The question was to further explain what we mean by "anti-medication mental health advocates".
It took a little thought, what DO we mean by that...
We sent a nice little two sentence answer...but that, now, doesn't seem enough.
Basically it's a personal decision to try to learn how to manage our mental health issues as well as possible, with no medication. It's not the right decision for everyone.
Our experience with medication had always been either bad (lose off hair, required kidney function screening, sever insomnia, weight gain, loss of libido, constant exhaustion, and more), or good. So good in fact we were numb to how unhappy we were, we were willing to put up with anything. We were not able to deal with the deep issues we should have been dealing with. They were just shoved to the bottom so we didn't have to work through them, to face them, to learn and grow.
So in June 2011 we went off the last of our medications.
This, of course, is not a solution to everyone.
But neither is medication dependency.
The pharmaceutical industry has the United States by the balls. In most developed countries they are not even allowed to advertise on television, in fact, the only country other than the United States that direct-to-consumer advertisement is allowed in, is New Zealand.(1) In addition, deaths attributed to prescription medications are now topping those caused by traffic accidents.(2)
The pharmaceutical industry has a medication for everything. Every emotion, every thought, every twinge, every single issue you have...they are here to tell you, you need a medication for that, and they have one. They have a medication that will make you feel right as rain...but might make you have suicidal thoughts or tendencies, have uncontrollable bowel movements, get ulcers and die of internal bleeding, lower your immune system making your body unable to fight infection...the horrid lists of side-effect goes on and on. They also have layers of medication to prescribe you, one to bring you up, and then one to bring you a back down from taking the first one. A little tired and sad? They'll give you an upper for that. And then a downer to counter-act it.
They have anything you want, if you, or your insurance company, has the money, so...line their pockets, please.
And don't even get us started on media fear-tactics when it comes to colds, flu, and anything else they can exploit for ratings-sake.
Some people require medications to manage mental health, and other issues, obviously; but many people don't, are prescribed medications they don't need, and even wilfully abuse them; and sometimes medication is needed, but those people fall through the giant cracks of the health care system heavily lining the pockets of insurance companies, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. You're too poor, and they shove you in the crack.
So, what's our view on medication?
Be smart. Don't be a victim of greed. Learn to understand what your brain and body needs. If you need medications, you need them; but don't let them be a crutch.
Sources and Citation:
(1) Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Under Fire, Bulletin of the World Health Organization,Volume 87, Number 8, August 2009, 565-64, http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/8/09-040809/en/index.html