reclaiming your power during medication visits

two seconds
There’s a lot of guff and nonsense thrown around about meds. You’ll hear people dumping their baggage and beliefs on you: ‘do this’, ‘do that’, ‘meds are evil’ , ‘if you don’t take em you’re a danger to society.

Taking meds is not a moral issue.
Not taking meds is not a moral issue.

No end of bollocks.

Recovery is not about meds – its about you.

You might find some meds help you. You might find some make life harder. Drugs are like that.
Meds don’t, can’t,  fix a crappy life but you may find they help you.
It’s your choice.

So how do you learn to make that choice?
How do you navigate your way through the all the bile, crap and propaganda others will foist upon you?
How do you begin work with  your doc in ways that they help you in making your decisions, your choices?

Here’s a start – some ideas, practical steps you can take  from Pat Deegan how you can begin to do just that.

Reclaim your power.

Reclaiming your power during medication appointments with your psychiatrist

by Pat Deegan Phd

Reclaiming your power during medication visits with your psychiatrist  by Pat Deegan outlines five  strategies that you can use to claim your power during visits with professionals to talk about medications.

Strategy #1: Learn to think differently about medication

  1. There are no magic bullets. .
  2. Medications are only a tool.
  3. Using medications is not a moral issue.
  4. Learn to use medications.
  5. Always use medications as prescribed together with your coping strategies.

Strategy #2: Learn to think differently about yourself

  1. Trust yourself.
  2. It’s your recovery.
  3. Your questions are important.

Strategy #3: Think differently about psychiatrists

  1. Most psychiatrists are too busy for our own good.
  2. Psychiatrists often have conflicting interests.
  3. Sometimes psychiatrists are wrong.
  4. Psychiatrists are not experts on everything.

Strategy #4: Prepare to meet with your psychiatrist

  1. Set your agenda for the meeting.
  2. Organize your thoughts and concerns.
  3. Be specific.
  4. Write your questions down.

Strategy #5: Take charge of the meeting

  1. Bring a note pad and pen to the meeting.
  2. Tape-record the meeting.
  3. Announce your agenda at the beginning of the meeting.
  4. Bring a friend or advocate.

Pat Deegan says

These strategies have worked for me. Together these strategies have helped shift the balance of power between me and the psychiatrist I am working with. Perhaps some of these strategies will make sense to you. I am sure that you will come up with your own strategies as well. What is important is to realize that you can take your power back and become the director of your own recovery and healing.

Reclaiming your power during Medication visits: making the most of medication visits is a paper by Pat Deegan, find the full text at National Empowerment Centre.

Full Text…

Reclaiming your power during medication visits

Also available as a simple brochure downloadable as a pdf …

Reclaiming your power During Medication Visits pdf

And a kit with a guide to preparing for the meeting, including a sample meeting agenda;  questions you might want  to askl; and a worksheet you can use to organize your own medication and self-help trial.

free information packet

Common Ground

Pat Deegan has taken this work forward, working with paychiatrists to create Common Ground – a web based tool that helps people work with their psychiatrist and arrive at the best decisions about medications for their treatment and recovery.

2 Responses to reclaiming your power during medication visits

  1. Sheila Israel says:

    Any useful tips on how to deal with gaslighting?


    • Hi Sheila,
      Don’t really do tips, and don’t really understand “gaslighting”..
      … being a bit old skool, and preferring direct language, my word is that good ol’ standby: “discrimination”.
      Docs recognise it – and publish papers calling it “diagnostic overshaddowing” .

      Me, I call it “bollocks”, “bollocks” and “bollocks”…

      Or, for a different take you might try the search box for “A useful diagnosis”…


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