treatment.