I think your concerns are legitimate. Many people have these same concerns when they contemplate taking a new medication.
Medications can affect behavior and aspects of your personality such as making you feel more focused or clear-minded but fundamentally it will not change who you are.
The medication may have some small negative effects or, as for many people, no negative effects at all. It may be insignificant when you consider the alternative, which is having to struggle with hearing voices, homicidal and suicidal thoughts, extreme anger and the risk of engaging in harmful behavior. I am sure you don’t want to harm an innocent animal. It almost happened but thankfully it didn’t. Not taking your medication can have serious consequences.
You’re worried that medication will fundamentally change who you are, but the opposite may be true, which is that mental illness prevents your true self from emerging. No one can function well when they are suicidal or besieged by extreme rage.
Your parents observed many positive changes in your personality when you started taking medication. It appears they believe that the medication eliminated your symptoms and revealed “the real you.” It’s an important observation that they made about you: being medicated allowed their son to be his true self.
You were surprised to learn that medication changed your personality but it has been a positive change and not a negative change. Your cautiousness and inquisitiveness are indicative of a thoughtful and insightful individual. You’re asking the right questions about medication and the results thus far indicate that the medication has benefited you.
When beginning a new medication, you should keep track of how the medication makes you feel and behave. You should also ask your parents to report their observations and then compare notes. That way you will have two perspectives about the potential changes to your personality.
You may be acting differently, not because you have become a new person but simply because you are feeling better.
It seems as though you are on the right track. Your symptoms have diminished considerably, you have a competent doctor and caring and loving parents. I wish you continued success. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle