Hoping someone will understand this post...I have struggled with anxiety since I was 7, depression reared it's head in my early 20's. Life changes over the years (deaths, divorce, relocation because of those things and life trials in general) only exacerbated both. Tried medication/therapy on and off over the years..this year reached the point that no amount of therapy/herbs/exercise/thinking positive, etc. was going to work - medication was the answer for me. Started on an SNRI. Helped a lot with the depression, some w/the anxiety but allowed me to begin to function again after literally months of being shut down physically, emotionally and mentally except for anger that bordered on rage at times and irritability and crying jags. Side effects are constipation, loss of libido, some breaking out and fatigue. But depression and anxiety have side effects too.. I took a job out of desperation at a home health company that is well known and deserves the lousy reputation it has - but I need a pay check and am behind on some bills though catching up so for now, I have no choice unless I want to lose everything but hating the job doesn't help matters though I remind myself many, many times a day to be grateful for this job. Plus, my periods of unemployment and job hopping don't help my cause to find another position at this point.
What I'm dealing with though, is a lot of resentment over needing to take medication. I resent the side effects, my inability to "just handle" life, the cost ($45/month after insurance) and knowing this illness - depression/anxiety, that has been with me since age 7 (now 46) means it's life long and w/all the changes that have happened over the years making the condition worse, medication will most likely be long term, if not for life. Logically I know the medication makes things easier, that as much as I wish I was like "other people" I'm not, am never going to be and frankly can't be. I work, I work hard and am not stupid or lazy. Exercise, eating right and all that goes along with it helps too but an over the counter herb or yoga can't cut through the grip this illness has. So, knowing, without question, the medication makes life easier, and if I were offering advice to someone like me I would strongly encourage them to remain on it, yet here I am resenting taking this pill once a day. It's like either way I go I somehow want to punish myself - repeatedly - for past mistakes/failures and that being stable/happy even - is uncomfortable. Make sense?
Dec 1, '13
It makes all kinds of sense, to me anyway.
I started hating psych meds with that first antidepressant I tried 20 years ago. It didn't seem right to me that I couldn't feel 'normal' without benefit of medication, which I would either decrease or stop when I started feeling better. I didn't want to believe that I felt better BECAUSE I was taking the medication. But I did, and I knew it, and I hated it.
Fast-forward to now. I am on six different medications (two are PRNs) to control what evolved over the years into a rather evil case of bipolar disorder. I STILL wish I didn't need so many to be functional, especially since they cost me over $200/month. BUT---they are every bit as necessary to life as my blood-pressure and diabetes medications, and frankly, I've learned to be thankful for them. Even as recently as fifty years ago, there wasn't much that psychiatrists had to offer people with chronic severe mental illness, and I much prefer taking a handful of pills over living in a mental institution and/or being turned into a zombie via lobotomy or ECT. (Although the latter does have its uses, and is done in a much more humane fashion nowadays.)
I don't know if any of this is helpful to you, but know that your struggle is shared by many and that we understand the love/hate relationship with meds. (((((HUGS)))))
Dec 2, '13
Makes perfect sense. And I echo what Viva says--they are as vital to you as a blood pressure medication, a diabetes medication...
There is stigma attached to having to be on "meds". To get out of that way of thinking, know that mental illness is just that--an illness. It is not a character defect.
I am not sure that the job is helping. Even if one is not on medication, work with a lousy company can make anyone take pause. Have you thought about just taking a little look around to see if something else is out there? Even some per diem in something else? To mix it up a bit may be something you could think about.
Best of luck to you in your endevours.
Dec 3, '13
You are not alone with your dissatisfaction re meds. Insulin-dependent diabetics have voiced the same esp when they ascribe to all the necessary good life-style requirements. Same for dialysis pts -hooked up to the machine. I take a pill with dry mouth as a side effect. I want to drink the Atlantic Ocean (less the salt content).
And for you to deal with anxiety/depression, the negatives must be very disheartening. I can't give you any words of encouragement or suggestions that you probably haven't already heard and I would never want to come across as patronizing or trite. But I will hold good thoughts & wishes for you and others in the same circumstances.
You're in there too, Viva.
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