Medication In It's Place

by Tina Gibbons

mental health services suffolk

I spend a lot of time raising awareness of natural approaches to emotional wellbeing and mental health. As a result, people often conclude or assume that I am totally anti medication. This isn’t strictly true however. So in order to set the record straight right from the start, I thought I’d spend a little time talking about my views on medication and mental health.

I took medication for my mental health for around three years, and to be honest, if I hadn’t taken medication at various stages of my life, I really have no idea what would have happened to me. I experienced psychosis. Nobody could reason with me and I’m not convinced anyone could have done or said anything to remove the anxiety, fear, confusion and terror that I felt. I had reached a crisis point. Medication was extremely effective at bringing me back to some kind of equilibrium. It stopped the paranoia, the anxiety, and the incessant delusional thoughts and eventually helped me to reach a much calmer state.

With this in mind, it should be of no surprise, for you to hear me say that I believe medication definitely has it's place.

Some people may discover that medication on an ongoing basis is the most appropriate action for them. I don’t deny that could certainly be the case. But is it really as many as prescription statistics currently indicate?

In my case, I continued to take medication for approximately three years, with no real exploration into what had happened to me and no exploration of alternative approaches that would enable me to heal or manage my condition without medication. I think diagnosis can be useful, but not when diagnosis and prescription are the only approaches adopted.

Medication has its place during times of emotional crisis and it is effective to help people get back on an even keel or temporarily cope with a situation they would feel unable to cope with otherwise. From that point however, I believe it’s important to explore much deeper and try to uncover root causes in order to heal and move forward or establish if this is something you can manage. This exploration can take a long time and it involves a partnership between the person suffering and a qualified professional. The professional cannot do the work for the individual, only guide them and help them.

At some point during this exploration of healing, an individual may feel ready to attempt to come off medication. Those who decide to come off medication need to do so in a well-managed manner, with appropriate levels of support. Many people try to come off medication and then experience a relapse. If no true healing or exploration of the underlying causes has taken place and no coping strategy implemented, this is hardly surprising. If nothing has changed, from the accounts I have heard, it’s no use thinking, you’ll manage this time. Something needs to change before you try to live a life free of medication.

The challenge in our current health system is that it can take a lot of time and support to make genuine long-term changes, or heal trauma. Science of the mind and emotions is also relatively new and in its infancy. Resources are not available to provide the support one needs to heal and come off medication safely. Where resources are available, there is a lack of understanding and information.

We also lack the knowledge and awareness required to look after our wellbeing and prevent mental health issues from arising in the first place.

In addition to this, as a society, we are so hung up on happiness, that we no longer acknowledge some perfectly human emotions as being valid and seek antidepressants to escape the sadness.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not denying mental illness exists and I know that some people reach the darkest places, and medication is a godsend. I’ve been there. My concern is that some people may be on medication for much longer than necessary, because of a lack of alternative options or a belief that their condition is permanent - a fundamental part of their identity over which they have no personal control.  

As a society, we need to acknowledge grief, emotional suffering and reactions to trauma as valid responses that need to be heard and accepted in order to heal.

As a society, we need to appreciate the spectrum of emotions and understand that happiness cannot exist without sadness. That sadness is okay and has its own beautiful place in the rich tapestry of emotions we experience as human beings.

As a society, we need to learn to look after our emotional wellbeing and mental health, in the same we look after our physical health.

And as individuals, we need to take responsibility for our own emotional wellbeing and find the peace that lays within us, acknowledging that we may need guidance and help to do so.

At least they're my humble opinions and thoughts. What are your thoughts?


I love this post!

I'm glad you liked it - thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!! :-)

Well - if I was to go looking for an echo to my thoughts on medication and therapy I've found it. But what a excellent echo, how clearly expressed. If only "the system" and resources supported and understood us better.

Thanks for your comment Vorobyey.. I'm so glad I managed to express it clearly - it's such a complex issue and it's taken me a long time to pin down exactly what I think. Becoming a master of your own healing and emotional wellbeing can be very challenging if the professionals you see don't understand and support you. I feel optimistic that there are quite a few out there who will though - it's a case of finding the right support to suit..

Great Blog I have been on Meds now going on 8YRS and everytime I try and come off them I have a relapse and the GP puts me back on them.Now I have an ulcer and I am concerned that I will be on them for the rest of my life.It is blogs like these that help and show me that there is light at the end of the tunnell.

Hi Bazza

I'm so sorry to read of your relapses and now ulcer..

I was wondering if you had tried any talking therapies, or any other approaches such as mindfulness? Mindfulness in particular is proving really effective in preventing relapse.  Last year The Mental Health Foundation campaigned to get mindfulness courses prescribed to those in need.  Check out for links to some online mindfulness resources..

Wishing you all the luck on your journey.

Take care


Medication can help but we must look at other routes. Be it just sitting quite looking at a candle. To listening to relaxing sounds. The are are a lot of people out the who say they have the cure for PTSD . They are only want your money. I get support from Combat Stress, C M H T , The Peace Centre in Warrington.

Hi Keith

Thanks for your comments and also for sharing a wonderful support service.

Yes - I think we should all be wary of anyone claiming to "cure" any kind of mental health issue..  It can take time and work to manage, heal or feel better..  


Is there anything I could read following your excellent post above, on pre-menopause and mental health? I have been taking fluroxitine (Prozac) for the last couple of years to help with erratic mood swings and anxiety. Earlier this year I stopped taking them for a while and thought I would be ok. I I then experienced a personal trauma and thought I was going mad, hyperventilating, crying all the time and not sleeping, going back on it has helped but I am beginning to wonder if I can deal with this through diet and supplements? I have been looking at the Paelo/primal lifestyle and wonder if you or anyone has any experience or advice?
Hi there. I'm sorry to read of your personal trauma. Please feel assured that you're not going mad! It's so common for people to experience difficulty in coping with life events, especially after a long stint on medication and especially if no coping mechanisms have been developed during the period on medication. I think nutrition has a big part to play in emotional wellbeing. I'm not sure where you are based, but I would seek out a nutritionist experienced in this field within your local area. It's really important to get support. If you get stuck you may find some useful resources at Good luck with your journey! Tina canada drug pharmacy buy viagra now canadian rxlist canada drug pharmacy buy viagra now canadian rxlist canadian pharcharmy online canada drug pharmacy pharmacy canada online prescriptions canadian pharcharmy online canada drug pharmacy pharmacy canada online prescriptions
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