Why I choose to take medication for my mental illness

Artwork by Erica Crompton

I’ve made the artwork opposite to show how my brain might look when I’m unwell with psychosis. I call these collages the ‘brain surgery series’ as to make them I take a scalpel to pictures of people in magazines! Since 1999 I’ve taken different measures of antipsychotic medication to treat psychosis or the brain explosions you see in my artwork and this means that, today, I’m able to live my life without too many symptoms of my illness. For me, I don’t worry too much about side effects as they’ve always been outweighed by the benefits of taking pills: being able to get out and about, being able to take part in paid work, being independent and best of all keeping on top of my relationships with loved ones. A prescription and a therapeutic relationship with my psychiatrist also means I can access employment support benefits as stress can cause a relapse so I am advised not to work too hard! My psychiatrist has told me I’ll be on medication for life but that there’s still hope to reduce my dosage if things improve. I hope one day that happens but I’m in no hurry! Working with psychologists and a psychiatrist has been one of my best decisions in life as on the whole I consider myself in a much happier place than when my psychosis was left untreated. – Erica Crompton

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