4 Things that will happen to you after diagnosis that your doctor will not tell you

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Being diagnosed with a mental illness is a life-changing, often nearly devastating thing for most people who experience it. Most medical diagnoses are this way, but to varying degrees. Emotions and curiosity will collide and you'll likely feel overwhelmed. There will be a lot of information to absorb and your doctor will likely do his or her best to convey it, but some things will not be mentioned or will be glossed over in the info deluge.

Here are four of those - the things you can expect will begin happening to you over the next several weeks, perhaps the next year, after your diagnosis.

You will get tired. A lot.
Nearly all psychiatric meds have the side-effect of making you groggy. Grab any random pill bottle off the shelf at the psych pharmacy and it will include "fatigue" or "drowsiness" or something similar on its side-effects label.

When you first begin taking them, these groggy effects will be at their worst and no amount of coffee will keep them at bay for long. You'll find yourself napping. sleeping in, or falling asleep earlier. Or all of the above.

Don't panic. It's normal. Plan for it.

You will feel worse before you feel better.
Another effect of most psych meds is that they make you feel worse before they start helping. Grogginess is just the beginning. A lot of these medications have other effects, like nausea, headaches, dry mouth, cramping.. Again, be ready for it.

When you feel better, you'll feel you're cured.
When the lasting effects of the meds and lifestyle changes you've had to make to accommodate your new condition are in place, you will begin to feel like a new person. Eventually, you'll have days where you feel there's nothing wrong with you.

Those perfect days are the most dangerous. Many patients make the mistake of thinking they don't need their meds anymore and stop taking them because "everything is fine." That's when the big crash will come.

You'll crash so hard that you'll fall through the floor of where you were when you went in to find out what was wrong and end up feeling a lot (lot) worse instead.

Recovery from that will be tough, but it only happens once.
Climbing out of the hole and back up to the light so you'll feel great again will be tough. Far tougher than most anything else you've ever done, it could be wagered. The good news is that you can do it and once you do, you'll more than likely never have to do it again.

The "feel great, quit, then crash" thing usually only has to happen once before you learn. It's a tough lesson, but everyone who goes through a diagnosis and finds the right treatment(s) goes through it eventually.

 
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