I wanted to write about something a little more serious today, because it is an omnipresent part of my life. That ‘something’ is medications, specifically psychiatric medications.
When I had a tumblr I would occasionally see a post to the effect of: “Not taking your medications doesn’t make you more creative, so take your medications! Yay!” And while I agree with the sentiment, and agree that everyone who actually needs it should take their medications as often as prescribed, there was an element I always wanted to contest; namely that your medications don’t sometimes come at a cost, even a cost in creativity. I don’t think not being clear about the costs of medications is fair or ultimately helpful either.
Let me say this: I am much more productive–in spite of sleeping for extra time most days–when I am taking my medications than when I am not. But I am also less creative. I struggle to find words more. I struggle to remember the past more. I have fewer ideas overall, even if I can follow up on those ideas better. In a lot of ways, that is good–it means I can get to sleep on time without the crippling insomnia that follows from my mind churning out a thousand ideas, none of which will ever see fruition. It means my mind doesn’t become ‘overheated’ as it were, and go crazy, and cause me to scare the people I love most. But I feel–and I think objectively am–less able to think outside the box, and think up something different and, to me, more interesting.
Does this mean I think anyone should not do their duty and take their medications? No. Does this mean I don’t feel privileged to have my medications? No. But as with most things besides God’s love, taking psychiatric medications comes at a cost. Like I said before, I sleep more. I am less creative. I can become mentally foggy. I think I am even a little less intelligent on my medications, though I have no way to prove it. And while I think anyone with serious mental disorders should be on prescription medications when it medically makes sense to do so, I think that also we as a society shouldn’t lie and say these costs are real, or that at times it isn’t courageous and an act of heroic self-sacrifice to take these chemicals into your body for your own sake and the sake of everyone around you.
Just a thought.