Saturday, March 29, 2008

Heart and Mind

Medication is important. I think we are lucky there are doctors to prescribe medication.
Many people are resistant to taking medication. Why?

The times when I was severely depressed, I welcomed the relief from a medication to
"kick in". It seemed to take forever and I didn't trust I would feel happy again or even "at
ease". I was resistant to having to take medication, but I wanted to feel better. Every time I got depressed I was afraid yet, I eventually got better. I did go to therapy and I do think I learned some coping skills along the way. What I didn't do was remember I had been depressed...it was my "Big Deep Dark Secret".

I wish I had accepted to be followed regularly by a psychiatrist and therapist to aid me in understanding this emotional illness, depression. Luckily, my mother and father found excellent doctors and therapists...I was so depressed already and had no professional to rely upon so they took over.

I am an experiencer of depression, not a doctor. I seem to have a body chemistry in which I have had episodes (very severe ones) of depression...took medication and then was able to taper off the meds. I still have a psychiatrist available if I ever need to go on medication and a therapist. After decades of treatment, I have gotten to understand myself and my tolerances much better. I no longer allow myself to take on all the stresses of "the world". I take very good care of myself. If I or a relative or friend notice something askew, I will be right back on medication and in therapy. I am trying to channel my strong emotionality through my creative writing and future art performances.

I am not advocating to refuse medication or therapy. I am not advocating to take medication or go to therapy. This is up to each individual and professionals to figure out. I am advocating acceptance and understanding. Who needs a big, invisible label "Crazy Person" tatooed on their forehead? It was my "Big Dark Secret- Depressed - Crazy Person" that I thought was on my forehead. I had been hospitalized and I always felt I had to make up a story when I returned to work to explain my absence. This made recovery from depression even harder for me.

I want to share some of my experiences and hopefully it will help others. Please do not think I want to convince anyone to go off medication and heal yourself. That could be dangerous and I only want to open dialogue about depression. I suffered for so many years and second-hand have seen others suffer from depression, bipolar and schizophrenia. These experiences and my reflections are the data for this blog.

I try to use my heart and mind to make decisions. It is a way I have found to be honest with myself. So....please...I urge you to do the same. Use your heart and mind. Be honest with yourself.

2 comments:

laura said...

This can be a difficult time of year for people who struggle with mood disorders. If someone is in treatment with a psychiatrist, it is always important to stay current with appointments. Perhaps the doctor needs to adjust medications, during these difficult periods? Seeing the psychiatrist regularly, and more frequently during difficult times: these are proactive steps people can take in optimally managing affective illnesses, and creating the best possible life for themselves.

nancy said...

Laura,

Thanks for your post. What an important comment. The weather and especially the type that keeps a person from enjoying the outdoors and sunshine can definitely help to create a down mood.

And, again...yes...seeing a professional...a psychiatrist is a very good idea to possibly adjust meds if the individual and the doctor agree. Totally agree.

Nancy