Originally posted by riboflavin
reply to post by Hefficide
Some people are born with 2 fingers on one hand also. But as time goes on you learn to overcome such things. Prescription medication especially those
for depression is the furthest thing from natural that you could put into your body on a daily basis. So instead of dealing with those problems in
your mind you merely mask that problem, and you are never really you. We rely on the government to tell us what is best for us, the police to protect
us, the courts to take care of our problems, and pills to aid us in coping with life.
Let me know if any of this sounds incorrect.
I see this as an apples to oranges comparison, though I do understand the intent. A person with only two fingers upon one hand would be considered to
have a diminished ability, compared to those with five fingers. A disadvantage in the ability to grasp or manipulate objects. Disability and illness
are not necessarily comparable here. Illnesses often cannot simply be "overcome" by the power of positive thinking. Positivity is definitely a good
thing, no matter what the illness. But it most certainly doesn't constitute a cure.
As for medications being the furthest thing from natural that one can put into ones body... I disagree with this point. I do so speaking as a person
who does not take maintenance medication at all. The only medication I take is an anti-anxiety drug when I have panic attacks, which is not that
often. But understand a key point here. If a person without anxiety were to take my medication, they would probably feel euphoric. They would get
high. When I take my medication, during a panic attack, I am not effected in this manner. I do not get high. I simply get back to feeling close to
normal. And that is all I hope for from the pills. To have a chance at feeling normal.
I disagree with the notion that people taking anti depressants and anti anxiety agents are "masking" their problems. If I had a bad back and chose
to take narcotics rather than having surgery to resolve the problem, I would agree with this assessment. If there were a surgical fix, then it is the
wise decision to make. While there have been "surgical fixes" to psychiatric problems, I don't think that anyone would expect people to entertain
frontal lobotomy or electro-convulsive therapy as an option. These are quite permanent ways to make sure that one is "never really you" again.
And as for the idea that I've never dealt with the underlying issues of my problem, I can assure you that after years upon years of talk therapy my
most recent therapist literally asked me why I bothered coming and said I was the most "self-actualized" person she'd ever known. My answer was
simple... Therapy was a requisite condition, of my doctors, for supplying me with the necessary anxiety medication.
Please allow me to explain, before we go further, why this medication is necessary in my life. Let me explain the reality of what an anxiety/panic
attack is, or at least how it is for me, as I have found that this is often a very misunderstood thing. When I have an attack it is not simply a
matter of feeling agitated or nervous. In fact calling it an anxiety attack is somewhat of a misnomer as most of it has nothing to do with feeling
anxious. For me I start having chest pains, usually, or one side of my body will go numb. This can happen at any time, regardless of external stimulus
or personal mood. In fact I had to be rushed to the emergency room on my 37th or 38th birthday party because of such chest pains. In short, I have
very real physical symptoms of either heart attack or stroke. Not imagined symptoms. Not hypochondria. Real physical discomfort or pain.
This is where it gets complicated. I am aware that I have panic attacks, as these pains begin. So I try to calm myself by understanding that panic
attacks can effect me in this manner. Only this realization does not stop the physical discomforts at all. So I sit and wait. As I wait, I weigh
realities and options. On the one hand, it's probably anxiety. On the other hand I did have quite a cardiac history (as discussed a few pages back)
and it could quite possibly be a real life threatening emergency. It is unbelievably humiliating (and expensive) to show up in an emergency room only
to be told that there is nothing wrong with your heart, after a battery of tests. But it would be even worse to drop dead because I ignored physical
red flags for major problems, having written them off as anxiety. There is absolutely no way for me to discern the difference in the two things.
Understandable so far?
So, bearing all that in mind, the anti anxiety pills allow me some power over these events. If I feel chest pains, or numbness, I can take a pill and
see if the symptoms abate or not. It can allow me to not have to show up at the emergency room every so often saying "Hey, it's me again, could you
just do a blood test and an EKG to make sure I'm not dying."
The depression issues aren't quite as pronounced as the anxiety issues are. But to me they are cut from the same cloth. I have a good friend who
takes an SSRI, and has for a couple of years now. She is an outgoing, fun, happy human being these days. A few years ago the story was much different.
She was withdrawn, morose, without confidence, and miserable. I think it would be not just a shame, but frankly criminal, if somebody were to come
along and force her into going back to the dismal kind of life she once had simply based upon the notion that they felt that depression was a crock
and medications are bad. It may well be a crock to them, but to her it's the difference between living her life or existing in a sort of perpetual
Hell. I doubt that she'd find any comfort in the idea that going through that Hell might seem more noble or ordered to others... Others who would
never have to set foot into her Hell.
Looking at these medications as methods of "avoidance" or an avoidance of coping just isn't correct to me. We are not talking about heroin,
coc aine, or alcohol here. We are not talking about people getting high. We are talking about people who have found a way to feel more like most
of the world feels. To not physically hurt (which is a very real symptom of depression - physical pain / soreness). Drug abuse and therapeutic
medication are two very separate concepts. Think of it less like a person taking something to "avoid" and more like a diabetic using insulin and you
get a better idea of what it actually is like to those who suffer from these things.