Posted by SLS on August 23, 2005, at 6:37:23
In reply to Why do i feel like i have failed if i start meds ?, posted by wildcard on August 22, 2005, at 19:44:35
Hang in there. Whether you need meds or not, everything will turn out OK.
The risk for relapse is highest during the first 4 months after discontinuing an antidepressant. For me, it was only two months.
Depression and anxiety disorders are diseases of the brain, the organ responsible for your thoughts and feelings. The degree to which psychotherapy effectively treats these conditions is variable, but becomes less and less effective the longer the episodes are left unmitigated and the more episodes that one experiences as one ages.
Even while taking medication, one might experience brief episodes of the reappearance of symptoms of illness. It is possible that this is just temporary. If it continues beyond two weeks, however, you then meet the criteria for a relapse, for which it might be best to restart the medication that you had successfully responded to.
About the need for medication for mental illness in general, it can very definitely make one feel impotent and incompetent. There is a sense of powerlessness that comes with the reliance upon any treatment that is necessary to maintain health, especially when it seems that so many people around you do fine without it.
The analogy that I hear most often used to compare to mental illness is that of insulin-dependent diabetes. Sufferers of this condition must carry around with them a syringe and bottles of insulin with which they must inject themselves several times a day to remain healthy. They are also powerless in that they are tethered to a medication and can't simply "think" their way out of it.
One thing interesting occurs if we explore the concept of powerlessness for both illnesses. We see that it is often not absolute. Both are exacerbated by stress. Likewise, both can often be ameliorated by removing stress and by promoting health as much as the boundaries of the illnesses allow. For instance, removing stress can reduce insulin resistance. Diet can reduce the amount of insulin needed or the frequency of injection. Likewise, the reduction of psychosocial stress can allow the medication to work better and reduce the risk of relapse or medication breakthrough. In addition, counseling or psychotherapy can help promote more positive and constructive thoughts and feelings and seize back some power by not allowing the illness to control completely the way you think, feel, and behave. The type of therapy will be dependent on the specific illnesses being treated. To increase one's ability to cope with their illness despite the need for continued drug-treatment is power. That there exists effective treatments for illness and that they are afforded to you is also power.
Without treatment, you would be very much more powerless. Try to recognize and seize those resources you have available to you and you will no longer be powerless.
You might just be having a bad week.
> >I really hope it has just been the bad week and today topped it off but deep down i am scared that i will have to go back on meds. after quitting effexor xr for approx. 40 days now. I am angry w/ everything but mostly w/ myself!! I have been doing so well and i could slowly see *it* creeping up on me for about a week and 1/2 now and today i feel just plain awful. I know i will feel like such a failure if i go back on meds., although i would NEVER look at someone else that way!! Maybe it's the M monster that will be visiting me in a few days but i'm so worried that will not be whats wrong. *SIGH* I really hope no meds. are needed BUT if so, i do not want 225mg of effexor xr again... I have read about so many combos so any advice?? If i feel like this tomorrow i am calling my doc.. My dx is severe depressive d/o, PTSD and severe social and gen. anxiety d/o.