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Re: I'm New to effexor - Any positive stories? teachersrule

Posted by MB on December 22, 2001, at 12:32:51

In reply to I'm New to effexor - Any positive stories?, posted by teachersrule on December 21, 2001, at 20:59:29

There's an AA pamphlet that talks about taking these types of've probably seen it. Basically what it says is that sometimes outside help is needed, and that it is OK as long as you are honest with your doctor about your status as a recovering addict (and as long as your doctor takes this status seriously). A lot of people in AA, because of the second step which states, "We came to believe that a higher power could restore us to sanity," believe that it is a "cop out" to take antidepressants and that if you were really "honest" or if you were really "praying right" you wouldn't need these medications. One of the problems I see with this attitude is this: what did the founders have in mind when they wrote the second step? There are multiple definitions of the word "insanity". Old timers will tell you that "insanity" means repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results (e.g., drinking if you are an alcoholic and expecting that there be no craving). Praying and other cognitive-behavioral tools might very well work for "insanity" of this type. It certainly has kept me sober for 22 months. I think, however, that it might be a mistake to think that praying and working the steps, alone, will cure the more clinical types of "insanity" such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. These are medical conditions. Just a few years ago, a young man from my community was hurt very badly in a skiing accident. He was a Christian Scientist, and, while he was unconscious, his family refused medical attention for him and decided to pray instead. He died. To me, his death is just as unecessary as the suffering of an AA member who refuses needed medication because the group tells them just to pray about it. You may have heard the anecdote about the guy in the flood sitting on his roof as the waters rise higher. He prays to God to save him. Meanwhile a boat comes by, but he refuses help because he's faithful and knows that God will save him. He subsequently refuses a raft and a rescue helicopter. The waters rise, he drowns and he confronts God. He asks, "Why didn't you save me?" and God repiles, "Well, I sent two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?" See the connection. In other words, if you believe that a higher power can restore you to sanity, who are your fellow AA remonstrators to tell you that it can't be done (in part) through medication?

Good luck with your therapy, AA, and medication. I think a combination of all three is great idea. Relax and don't let those grumpy oldtimers guilt trip you or take your inventory. You're right where you're supposed to be.





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