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Katie-Louise’s experience of mental health medication

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

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 aripiprazole, venlafaxine 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.

Ongoing support and medication has really helped me.

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 my - I would say ‘I have bipolar,’ not that ‘I am bipolar’.

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 and has completely transformed my life into one where I actually look forward to the future instead of dreading it.

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.

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