Sunday, November 28, 2010


Every night, I take pills.  Some nights as few as two, others as many as six.  All are legal and most of the pills have been added as I've gotten older, and many have been taken away.

I've been on psychiatric medication since around 2002.  It started before I was even diagnosed with AS, when I was dealing with serious depression and ADD.  I began to see a psychologist in sixth grade, who quickly referred me to a psychiatrist in the same practice and started me on medication.  I remember going through all different pills at first while finding one which worked correctly without too many side effects.  One treated the problem but caused me to become extremely hungry.  Another just made things worse.  Finally we settled on a combination that seemed to work.

It can be so amazing to consider the effect a tiny pill can have on me.  I take 25mg of Serequel for anxiety and over the summer my doctor decided to take me off of it.  At first, everything was fine, and then boom, the world exploded.  Panic attacks, the feeling of being followed, irrational fear, mood swings, being on edge and upset when there's nothing to be upset about, it was as if my entire life had been flipped on head.  After a particularly severe attack I knew it was time to get back on the medicine.  I now look at this pill with awe when I take it - that tiny little dose protects me from so much.

Learning to manage my medicine was an important step in growing up.  When I graduated high school, my mom gave me my pill bottle and told me it was my job to remember to take it now.  Getting a phone with an alarm set for the same time every day has made this task easier.  I'm now entirely responsible for taking my pills on time and correctly.  It actually makes me feel safer knowing that I'm in control of my doses and that I have only myself to blame if I don't get them.  When I go out for the night and there's a chance I won't be back by the time I need to take my pills, I put everything into a pill container and throw it in my bag.

When did you or your child start to manage their own medicine?  What has your experience with medication been like?

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