Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Comments by Julie Huneycutt

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • Michael, Thank you so much for this article. When Anna died from a prescription drug overdose, the first thing our family physician wanted to prescribe me was Ativan. He told my husband I would need it in order to sleep. When I overheard my husband speaking to him on the phone (he called us), I cried out from a fetal position in the bedroom stating I would never put something in my body that contributed to my own child’s death. Unfortunately, the immediate response of my physician was to medicate my grief. I slept without Ativan; I slept from the sheer exhaustion of grief.

    Fast forward to my husband dealing with his grief: He entered counseling, was referred to a Psychiatrist, and before I knew it, he was on a cocktail of antidepressants to medicate his grief. A few months down the road he seemed to be getting worse, so the Psychiatrist added Abilify. At that point I was not sure he would ever recover, because I wasn’t sure if he was drowning in medication or grief. The lines were completely blurred. After six months or so, my husband tired of flat lining his emotions and he wanted to feel again, so he decided to taper off medications; first with the blessings of the Psychiatrist who agreed to remove one medication at a time, but not Abilify. Abilify was his ‘stabilizer’.

    We have always lived in the mountains of North Carolina and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Driving on the Parkway and taking day hikes had always been part of our lifestyle, but my husband began white knuckling the steering wheel when approaching curves in the road and panicking uncontrollably if there wasn’t a guardrail when ascending a mountain road. These fears became unbearable so he decided it was the Abilify causing them and he must stop taking this one last medication with or without the blessing of his Psychiatrist. When he reached this point, I resigned myself to losing him. I honestly prepared to find him dead. It was my only coping mechanism with what he was hell bent on going through. I have never seen such struggling and anguish, but he had the tenacity to fight through it, although I don’t know how. He had horrible side effects for months and almost succumbed to taking other medications to offset the side effects of withdrawal. I am so grateful to say that there are no more antidepressants or antipsychotics in our household.

    You spoke of how interesting it is that the medical community somehow thinks they can indefinitely manage our chemical imbalances externally. They obviously think they can medicate grief as well. Normal human emotions are bestowed upon us to experience for a purpose and not intended to be medicated.

    I am truly appreciative of the work you are doing to bring compassion and understanding and effect change. I always enjoy reading your work, I have enjoyed working with you, and I hope our paths cross again someday.

  • This was so difficult to read. It is incredibly sobering to realize how profoundly the death of a child tunes us in to the pain of humankind. It is unfathomable the suffering that exists since we have lost so much of what true community means. My hope is that we will all realize the potential that is within every life, encourage one another, and build each other up. Thank you Suzanne, for your transparency. Your story resonates within my heart. You are a true sister in sorrow.