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Katie-Louise’s experience of mental health medication

2 min read
22 July 2019

Topics mentioned: medication, bipolar disorder, psychosis, depression, anxiety

Author: Katie-Louise

About: Katie-Louise explains how taking mental health medication for psychosis, depression and anxiety has helped her life improve over the past six years.

Everybody responds to medication differently. This blog only represents the author's experience. For more information, have a look at our medication pages. For medical advice, always speak to your doctor.

My medication helps me get from day to day, and helps prevent me from drifting into crisis.

My name is Katie-Louise, I am 21 years old and have recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder type ii. Before this I had psychotic depression with anxiety for many years.

When I was first diagnosed, it was really overwhelming, but ongoing support and medication has really helped me.

I am currently taking aripiprazolevenlafaxine and quetiapine. Both aripiprazole and quetiapine help stable my mood and quieten my psychosis. The venlafaxine is for my depression and anxiety.

I don’t know where I’d be without medication and ongoing support. My medication helps me get from day to day, and helps prevent me from drifting into crisis.

I don’t know where I’d be without medication and ongoing support.

My experience of taking medication

When I first started aripiprazole, I got blurred vision for a couple of weeks, but since then I’ve been getting on with this medication really well. Quetiapine makes me feel drowsy, but this works in my favour because I have insomnia and it helps me to sleep.

If I could go back in time to before I started taking meds, I would tell myself to persevere as things will get better, even if it doesn’t feel that way. I would also tell myself that my illness doesn’t define me - I would say ‘I have bipolar,’ not that ‘I am bipolar’.

I actually look forward to the future instead of dreading it.

I have been taking medication for six years and my life has done nothing but improve. I have fallen into crisis sometimes, due to negative life experiences, but I have always managed to re-stabilise myself.

Taking medication has definitely improved my life from the dark depths of severe depression. It helped me to rise from the suffering I was experiencing. It has completely transformed my life into one where I actually look forward to the future instead of dreading it.

I would tell myself to persevere as things will get better.

Questions about mental health medication?

If you would like to know more about the different types of mental health medication you could be prescribed, how they help and what the side effects could be, have a look at our guide to medications.

Where to get help

  • Childline

    If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

    Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

    Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

    Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

    Opening times:
    24/7
  • The Mix

    Free, short-term online counselling for young people aged 25 or under. Their website also provides lots of information and advice about mental health and wellbeing. 

    Email support is available via their online contact form.

    They have a free 1-2-1 webchat service available during opening hours.

    Opening times:
    4pm - 11pm, Monday - Friday
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

    Provides support to anyone aged 16+ who is feeling down and needs to talk or find information.

    Free webchat service available.

    Read information about the helpline and how it works.

    Opening times:
    5pm - midnight, 365 days a year

Thanks for sharing your story Katie-Louise

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