I am getting fed up of seeing on the internet things like this:
“Sometimes people who have a mental health problem stop taking their medication. If you do this without talking to your doctor or midwife when you become pregnant, this can make your illness return or get worse, so it’s important to talk to them before making any changes.”
“Many studies have been done to identify the reasons why some individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder refuse to take medication. The following four reasons appear to be the most important.”
It goes on to list 1. lack of awareness of being mentally ill 2. Drug/alcohol abuse 3. “Poor relationships with mental health provider” and 4. “Medication side effects.”
Everyone EVERYWHERE misses the reasons that I think are the MOST important for healthcare providers to understand:
- The cost of a prescription.
- Being in a fit state to leave the house and go to the doctors, get the prescription, then go to the pharmacy and cash it in.
- Some antipsychotics/antidepressants make you sleepy. I can see people sleeping through their doses quite easily as you lose touch with time/reality a bit when you’re on some of them (I’m looking at YOU amitryptylene and quetiapine).
How is this so difficult for healthcare providers to fathom? Oh, I get it, if you make out we’re “refusing” to take them or that we have a “poor relationship with our mental health provider” then we can be labeled as “noncompliant” and then you can maintain the control.
It seems to me that these studies and websites are always written by people who have an underlying need to control other people’s behaviour. Is it really so hard to understand that meds which make you sleepy, make you miss a dose of them?? Is it so hard to understand that people won’t take things that make them feel worse than they did before, and before was pretty shit? Do we have to keep being treated like we’re stupid, like we’re all alcoholics on heroin, who start fights with psychiatrists and vomit on their shoes whilst being blissfully unaware that we’re not actually hunting whales with David Copperfield?
Some of the most insightful, intelligent and thoughtful people I have ever come across have the most severe and debilitating mental illnesses (mostly bipolar, but I’m biased towards reading people who go through what I go through), and some of the most ignorant, uninformed, and unwilling to listen to reason people I’ve ever met have been “health care professionals” working with people with mental illnesses, or people who have placed themselves in an assumed position of expertise about the same and taken it upon themselves to write generic and shit websites with no real information or advice. What a waste of bandwidth!
Here’s my sources:
In similar irritation today, I was told when I turned up for my appointment at the aptly named “Family Planning Clinic” that they’ve changed their minds since Friday, and now won’t see you if you don’t want to kill your unborn baby. Which is the opposite of what I was told on Friday, so I did actually vomit on their floor before I left. Morning sickness is a bitch, and the sheer amount of effort it had taken for me to get to the clinic after waiting a week to see someone about being pregnant has really taken its toll. I looked at their website which goes on and on about “pregnancy” not “abortion,” I even said to them “it’s called Family PLANNING clinic” but apparently none of them have any interest in the fact that they are falsely advertising, wasting my time and lying on the phone, and the bitchy nurse interrupted me and just told me to go and see my GP. Which I can’t do because the receptionist THERE will only schedule a fucking appointment if you want to kill your unborn child as well. What am I supposed to do???
Why is it easier to kill an unborn baby than to keep it??? Why is there no third option (the one I want) which is: “I want to try and stay pregnant for as long as possible but I know I have problems, I’ve already vomited more than 20 times since Monday and had over 10 severe migraines since conception as well as a constant headache, and if I need to give up on this pregnancy in a couple of months, I need that option.” Why is that not a valid choice? Why can’t they just assume you’re keeping it and take care of you accordingly instead of ignoring you and turning you away until you tell them otherwise? It’s not like we don’t KNOW our options and rights! Like they think it’s so clear cut, that you know before you’ve experienced pregnancy whether you are coping with it or suicidal? This laissez faire attitude towards abortion is really appalling but only BECAUSE it’s easier to find information about killing it than keeping it. I have no idea what to expect, who refers me to who or when… and nobody else does either. As I told the nurse at the family planning clinic, nobody is taking responsibility for this baby that I’m trying to take responsibility for!! And I’m supposed to be a high risk pregnancy, and yet I can’t even get a nurse or doctor to confirm by blood test that I’m however many weeks pregnant, tell me when it’s due and refer me for essential pregnancy services such as someone checking the baby’s growing properly/still alive/whatever the hell they do ultrasound for!
When did the world get so fucked up that killing someone was easier than letting them live?