Let’s talk about meds baby

In my job, I come across people that are in different stages of anxiety and depression, with the latter being something I have been dealing with since my diagnosis in 2013.

The recurring theme in these conversations with students is that they don’t want to use anti-depressants because they either want to try and recover by themselves, have heard horror stories about the pills or believe taking them has stigma attached to it.

You shouldn’t have to face depression alone. While meds may not work for you – as they genuinely don’t for some – there are other ways to find the help you need. Talk to people – whether this is family, friends, colleague, teacher or a service like the Samaritans or the Sanctuary. Even though you feel like you’re isolated and alone, you’re not. You just need to reach out – which I know can be hard, but it’s the first step on the road to recovery.

If you look hard enough, there are horror stories for every kind of medication, not just anti-depressants. For example, a cursory search of paracetamol reveals that 1.5 million Brits are apparently addicted to the stuff.

I’m on so much medication to manage the symptoms of my MS – pregablin (pain relief), solifenacin (bladder control), nortrptyline (pain during the night), venlafaxine (depression) and lansoprazole (to manage side effects of everything else) –  that I have stopped reading about the possible side effects to protect my own sanity. It can take time to find an anti-depressant that works, as it’s not an exact science because everybody is different.

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I stopped reading the side-effect sheets for my meds a while ago, to stop myself from going insane.

 

Some anti-depressants might make you feel worse before you get better, some might just make you feel worse completely and others may have no effect on you whatsoever. It can take time and a bit of trial and error before you find one that suits you and when that happens it can make a huge difference. For me, the combination of regular exercise and venlafaxine has pulled me out of a really dark place. For the first time in a long time, my depression doesn’t control my life.

When it comes to the stigma that is still attached to anti-depressants, all I can say is to ignore those who will tell you they’re bad or you’re weak for needing to use them. No one other than yourself has control over what you do and how you aid your recovery. In my experience, I’ve found that people throw in their two cents to make themselves feel more powerful and authoritative. But what it actually does is shows them up as being ignorant, intrusive and stupid.

Recovering from depression isn’t always easy and if you’ve found something that works – whether it’s prescribed pills, counselling or a new hobby – then keep doing it.

You are the boss of your own body.

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10 comments

  1. paul pilbury · December 14

    Very good thanks for sharing thankyou.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leigh Erin · December 14

      Thank you for reading ☺️

      Like

  2. Gordon Alias Me · December 15

    Great article – and wow to the meds – I only have Baclofen ( and loads of vit d). I chew liquorice root for depression. Don’t know if it works , but I hate meds . Prozac didn’t work . I agree with you on the exercise – it’s a ‘ frame of mind’ thing . Perspective, and all that . MS is different for everyone , but it’s a vital part of my own therapy to connect by reading positive pieces like this ! Thanks for sharing !

    Like

    • Leigh Erin · December 15

      I believe that you have to take responsibility for your own recovery. It took me a while to realise that and come to the understanding that I was the only person who could make me feel better. Thanks for reading ☺️

      Like

  3. Sue Rodgers · December 16

    Venlafaxine and biotin have made me realise that feeling positive is the best way to manage all those ms related issues – most of the time!

    Like

    • Leigh Erin · December 16

      It’s definitely a most of the time thing – but it’s ok for us to have bad days.

      Like

  4. Belle Papillon 24/7 · December 17

    Thanks for sharing. Very powerful post, indeed. Quite inspiring.
    I also had a bout of severe depression after my mother succumbed to cancer years ago. Being a nurse, I felt I can handle it using the knowledge I had plus I didn’t care for any meds, esp. psych meds hearing all the complaints from patients about their side effects. It got to a point where I couldn’t fight it anymore. I was spiraling and fast. I finally gave in and sought professional help. I had to take anti-depressants for 3 months and I managed to get back on my feet. The Dr. told me that I was fortunate not to need psych meds for life considering how devastated I was by the loss of my mother. I’m still having anxiety/panic attacks when things get really bad but for the most part, like you said we just have to utilize our coping skills like exercise which really helps. I also do yoga/meditation and try to de-stress by gardening and practicing an attitude of gratitude.
    Goodluck to you.

    Namaste!
    ❤ BP

    Like

    • Leigh Erin · December 17

      Having depression doesn’t make you any less of the strong person you are. I’m glad you’re back on your feet. Good luck to you

      Liked by 1 person

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