My name is David, and I have to take a ton of medication to stay healthy.
It’s taken years to find the balance, and recently, one of the main medications has had to be changed.
Currently I am taking aripiprazole, paliperidone, mirtazapine, trazodone, promethazine and propranolol for my mental health (although the paliperidone will soon be discontinued, and the aripiprazole dose increased).
I also take procyclidine and rosuvastatin for the side effects of my medications.
I’m autistic and have complex mental health conditions. I’m stable, but it’s taken a long journey through various medications and talking therapies to get here. My autistic brain is sensitive to changes, so I have endured a lot of side effects.
Why did I endure it?
I wanted to get better.
I realised that if I wanted to feel better and be better, I had to listen to what the experts were telling me. There has been a lot of trial and error, but I am now in a place where, even though difficult things are still happening due to outside forces, I am happy.
I have walked away from people who shame me for taking meds. I don’t need them in my life. For some of us, medication is a prerequisite of life. Finding that balance however, can be a nightmare.
My autistic brain doesn’t react typically to anything, and there is little to no research on many of these medications in autistic people. For this reason, it’s taken me over a decade to get to where I am.
My psychiatrist deserves a bloody Nobel prize. He has worked in the dark to make me well again. What we have achieved together is nothing short of a miracle.
My advice for anyone struggling with mental health is to work with your doctor. Use their expertise. Discuss how it makes you feel. It’s tricky, but you have to give a certain level of trust.
Medication is a lifeline that everyone should have access to, and I will never allow people to be shamed for it on my platforms.
We need to work together to destroy the stigma surrounding medication.