Health · Mental Health · Physical Health

The reality of being on medication for a mental health illness. Side effects and what not to say to someone who’s on medication for their mental health illnesses.


Hello my loves.

I’m so sorry that I’ve been SO quiet for such a long time. But I’ve been struggling with both my physical & mental health and in all honesty, it’s just been rather shit.

The picture was taken this morning. It was how I was all day yesterday. It’s how I will be all day today and more than likely all day tomorrow as well. And yes. They are bunny ears.

Please bare with me with this post. As my brain is all mush at the moment (not that it’s much better when I’m fit and well), writing this blog post was extremely tough. So please ignore the many spelling mistakes and sentences, paragraphs or just the whole blog post that doesn’t read well.

I’m currently going through an increase in my antidepressants, and it’s really taking its toll on me. And it’s annoying/annoyed me so much, because I don’t think some people actually realise how hard it is being on medication for mental health illnesses, and what we have to endure, just to feel some calm, peace and release.

So this blog is going to be about all of the above and also, what NOT to say to someone who takes medication for their mental health. That may sound silly, but you would be SO surprised at what I’ve personally been told.

These little anger filled complaints aren’t in any particular order. My brain is currently turned to mush (as I waffled on about above), so just bare with me and just enjoy the randomness.

Thank you!😊😊

OK. So..

1. Antidepressants and antipsychotics and what ever else someone may take for their mental health illnesses.. They’re not ‘happy pills’. You do not take them and then become instantly cured from your mental health illnesses. Nor do you become all starry eyed, bright eyed and bushy tailed. You still look and feel like shit.

2. With a vast majority of mental health illness medication, the first week (can be longer) of taking them can be absolute hell. At least it has been for me. It’s actually so common that we’re told that it can get worse until it starts to get closer to ‘better’. That statement is SO true.

3. The side effects. They’re all, mentally and physically challenging, exhausting and painful. Some of the side effects that I’ve experienced are:
* Nausea
* Headaches
* Dizziness
* Being unbelievably lethargic
* Even more depressed
* Even more anxious
* Weight gain
* Weight loss
* Insomnia
* The EXACT opposite of insomnia 😂
* Painful muscle spasms
* I’ve had hallucinations – nothing too exciting though unfortunately.
* Serotonin syndrome – which is really dangerous and can eventually put you in a coma.           Not that I’m not sleeping enough at the moment.                                                                            * Extreme agitation
* NO patience. At all. Breathe, I dare you.
* One hell of a temper/short fuse
* The feeling of being in a bubble
* Sugar rushes
* Dry mouth – so dry that it becomes painful to sometimes speak or swallow (can happen out of nowhere). Remember that SpongeBob episode when he tried to live without water?
* ‘You don’t need to take medication for being depressed, it’s a phase, it will pass’
. * ‘Medication for mental health is a waste of NHS money’
* Just because I’m on medication, does NOT mean that I am better. I can still have days just as bad as those when I was unmedicated.
* The first type of medication you try, doesn’t always work. So it’s a case of trial and error to find the right type or combination for you. This is extremely exhausting because your chemicals in your brain have no stability so you’re all over the place.
* Waking up in the morning with a ‘medication hangover’
* Because of the stigma. I used to be embarrassed about my medication and make up a physical illness that I could say they were for.
* Just because I’m young, does not mean that I don’t need medication.
* I appreciate that everyone has their own minds and opinions and everything. But if I say that I am happy with taking my medication, please stop trying to force an alternative method on to me. That may work and be the right track for you, and I appreciate the thoughts and advice, but if I say and explain why I’m happy on my meds, please leave it at that.
* The increasing and decreasing of dosages. Yesterday was day 1 of the increase dosage of one of my antidepressants, I felt as shit as ever and now, as I’m lying in bed, I have a feeling today is going to be just as rough.
* The increased dosage makes me feel nauseous. Which is a symptom that I cannot cope with, so that means I’m literally unable to eat until it starts to ease off. I do try, it’s just impossible for me.
* Today will more than likely be day 2 with no food as I feel unbelievably nauseous. I literally feel sea sick and the rooms spinning and my bed feels like a water bed.
* Hallucinations aren’t impossible either. Although if you do experience these, it’s best to contact a mental health professional for some advice.
* The constant feeling of worthlessness.
* The urge to just give up. What does ‘being strong’ even mean?
* Hot and cold sweats.
* Zombie mode is switched on.
* Zoning out – and not just for a few seconds.
* The ability to sit in one place for hours without moving or talking or anything.
* The constant need for sleep.
* The fact that people don’t realise how hard it is starting, finishing, increasing or decreasing medication for your mental health.
* The faces of some of the pharmacists when you pick up your prescription – my word if looks could kill.
* The ignorance.
* The fear of the unknown. Are these going to help you? Are they going to help you get better? Or are they going to make you so poorly that you’re not capable of keeping yourself safe.                                                                                                                                                                             * The isolation.
You’re not you’re own boss when you’re starting, finishing, increasing or decreasing your medication. Your mind isn’t your own.

I had no idea my list would be that big. So, my apologies.

However, it’s not all ‘Negative Nelly’, like, when people understand, or even try to understand!

Ask me questions about being on medication, ask me anything at all about being mentally ill.

I am MORE than happy to have a good humored laugh and joke around about my meds. I do a lot of the time with people that understand them and respect them. Just to make it clear in care rumors have flown about – No. I do not sell my tablets on street corners. Hahaha.

I’m allowed to go in to uni late if I have a morning lecture because of my medication. YUSSSSSS 💪🏻💪🏻 – but seriously. I do try my VERY best to get to uni on time. I never take advantage of it.

The sugar rushes. Can be both good and bad. Bad if you’re extra worried about weight gain, good if you want the excuse to eat extra shitty. 🍩🍫🍪🍬

It’s acceptable (to me anyway) to walk around looking like shit.

I can’t really think of any more positives. It’s shocking that there is any, haha. But at the end of the day, this is no joke. If I had it my way.. mental health illnesses wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t be on medication and I would live a somewhat ‘normal’ life with a healthy and happy mental health.

But, as we have all gathered. I am mentally ill, I am on medication, this is me, and I’m not embarrassed or ashamed anymore.

As soon as I start to feel more human, I will carry on with my little blog project (I haven’t forgotten), and I will be a lot more ‘alive’. But for now, let me get through this god awful zombie stage!🙃

Thank you SO much for reading.

As always, all my love,

Laura xxxxxxxxxx


5 thoughts on “The reality of being on medication for a mental health illness. Side effects and what not to say to someone who’s on medication for their mental health illnesses.

  1. Not fitting into trousers & having not great hair days, make me low. But then I remember what I can be like, that usually makes me smile and just walk out the door, slowly though. The trousers can be…tight hehe.

    It’s holding on to the positives, I enjoyed reading your post. I hope, like your post we continue on from a positive outlook.

    Hugs & kisses

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike, my lovely.. Your hair is ALWAYS gorgeous! I literally have major hair envy. I was even telling Amy not so long ago about it, it’s beautiful flower! So bad hair days are a HUGE non-existing problem with you. I’m trying so hard to stay positive. I’m recognising that this is a process that my brain is temporarily going through to adjust to new meds. I know this is only going to be short term and I know I’ll get through this. Trying to be positive, and so many amazing people, such as yourself showing me so much love, especially with this blog post is definitely getting me through this.So, thank you! xxxxxx


  2. Thanks for sharing this. As someone who has been suffering since my late teens (now in my 40s) I can relate to just about everyone of the effects you mentioned (apart from hallucinations and weight gain – I’m a starver not an eater).

    I won’t inflict sympathy on you, but I will share my understanding of this most debilitating of illnesses, that so many people don’t see and even fewer truly understand; unless they are fellow sufferers.

    Congratulations on surviving and for speaking out. The only way we can help end the stigma and increase understanding of mental illness is if those of us who suffer “own” the conversation and take it upon ourselves to try and correct the misconceptions.

    Stay strong.


    PS, if I can be so bold, I’d also like to recommend a blog by the children’s author, Debi Gliori: that tackles the issue in a similarly personal way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for you immensely kind comment. Sympathy is the last thing that I want, so a HUGE thank you for recognising that this post wasn’t about myself wanting sympathy. I simply wrote it because, either though there is still a huge stigma against mental health illnesses, it is slowly starting to get better, which is great! But, so many people are quick to judge against those who take medication for it, or that have this idea that the medication, as i stated in my blog are ‘happy pills’ and rid us of our illnesses straight away, which is the most, quite frankly, bull shit I’ve ever heard! So I just wanted to try and shed some light on this side of being mentally ill and what individuals may experience by taking the medication.
      Your comments are far too kind – but so much credit has to go to you as well! As I do admit, my blog is aimed at the ‘younger generation and middle aged group’, as if they haven’t suffered, they’re more likely to turn a blind eye against it. So for someone, with all due respect of your age, who has suffered, fought and survived to be so kind and respecting to my post means everything! So much admiration for you!
      I’m ALWAYS open to other blog suggestions. I love reading other people’s blogs! Especially when they’re similar to mine, so thank you for that! Take care 🙂 xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

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