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Coping with side effects

Hey everyone! This is Mariah, and I thought I would write a blog post about medication side effects. I am not a doctor but I have been through so many medications and have had so many negative side effects that I thought I’d talk about it. Medication is a very important component to proper treatment when it comes to mental illness. However, you may be reluctant to take it when it is causing you minor or major side effects. It is always important to speak with your doctor when this becomes the issue. Some side effects are permanent and dangerous so if you speak with your doctor they can provide answers or prescribe a new medication. I’d like to point out that you should always stay on your medication until you talk to your doctor as abruptly stopping it can be detrimental. Not everyone is the same so your experience on a drug might be different from others. I just want to say that if you are struggling with a side effect, you are not alone. Keeping a journal to note down your experience can greatly help you and your doctor identify what is wrong and how to deal with it. There is also an issue of interactions. Some medications interact badly with others so it’s especially important to tell all of your doctors what drugs you are on. It’s even more important to mention what recreational drugs you take as they can severely interact with your prescribed medication. Another tip for managing your medication is letting your support system know that you’ve changed medications and they can even help you identify side effects that you don’t notice yourself. If you would like to do the research yourself, you can check drug interactions online. Below this post I will add a link to a website that checks interactions. I would love to hear your experiences with medication side effects down below. I hope this helps!

https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html

CT SMART Recovery Groups

SMART Recovery support groups for teens and for young adults and SMART Recovery Family & Friends groups are popping up all throughout Connecticut! Find out which ones are near you and check them out with a friend!

Our TurningPointCT staff are running a SMART Recovery teen group in Fairfield and about to start one in Norwalk. To find a SMART group near you, click here, or to find other cool spots to check out in your area, visit our map here. Join in on the conversation here.

So what exactly is SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery is a peer support group run by trained facilitators. It is for people seeking support with any struggle they may have: substance abuse, anxiety, depression, bullying, fighting, etc. But it’s more than your average support group–it also helps you develop coping skills by analyzing your behaviors, triggers, reactions, etc.  When our TurningPointCT staff got trained to facilitate SMART groups, they tried the skills out on themselves–and the skills worked! Check out our “What We Like About SMART Recovery” discussion about it on our Videos page.

For more information on SMART Recovery in CT, click here or to find an online meeting visit www.smartrecovery.org

So what exactly is SMART Recovery Family & Friends?

SMART Recovery Family & Friends groups help those who are affected by substance abuse (drug abuse, alcohol abuse) or other addictions of a loved one. If your boyfriend, sister, parent, friend or child is dealing with any type of addiction, this group will not only give you social support from people who have been exactly where you are, but it will also help you develop skills, based on the CRAFT model, to help you handle their behaviors better and also to help you get them into treatment.

For more information on SMART Recovery Family & Friends visit: https://www.smartrecovery.org/family/

 

Wallpapering

Sometimes throughout our lifetime, we may experience things that are less than appealing, things that can cause us a great deal of pain, hurt, and can bring back so many negative emotions whenever we think about it. For me, every time I have endured a negative experience in my life, I have been pretty good at stuffing it down and “forgetting” about it until I can no longer push it down further enough or until some external factor such as a scent, noise, etc. brings me back to that same painful moment.

A few nights ago was the anniversary of a very painful event. Needless to say, I had stuffed it down so much I didn’t realize what day it was until I was laying in bed trying to go to bed and I started to hear fireworks go off. Immediately my mind brought me back to the same painful place I had been in just a few years before. All of the same overwhelming feelings and fears had taken over my body. It’s as if I was trapped although a part of me knew that I was still okay and I just had to remind myself that I was in a safe place now.

Moving forward, I remembered something that a therapist of mine once told me. She had mentioned that I should try to “wallpaper” my negative experiences. In a nutshell, if I had a bad experience on a 4th of July previously, I should create a good memory on a 4th of July now so that I will be able to remember the day in a better way. This can work for anything negative, not just specific days. For example, if you have had a negative experience at the beach, go to the beach again and do something completely different than when you had the bad experience. “Wallpaper” over the bad experiences with positive ones and take control of your life again. You’d be surprised at how much this actually works!

What do you guys think about this? Have any of you guys tried this or something similar?

The struggle with Medications

https://www.facebook.com/RTDocumentary/videos/1542926352430635/

In my opinion, pharmaceutical companies want to create consumers they can have for a lifetime. I’m not saying that sometimes medication is not okay and that I condone ANYONE who is on medication. Nevertheless, had I seen the negative effects medication would have on me and my body, and the difficulty I would face now as I try to get weened off of them, I wouldn’t have begun taking any in the first place. America is misinformed. There are things that aren’t being said. We have the right to know the whole truth!

What do you guys think about medications? Have any of you experienced anything you would like to share about being on medication?