I didn't used to be hooked on drugs. What I mean is that in high school I refused to take anything for headaches even. And now I take 7 pills every morning. ]
I didn't think it was bad for other people to rely on pharmaceuticals. I was just very skeptical about the whole thing in relation to me.
How could you tell if the medicine was working?
If you took ibuprofin and your headache went away, was it because the medicine worked or because the headache went away? I wanted to know if my headache was still there or if it had dissipated.
The same thing holds true for Depression. I go through bouts (and have conversations with people who eschew drugs for their Depression) of thinking that if I were really a strong enough person I would be finding a way to get better without medication.
I have heard anti-depressants referred to as a "crutch." People don't want to go on them because they have heard that after a while the medications are not as effective and they might need to figure out a new one some day. People don't want to use them because they fear the side effects or because if they are taking medication it makes their problem more real...
When I am feeling well I do not think of my Depression as a character flaw. I think of it as a brain chemistry imbalance. One that is relatively easily corrected by proper medication.
When I am Depressed, I do view my mental illness as a deficiency in my moral fiber. And now a word from my Depression:
What do I have to be depressed about, after all. I should just get over it. Other people do. I work with immigrants who fled their country with nothing and they don't know the language and have no money and went through terrible trauma... they could be depressed. I am a privileged white girl who married the boy next door, has three beautiful children, a roof over my head and a job that I adore. So if I am Depressed it must be because I am an entitled prima donna who doesn't know when she's got it good.
I am making a commitment to stick with medication and get the balance right. I am not making a moral judgment on anyone who chooses not to take medication. If you know that you positively will not take medication, then relying on the full bottle of pills in your cabinet to solve your problem is probably not smart.
Today (yesterday-- backdated post) I met with the psychiatric nurse practitioner who is helping me get a handle on the meds situation. I talked a good talk about how much better I feel now than I did a month ago. This is true. But it was at the very end of the visit when she asked if I was happy with what this level and type of medication was doing for me that I had to stop myself from putting on a good show.
Well... I mentioned that I was still coming out as "moderately depressed" when I did the questionnaire. This is a common problem among people with chronic, long-term depression. We get used to being depressed. So our "normal" is really nowhere near what we should be aiming for.
For the first time I am taking two different drugs at once. We have added some bupropion to the mix, which should address some of the energy deficit issues.
Quaker, teacher, parent,