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Medication Vs Medication

By Survivingana @survivingana

The last talk I had with Sophie’s psychiatrist we made a plan for when she was back to start weaning her off the olanzapine. As good as this medication is, she is no longer anorexic (both physically and mentally according to her team) nor needs that side of the medication anymore. I was worried that bringing Sophie off this medication might increase her anxieties and make a relapse easier to slip into. However I thought that with slow weaning, her team around her, and heaps of time still here at home, she would get stronger in the skills she has learned.

Instead I find when we went on Tuesday, that we are weaning her off one psychotic medication to put her onto another psychotic medication. WTF. That wasn’t what I had in mind. As much as I can see how all Sophie’s medication has helped her recover to this point, I also didn’t expect her to be on this one in particular for a long period of time. The plan now is keep the anti-depressant going for at least another 2.5 years, the new psychotic for at least the same period. She is 18 and has been on medication (both anti-depressant and psychotic) since she was 15. From what I can gather, Sophie is clutching happily at her medication for fear of slipping back. Which may be an answer in itself.

When does recovery really become RECOVERY when you still have medication and intense structure keeping you safe and upright. When do you ever venture into the real world without the props? If we continue to keep her safe from her true self then are we doing her favours? I just don’t know. I know she is high risk and will be still considered that next year. I know she is intense, highly-strung, anxious and has the asperger side of things too. But … I didn’t really want her medicated for so long. It then begs the question, she was intense, highly-strung and anxious before the anorexia (which I thought was teenage angst) – should she have been on some form of medication then – would that have stopped her getting an eating disorder? Is the very long term medication to cover the 5-7 years – just in case?? I don’t see value in that at all. All we are doing is applying bandaids.

The treatment now raises more questions than answers, more unknowns, some doubts. By the time we see our psychiatrist in a month, we will be almost 2 weeks into weaning. Feeling flat, feeling like I still don’t know enough and wonder if I ever will to make an informed decision. Never mind how Sophie is supposed to do that, she is even more clueless about the long term effects of this illness.

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