Revisiting medication: listening to lived experiences from persons in mental health recovery without ongoing medication use

Mo Yee Lee, Ray Eads, Nancy Yates, Chang Liu, Xiafei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This qualitative study used a grounded theory approach to explore the lived experience of psychotropic medication use in the recovery process of 18 participants who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression but who were successful in recovery without ongoing medication use. Participants’ narratives depicted a continuum of medication experiences in their recovery process centered on three key recovery factors identified by participants: basic functioning, deeper healing, and hope for recovery. For each recovery factor, participants’ experiences ranged from perceiving medication as promoting recovery to perceiving medication as impeding their recovery, with mixed experiences in between. Findings suggested that the role of medication in recovery is multifaceted and individualized. Mental health providers should avoid a one-size-fits-all philosophy on medication for major mental health conditions, and should be responsive to individual situations and needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-301
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Work in Mental Health
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Psychotropic medication use
  • recovery
  • serious mental health conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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