To medicate or not to medicate? That is the question. Before I get started, please read my big, fat, important disclaimer below.
I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I AM NOT GIVING MEDICAL ADVICE. NEVER TAKE MEDICATION UNLESS PRESCRIBED BY A DOCTOR YOU TRUST. NEVER GOOGLE A MEDICATION, READ REVIEWS OR GO TO ONLINE BOARDS REGARDING MEDICATION. IT WILL MAKE YOU CRAZIER THAN YOU ARE ALREADY. PINKY SWEAR, SO HELP ME GOD. AMEN.
I have a love/hate relationship with medication. It most definitely has played a role in my story. Sometimes as the angel and often as the devil. The brutal truth is that it can take a long time to find a medication or combo of meds that work for you. It took me a year. And in the meantime, I felt like a living science experiment. I won’t mince words – it was hell.
In the beginning, I had two primary care physicians writing me scripts. I love primary care physicians, but I will no longer be treated or let any of my loved ones be treated for anxiety or depression by a primary care physician. Everyone is different. You may have a great experience with a PCP prescribing you psychiatric meds. I did not. I am still taking the wrong medication I started 18 months ago because I have to wean myself off in such small doses. At the rate I’m going, I figure it will take me more than two years to get off the cocktail of meds my psychiatrist doesn’t want me to take anymore. Good times!
The harsh reality is that it takes MONTHS for a new patient to see a reputable psychiatrist. That’s why general practitioners are in the precarious position of being the first line of defense. It’s a real problem in our country. Trust me. It is the very reason I had to walk into a hospital to see a doctor with the training and experience I needed. After that it took another 7 months to find the right doctor for me (and that was only by an act of God – stay tuned for that one!)
I need medication. At the moment, my body does not produce the right blend of neurotransmitters. I have accepted that I need my little pills to feel normal. I have also accepted that I need to deal with the side effects of the medication (of which there are plenty). Will I be able to go off the meds at some point? My doctor thinks so, but if not, I’ll happily take them for the rest of my life.
God created smart people who have developed medication for a reason. If you have diabetes, you take insulin without shame. Many of us need the extra help medication provides. Are there doctors who over-prescribe? Yes. Do drug companies try to brainwash us that their med is the magic cure? Yes. Is there a place for natural and alternative therapies. Yes, I use them all.
All factors considered, I know God led me to my current doctor for a reason. She doesn’t let me run the show. She listens to me. She responds to my frantic phone calls. She tells me, We’re going to figure this out, I promise. She uses all the tools at her disposal to help me live my best life. And for now, that includes medication. In the future, who knows? Today, I choose to give thanks for my little pills. It has taken a long time, but I no longer have medication shame. Acceptance rocks…seek on.
This series is not a tidy story of a fairy tale life. It is messy and truthful. For 31 days, I will share pieces of my journey, practical coping techniques for dealing with anxiety, spiritual insights, emotional struggles, and a whole lot of other. I will likely jump from here to there as the Spirit leads. I invite you along as I share my experience, my strength, and my hope. Thank you for being part of this journey with me. Together, we shall seek the still.