Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Comments by lordOfTheFlies

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I don’t disagree with anything you say. I think it would be extrememly helpful and is necessary for medicine in general to look at the whole person. Only treating symptoms rarely ends in success. There should be much more information provided up front about the meds and treatment plan.

    However, I stand by my statement that at the end of the day it was still their responsibility. We can hope for, but not expect that the Dr we deal with will make you fully aware and informed of side effects of a treatment plan. Before I took one Lamictal I did a lot of reading and research on the good and bad of the meds. What I could expect. I felt fully informed, but not because my Dr fully informed me. For example, neither my pyschiatrist nor the pharmacist told me I shouldn’t drink at while on Lamictal. I learned that myself.

    My point is before putting any meds in your body it is ultimately your and my responsibility to become informed and make the best choice. Dr’s are fallible, some are greedy and some just don’t care. Just make sure you are in charge or your life.

  • Tabita,
    I agree with 95% of what you say, but I think you may be inadvertently, or purposefully throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    First I could not agree more that we live in a “give me a pill” society. It’s heartbreaking. Can’t sleep? Pill. Anxious? Pill. Depressed? Pill. The list is not exclusive to mental health. High blood pressure? Pill. High cholesterol? Pill. So on that front we agree.

    While you did not come out and say you think it’s all a band-aid (meaning meds) I get that inference from the article. Let me quickly share my story for a little context.

    I’m very anti-medication. I don’t even like taking ibuprofen because I don’t want my liver messed up. For years (15+) I lived with rage, depression and manic states. I recognized that these “states” were harmful to me and the people around me. In an effort to gain control over it I took inventory of my life and changed what I thought would help me mentally and emotionally.

    I started to exercise hard…not just a jog, but really exercised at least 5 days a week. I never drank to excess in the past, but trimmed it down to 1 – 2 drinks a week. I consumed very little sugar. I ate a diet consisting of very little (like 2 times a month) red meat, hardly any processed foods, and a lot of veggies and fish. My job is not that stressful. It can be at times, but every job can be. I stayed with this program (and continue to do so now) for 3 years. It did help…a little.

    In talking with my counselor and reaching the end of my rope with my inability to control these emotional swings I considered medication. Just prior to this, for the first time in my life, I considered suicide. Not the passing thoughts everyone probably has, but all of a sudden it looked attractive as a way to end the constant emotional battle in my head. It scared me because I started to almost long for it all to end. I had never felt that so strongly. I was exhausted.

    I did some research on the best psychiatrists in my area, found one and set up an appointment with him. I saw him and actually had a great experience. I explained my distaste of medication to him and his response was “I don’t blame you, all medication is poison”. I thought, wow I like this guy already. After talking it through he gave a diagnosis and put me on Lamictal. He also wanted me to follow up with a psychologist as he felt it would be beneficial to get a full picture.

    The psychologist was great as well. Took an hour and half just talking to me and seemed genuinely interested in my well being. He had some disagreements with the first doctor, but they both agreed to stick with the lamical for a month and see how I did on it.

    I started on the Lamictal and, this is uncommon but was true for me, I felt effects the very first day. By the third day I commented to my wife “the noise in my head is quieting down, I can actually think!” By the second week I was in a couple situations that would have triggered immediate emotional responses and they didn’t. I felt in control. My wife began to comment how much more stable I seemed. It was actually working for me. It wasn’t without it’s side effects. For the first week I got headaches and had periods of anxiety, but it all leveled out. I had never felt this good in my entire life. I told my wife “if this is how normal people feel I’m so jealous!”

    I’m still on my very small initial dosage amount of lamictal. Everyone metabolizes it differently and apparently it has a direct route from my liver to my brain. 🙂 I feel amazing. I feel like the person I was supposed to be, but literally could not be in the past. I can’t tell you how many self-help books, counseling, meditation and things I tried. They helped in small bits. I’m not saying there was no value because like you, I think you have to start with your environment and what you put into your body.

    I would venture to guess the vast majority of people on mediation, both mental and physical could do away with them if they simply took care of themselves. It’s not a Dr’s job to make your life better, it’s yours. As a society we need to take responsibility for our own lives and well being. I think if you are honest with yourself that was your mistake in the beginning. I feel that it’s disingenuous to blame the Dr’s your daughter saw for what happened. It’s really your and your husband’s fault, evidenced by the fact that when you took charge and changed what you could control you fixed it. Did the Dr’s have any culpability? Probably, but again it’s not their job to make us well, it’s ours. I think our expectations of Dr’s need to change.

    Psychiatric medicine, just like physical medicine, has it’s place, and a great one at that. My life has changed immeasurably for the better. I am someone who really does need a pill. No different than the person who has high blood pressure and has done everything within their power to control it (exercise, diet and stress), but can’t. They really need medication to bring it down.

    Are their abuses of medication and people out for money? Absolutely. This is true of every profession you can find. Dr’s are no different. Every profession has good, mediocre and bad. I feel very fortunate that I found a good Dr.

    In closing I would encourage those who are struggling with some type of mental issue to change the things you can control. It is no secret that diet, lack of exercise, alcohol abuse, drugs and stress contribute to the majority of mental and physical maladies. You can control that so change it. Get counseling. If they don’t help seek out help. I’m so glad I did.

    If you are on the train of bashing all psychiatry and medication I would encourage you to be open minded. Yes there are abuses. Yes mediation is over prescribed. Yes we should take responsibility for our own well-being….but there are people who need it and the mediation is a life changer. There is no right answer for every person. Be kind and less judgmental. It will help you mentally. 🙂