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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

To each his own.

I was recently asked for some personal advice regarding therapy and anti-depressants. It perfect timing because over the last week I've been considering a post about those two things. That request has motivated me to get my thoughts together and share.

I've been actively dealing with my depression for about a year now (after having felt like it was all under control for a few years prior). I started talk-therapy last April and anti-depressants a little later in the spring.

My dosage was fairly high as I struggled to climb out of the black hole I'd let myself crawl into. I maintained it until November when I met with my psychiatrist and restructured my treatment. The counsel of both my medical doctor and psychiatrist was that it's best to take the smallest dosage possible that still allows me to maintain my mental health. Due to pregnancy and an improved overall outlook I felt confident cutting my dosage in half.

Throughout the course of my medication and therapy, I have never felt numb to happiness or sadness. My particular medication still allows me to feel everything. I describe it as an aid that allows me to respond, rather than react, to stimuli. Instead of immediately collapsing in a puddle on the floor when something happens, I take a breath and collect myself.

That may sound like an easy task one should be able to complete without the help of medication or therapy. For some people, it isn't. I got to a point in my life where everything was too hard. There was no room for rational thinking in my black hole.

I still have ups and downs. And that's normal. I don't expect my life to be perfect simply because I have a drug that floats up to my brain and helps with chemical interactions. I know that I have to exercise other coping mechanisms just like anybody else in order to get through tough times. I breathe deeply, I write my thoughts, I talk with friends and family, I exercise, I reward myself with good books, short trips, time with loved ones...

I don't know how long I'll be using medication as an aid to get through tough patches in life. But I'm prepared to keep using it for as long as I need. I don't think medication is the answer for everyone, but I do believe that talk therapy is the first step toward determining what is best.

If you're having struggles right now that feel like too much to handle, then use all the coping methods you can think of. Whether it be seeing a therapist, exercising, changing medications... whatever. What's the worst that can happen? You'll just keep eliminating what doesn't work until you find something that does.

4 comments:

  1. Oh Liv, I feel for you, it's such a process. I still want you to come to my healing circle dangit. Let me know if there is anything I can do, I will pray for you. You're a strong women thanks for sharing your story.

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  2. I agree you are so tough. I'm pretty sure I went through I time where I struggled and could of used some help but I just didn't let myself realize how much I needed help- because I didn't know how or what to do. Thanks for the post Liv! Im happy that you have found ways to feel better! I'm taking your advice :)

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  3. amen girl. i honestly don't know where i'd be w/o medication, it truly is a lifesaver. and i'm glad you are doing so much better :]

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  4. I'm glad you are doing better. It is so tough to admit that you need help. Way to go! You are a strong woman.

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