[Image description: An over-turned medication bottle with white pills spilling out on a blue background]
After a recent conversation I realize I never have posted about my stance regarding mental health care. As in, what my stance is regarding treatment of hallucinations and delusions and other mental states.
I am honestly of the opinion everyone needs to decide for themselves if they wish to seek treatment, but that must also be a responsible decision.
Though the industrial complex is embedded with ableism and capitalism; it is not without its merits. I don’t post my experiences in the attempt, nor belief, that treatment is unnecessary or should never be sought. I post them simply to normalize their existence and show they can be discussed rationally. It is meant to be a counter-point to the idea that all people who have hallucinations and delusions are only murderers/violent or are tragic and pitiable figures. That we are without goals, families, careers, lives.
But it is not a strike against medication nor therapy; nor the idea these are not only helpful but sometimes necessary
Let me use an example from my own life.
When I was a teenager I had suicide idealization. Honestly I don’t even remember a great deal about this time because repression but also depression physically harms your brain and make memory recall difficult, if not impossible. I, to this day, have trouble with long term memory. Nothing for me is linear and I often have no idea when events occurred unless they are connected to an event that has a date I can easily verify.
But I knew I was going to kill myself unless I got help. I was self-mutilating and nearing the crisis point. So I did. From a psychiatrist. From therapy. From pills.
These saved my life.
So why are my hallucinations/delusions different? As of yet, they have been nothing violent nor even interactive really. They’re more chicaneries of sight, sound or my perception of reality. My voices don’t even speak to me, nor do any of the entities I see. They’re more ethereal visitors in the daytime and at night I am still just a passive watcher. Yes the sleep paralysis is terrifying, but it’s more because I am afraid I am not going to wake up and not so much I am afraid I am going to be harmed by whatever is going on during my experience.
I am not going to kill myself, or anyone else, over my current state. That is the difference.
Now everyone’s threshold is different. Having hallucinations, even benign ones can cause a person unpleasant stress so they want treatment. It is perfectly within their rights to seek it. No one has to wait until they are in crisis to get help. If a sleep paralysis sufferer cannot sleep at all due to their condition or feel great psychic harm after any experience; it is within their right to get help.
I am neither of these. So I chose to not be treated. Though the pills helped me at the time I can also remember how sluggish and sleepy they made me, how they killed my creative drive. Though I was forced off of them due to loss of insurance, I haven’t taken them since as I don’t feel I need them. I am however aware I need to aware of my mental health, and need to listen to those around me, to make sure I don’t need them again.
And that is my right. Everyone needs to make this decision for themselves. I see no use for this to be an only two-sided issue.