Friday, May 10, 2013

The great debate

As in all things having to do with schizophrenia, people are going to have their opinions. I am expressing mine here today and I will not be swayed from my thinking. Here's why:

In the mental health community and amongst people suffering from schizophrenia there is a feeling that medications are not the best option for treating schizophrenia. I do not currently agree with this way of thinking. Let m
e explain.

Right now, right this very moment, my son is fighting his way through psychosis. He's struggling, he's fighting, and he's failing miserably. His valiant efforts are both admirable but more so, heartbreaking. He has put in his time in therapy and together with his therapist and with mine and his pdoc's (the doctor--or in this case, psychiatric nurse practitioner) input we have tried to alleviate the symptoms (fears, delusions, hallucinations, depression). I have spent time with him trying to reason through what haunts him but when delusions take over he sees only what he sees, believes only what he believes and my words fall on deaf ears. I can make changes in his surrounding environment here at home to try to help but those changes are a drop in the big empty bottomless bucket that is schizophrenia.

He's on very little medication--compared to what is generally used to treat schizophrenia--and what he is on is definitely not working. And so one might ask me:


"Would you consider more medication or can he just learn to have a "relationship with the illness" or can it be treated more naturally?"

Right now, today, I would say...no, I would shout from the rooftops a resounding hell yes, I'll consider more medication. The time for talking, for building relationships with the illness, for trying to track down the (in my opinion) controversial "natural remedies", is long gone.

Think of where things are at with him as a kayak headed down a rocky river towards a waterfall. For weeks now he has sped down the river bumping against boulders, capsizing at times and righting himself but still continuing down the river. But ahead there is a big cloud of mist billowing high into the air, coming from the bottom of a gigantic waterfall. There are no more shallows in which to exit the kayak and stand on the shore and there are no more overhanging branches to grab hold of for a rest. The waterfall is ahead and he's about to go over the edge.

So yes, I choose medication at this point. Nothing is helping, it hasn't for weeks and I have nowhere left to turn. My son is getting tired of paddling for his life, I have little to offer him outside of my love and hugs and words of support, when they can get past the armor of delusions. I see the mist, I hear the roar of the thousands of gallons of water hitting the rocks below and I choose medication. For him...to save his psyche and preserve his very existence on this earth.

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