To Medicate or Not to Medicate

holistic treatment for depression and anxiety So, now it is time to decide, do I take medication or not?  Can I control this two headed monster that has snuck its way into my psyche creating havoc?  As many of you read these blogs and realize you or someone you know may have the same symptoms going on, listen to me....really think about not trying to fight this on your own if you are losing the battle.  Remember, the Loch Ness Monster seems to be elusive and so is depression if you let it get out of hand.  If you are anything like me, then half the battle will be you.  I was my own worst enemy at times, no kidding!  Being so holistic and anti-medication I really fought it.  As I mentioned in the first blog, this couldn't have started with that little word stress, something MUST be wrong.  So, as I kept dropping weight like crazy and then stopped sleeping all together, some well meaning doctors started prescribing medication for sleeping and depression.  Up until this point in my life, I never had a problem sleeping, ever.  Now even the most potent amounts of Ambien and any other medication the doctors could think of didn't even make a dent.  What a torturous event preparing myself for bed became.  I just "knew" in my head that I wouldn't sleep and, sure enough, I would take the prescribed amount and nothing happened.  I would lay there for hours praying to God to please, please let me sleep.  Just a few hours, I wasn't asking much, but the light would start coming through the windows and that old feeling of dread would creep in. 

Then there was the "apparent depression."  I humored the doctors taking the prescription from them but I wrapped myself up so much with the notion of side effects that as soon as I took the pill, I had a side effect.  I felt nausea, chills, blurry vision, trembling, shortness of breath, numbness in feet and hands, dizziness - just to name a few of the side effects I felt.  This was with every single medication they gave me.  Yes, the mind is so powerful in either direction that I literally willed it not to work without realizing that is what I was doing.  So, back to Dr. Riedler in the hospital (ok, psych ward) - he looked at my long list of medications I had "tried" and scoffed.  He literally stared me down and told me this was the medication I would be on and don't even try to give him a hard time about it.  Of course, I was able to coerce him to draw me a "map" of what each of the meds were doing to my brain and why I had to take them.  That worked but what worked better was the fact that if I didn't take the medication and start to get better, I was never getting out of there!

Guess what, it worked!  It takes getting used to, my body was so tired but I then balanced out and low and behold, Marcie came back.  Smiling, laughing and realizing life was worth living again.  My strongest advice would be, once you are on track, figure out for yourself what is best for you.  I knew I would not be on this medication forever though the psychiatrists try to tell you that you need to be.  No way!  One year later I weaned off all the medication and haven't been on any since.  For those people with a mild case of the blues that exercise doesn't help, there are many natural remedies out there to look into.  5HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin. There is a massive amount of evidence that suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living).  I have known many people who have tried this with great success.  There is also an at home urine test you can take that test your neurotransmitters in the brain (these are the serotonin, GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine which are all chemicals in the brain which need to be balanced).  I was tested a year and half after everything happened to me and the test revealed I was totally balanced and didn't need extra support through medication or herbal supplements.  This is an incredible amount of information but there are many avenues one can take on the road to total well being and health.  "When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile."