Thursday, October 17, 2019

Comments by dutton999

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  • Thank you for this brilliant rendering of yours and your mother’s struggle with mental illness and the cavalier overprescribing of oftentimes toxic combinations of medications, with little regard of their effect on the quality of life and health of living HUMAN PERSONS. I too was overmedicated for 35+ years for anxiety/depression/PTSD. Every six months I visited my psychiatrist for a weighing in on the positive/negative effects of my medications. When this doctor prescribed yet another regimen of drugs that would cause me to become diabetic, I balked and left her practice. I searched desperately for a new doctor. Fortunately, through a mutual friend, I found a psychiatrist with whom I have been working for the past 18 months. During that period of time I have been weaned from Cymbalta (to avoid the frightening side effects of withdrawal, it took 8 months to complete the weaning process); I discovered a gluten-sensitivity that now has my GI tract operating much more smoothly (90% of serotonin is produced by the gut); and I have been supported in discovering a more “natural” and individualized, customized means of coping with mental illness (quality foods, exercise, meditation, music-making, painting, socializing, etc.). I have developed a protocol that I follow each and every day from the time my eyelids open until I crawl back into bed at night. It is not a strict regimen but simply life-enhancing components that enrich living each and every day. I am not entirely medication-free but those prescribed medications are used PRN, as needed (Ativan, Xanax), with all the necessary precautions not to overuse or abuse them. They are in my toolkit as part of my total self-care package. I am needing them less and less frequently as the insights into my thoughts and behaviors, achieved through talk therapy, have strengthened my inner resolve and ability to live a less darkness-bound and more light-filled existence. Kudos to the state of Maryland for allowing the prescribing of medical cannabis. I use it (and melatonin) as a sleep aid and, considering that lack of sleep is a major contributor to a descent into depression, I am very grateful for access to a drug whose use I can better control than the antidepressants I formerly took for far too many years. Drugs were often prescribed that no doctor could ever fully explain how they operated on my mind, body, and spirit. I have found that the use of cannabis as medication presents a whole new avenue of treatment for the patient/doctor partnership to explore. Thankfully, I now have a doc who is willing to learn together with me as explore the latest research in treating my conditions. Thank you, Ann, for your courage in sharing your story. We are all in this TOGETHER, in partnership with one another and the healthcare community, both traditional and altenative medicine.