When you live with depression and anxiety change can be difficult to swallow. This week I’ve been introduced to new medication for my depression & anxiety and it’s a little bit scary.
When I was first diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I strenuously rejected taking medication until my doctor insisted. After all, I was sure I could tough it out.
However, because of my nature (and the information now available on the internet) whenever I’m prescribed anything I undertake to find out as much as I can about it. Not because the doctor hasn’t told me but because I always like to know more. It’s the way I am.
When depression or anxiety symptoms start they’re almost innocuous. Anyone you choose to share with (including your doctor) will most likely tell you the symptoms will pass. They’ll put it down to stress, tell you to take time out for yourself and try some relaxation therapy. They might even tell you to get a new job.
You have no idea how many aromatherapy baths I’ve taken. Candles I lit. Positive self talk I err… talked. Mantras I rehearsed and encouraging bible verses I read.
When my symptoms had become so debilitating I could no longer work, one doctor told me I had over committed myself financially and this was the price I would pay!! That doctor’s words still haunt me today when my symptoms flare up and I need time out.
My greatest fear with medication is that it will turn me into someone I’m not. You see, I kind of like the softer side of me. In fact I like a lot of things about me that emerge when my mood starts to ebb. It’s a time when I’m more creative and thoughtful. But I like the stronger me too. The risk taking giant me, who can succeed in places where no-one else would try. I don’t want to be neutral and nothing. I want to be me.
It’s a complex problem that requires a complex solution. And the problem, if I might be so bold, is that the solution isn’t always a palatable option. Who wants to be playing with their neurotransmitters?
When I scanned my way through the online depression and anxiety forums I found a lot of discussion about different medications and their effects. But what I found concerning was that there seemed to be a lot of “bagging” about other people’s medications going on.
Frankly, when people start telling you that your medication is bad for you it seems a good idea to move on. There’s always a fuller more inclusive picture behind why your doctor would prescribe medication in a particular way. If you doubt your doctor, choose another doctor.
I’m quite sure that my medication could be bad for me. In fact I already know that it will make it difficult to lose or maintain my weight. Which, for an already obese person, makes it a (pardon the pun) difficult pill to swallow! But, there are some conditions I can control. Like what I put in my mouth.
But, the inability I have to moderate my “outlook” is terrifying, debilitating and life threatening. It’s not a condition I can live with and blossom. I’m not even sure if it’s a condition I can survive!!
So I accept that I have a doctor who understands the illness I have and who will prescribe the appropriate medication. In time, I expect a remission, but for now I’ll do what I can and if that means taking my medication and being kind, (to myself and others) that’s what I’ll do!
This week from Margaret Mead: Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else!
Deb Shugg is an awarded business woman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety. To contact Deb click here.
If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor. If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.