Therapy and Medication

gold-pillsLet me get the caveats out if the way right now, because I don’t much give a dang about whether you agree with me or not but I DO care to give you an “out” so you can read all this without feeling too convicted/uncomfortable that its too close to home.

Caveat 1: medication isn’t for everyone.

Caveat 2: it’s not easy to find a good therapist.

Note I did not say “therapy isn’t for everyone.” Know why? Because I think anyone will benefit from therapy given the right kind of therapist. (For example, my husband has yet to find the therapist who works via mixed martial arts and obscure historical anecdotes but when he does therapy will suddenly be very much his thing.)

Back in 2010 I did a series of posts on this blog that illuminated my need to get some outside perspective on my whole infertility/depression/anxiety/generalshutdown situation. I wasn’t having any overt crises, but I was more and more headed down a dark path, and effectively unable to change course. I had spent a solid year working my tail off in hopes that remaining busy or productive would provide my defeated spirit with some meaningful goals to take my mind of the crushing grief and pain of multiple miscarriages and unexplained infertility.

No dice. The 30 Days posts were my “snap out of it moment.” I realized after (re)reading them all at the end of that month in 2010 that I was no closer to peace than I had been a year ago. If anything, life was worse, harder, more painful.far side therapy

It’s 2013 now and I’m using this post to “report out” on some of the flotsam and jetsam of that epiphany back in 2010. I spent a good year (2011+) with a great therapist who(m?) I now only see sporadically. The doc responsible for prescribing my meds has lately been encouraging me to think about starting to taper off (since there’s been no need to change dosage for over a year) but I’ve remained fairly obstinate.

It took so long to get to a place where I feel right again, like me, like my brain and my emotions are in sync, I’m not wanting to risk losing the equilibrium just yet.

I don’t know that I ever will be “ready.” I buy into the whole “chemical deficiency” explanation of long-term depression; I have no problem thinking of myself as a mental diabetic who might need to be on medication forever. In fact it seems harder for those around me to stomach long-term meds than it was for me to accept. I’m also feeling highly enthusiastic about keeping my therapist on speed dial for when things go to crap.

Would I prefer to be totally independent of medical care? Absolutely. Am I willing to trade mental health and stability so I can be pill-free?

No flipping way.

If you have questions about any of this, ask. I think a fair amount of the social stigma that comes with appropriate mental healthcare comes from staying silent about it. So question (or comment) it up.

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2 thoughts on “Therapy and Medication”

  1. 2 previous doctors had the goal of getting me off of Zoloft. My serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels were optimal. Cognitive functions were excellent. We had moved to Columbia SC the year before and had developed relationships with several fine folks. Okay, I was ready. I ran 3 days a week for 30 mins @ 8-9 min. miles, I swam 2 days a week, and spent 1 day doing weight training to keep endorphin levels circulating. 9 months later I was struggling to “hold on” as the “black cloud” was suffocating me, again. When you arrive in that particular room again, it is terrifying. As I looked back, I realized that my descent was visible. I started smoking again 2 months after quitting Zoloft to cope with desperation. Rome & Sicily had been a gray blur as I struggled to feel anything. Christmas was fine as I put on my “cheerful, fun Eileen” personality. It was easy with loving people around. When I went to church and read my bible and books, I did so in an effort to “connect.” By April, I was desperate. All my efforts at inner peace and contentment had failed. Doc immediately prescribed Celexa. I escaped the black cloud and will continue to take Celexa as long as I live. I do not believe that medical science understands everything there is to know about depression/PTSD/ anxiety. I am grateful that I do not have to live in the “black cloud.” I am grateful for my little pink pill. It stabilizes something that is yet to be discovered.

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