Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 972254

Shown: posts 1 to 14 of 14. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Coping with People who don't understand Meds

Posted by KathrynLex on December 2, 2010, at 20:27:50

I've been on and off medications for years and they've literally been lifesavers. But there are a LOT of people in my life, even close friends and family, who really don't understand why I need pills to help me cope with depression/anxiety. I've been told by a number of people (who have never experienced depression/anxiety etc...) that I should suck it up and deal with these problems on my own. I do deal with them, head on. I've always been very proactive when it comes to my mental health. I eat well, exercise, and see a psychologist when I need to. Medication is another tool I use so that I can have a high quality of life.

It's really difficult to be around people who genuinely have no idea what I'm talking about when I say medication has helped me. If you've experienced this with your friends and loved ones how do you handle it?

 

Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds KathrynLex

Posted by obsidian on December 2, 2010, at 22:44:35

In reply to Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by KathrynLex on December 2, 2010, at 20:27:50


> It's really difficult to be around people who genuinely have no idea what I'm talking about when I say medication has helped me. If you've experienced this with your friends and loved ones how do you handle it?

well, that's a tricky one
I have a friend, who when I told that I took antidepressants, said "oh sid!.....you don't need that!"
like it was some shameful thing

and I think, yeah, I'll just go sit in traffic, it'll all be just fine!

my therapist said that my reply could've been "thanks, they're working."

It's been my opinion for a long time that it's threatening for a lot of people to consider the idea that we are vulnerable in this emotional way.
....that we might not just be able to "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps". To think that one day, a person might not be able to do that, it is just too much for a lot of people to fathom.

I don't tell a heck of a lot of people that I take meds. But oh how I can't stand those annoying employee physicals, those questions I get when I go to doctors in specialties other than psychiatry, the "special" treatment I get when I go to the dentist sometimes (that last one is just funny).
it feels like it changes how they perceive me.
I'm a "dangerous character" ;-).

I especially don't tell people I know who work in mental health.

the word "antidepressant" is slowly becoming more accepted, doesn't freak most people out...though it seems I know an awful lot of folks who have been on them.
I just don't tell anyone who isn't also on meds.
and only my closest friend really knows what I take. We both happen to take lamictal, the same dose. She claims she decompensates when she doesn't take it. It's funny, because she is someone who can really say that the med helps her.
I take the meds, and some days I don't know if they help....then I think about whether I want to become terribly depressed and incredibly anxious.....and I think, eh.....not so much. I'll take 'em even though I truly do not know what they do for me..maybe it's the withdrawal effects I want to avoid, whatever the reason is, I just don't have the time for it. I can't take off for a couple of weeks to go off my meds while I can gather my brain together again.

 

Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds

Posted by Phillipa on December 3, 2010, at 0:21:03

In reply to Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds KathrynLex, posted by obsidian on December 2, 2010, at 22:44:35

Strangely that hasn't been my experience. Since used to be an RN in psych got used to talking about them and opening others up in convesation it's amazing to me how many neighbors, folks I meet in docs offices and their staff are on meds and lots of relatives so yes I tell. I haven't noticed being judged other than by docs themselves which I find bewildering. Phillipa

 

Re: Coping with People...))Obsidian

Posted by KathrynLex on December 3, 2010, at 1:41:22

In reply to Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds KathrynLex, posted by obsidian on December 2, 2010, at 22:44:35

obsidian,

It's funny but it never occured to me (and I feel like it should have) that other people might find it threatening to know how vulnerable we are. It makes sense. People are fragile. I know this, I'm afraid of that, and others are too. By taking medication we all have to admit that to ourselves on a level that's different from people who have never needed it.

For years and years and years I wouldn't tell anyone that I took medication, and now that I do I rarely explain what it's for. I've started talking about it because I want to educate people about how it really is necessary for people to use these medications, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I do need a clever response for those people who say things like, "Oh! You don't need that."

K.

> well, that's a tricky one
> I have a friend, who when I told that I took antidepressants, said "oh sid!.....you don't need that!"
> like it was some shameful thing
>
> and I think, yeah, I'll just go sit in traffic, it'll all be just fine!
>
> my therapist said that my reply could've been "thanks, they're working."
>
> It's been my opinion for a long time that it's threatening for a lot of people to consider the idea that we are vulnerable in this emotional way.
> ....that we might not just be able to "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps". To think that one day, a person might not be able to do that, it is just too much for a lot of people to fathom.
>
> I don't tell a heck of a lot of people that I take meds. But oh how I can't stand those annoying employee physicals, those questions I get when I go to doctors in specialties other than psychiatry, the "special" treatment I get when I go to the dentist sometimes (that last one is just funny).
> it feels like it changes how they perceive me.
> I'm a "dangerous character" ;-).
>
> I especially don't tell people I know who work in mental health.
>
> the word "antidepressant" is slowly becoming more accepted, doesn't freak most people out...though it seems I know an awful lot of folks who have been on them.
> I just don't tell anyone who isn't also on meds.
> and only my closest friend really knows what I take. We both happen to take lamictal, the same dose. She claims she decompensates when she doesn't take it. It's funny, because she is someone who can really say that the med helps her.
> I take the meds, and some days I don't know if they help....then I think about whether I want to become terribly depressed and incredibly anxious.....and I think, eh.....not so much. I'll take 'em even though I truly do not know what they do for me..maybe it's the withdrawal effects I want to avoid, whatever the reason is, I just don't have the time for it. I can't take off for a couple of weeks to go off my meds while I can gather my brain together again.
>
>
>
>

 

Re: Coping with People... ))Phillipa

Posted by KathrynLex on December 3, 2010, at 1:47:32

In reply to Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by Phillipa on December 3, 2010, at 0:21:03

Phillipa

Your post was very encouraging. I look forward to encountering people like your neighbors and the people you meet at docs offices. I'm grateful to know there are some educated people out there who realize we're simply all doing what we can to improve our lives.

I'm sorry to hear that your docs have been judgemental. I find that confusing as well. It took me a while but I found a great pdoc who genuinely listens and prescribes medications without passing judgement. So know that there are good docs out there and I wish you luck in finding one.

K.

> Strangely that hasn't been my experience. Since used to be an RN in psych got used to talking about them and opening others up in convesation it's amazing to me how many neighbors, folks I meet in docs offices and their staff are on meds and lots of relatives so yes I tell. I haven't noticed being judged other than by docs themselves which I find bewildering. Phillipa

 

Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds

Posted by mellow on December 3, 2010, at 2:20:48

In reply to Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by KathrynLex on December 2, 2010, at 20:27:50

Meds and mental illness in general are controversial topics by nature. I will say I have encountered people along my journey who have not been very understanding. I practice 12 step recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and I have had people from my meetings tell me that I am not sober if I take psychotropic drugs.

Thankfully many people in AA/NA recognize that as a bunch of hogwash. My sponsor is also bipolar and he takes lithium so we help each other. I also have friends who are anti-psychiatry that say I have been duped and that I am acting like a victim. They say I have allowed an industry to convince me that I am sick thus turning me into a life long client.

Luckily after meeting an incredible therapist I have learned that recovery from mental illness is about growing as a person in addition to taking our meds. I finally got the ssri out of my cocktail this year and my doctor seems to think we can get me off antipsychotics and down to just Lamictal in 2011 because of the hard work I have done in therapy for the last 18 months.

It was also hard for me because my wife is a dietitian and she has seen all the studies about the weight gain and diabetes associated with psych meds. I gained 80 pounds on meds. I've managed to get 40 of those pounds off this year by jogging and watching my diet. While everyone in my family has encouraged me to stay medicated my wife has always voiced the opinion that I am not mentally ill and do not need to be a medicated to the extent that I am. When I would make emergency appointments with my pdoc she would get upset and say I needed to learn to live with discomfort. This was a source of grief between us.

I think people who have never had a psychosis, gone manic, been suicidal or been committed to a psych ward have no idea how incredibly frightening our lives can become. Even our own families lose their empathy over time.

That's why I know my journey is my own. I have to do what is right for me. Nobody else has to live my life. So I will take meds if I want. I find a lot of joy in sharing my thoughts with you all. That's why it's important to find support wherever you can, whether it's with a friend over coffee or with a bunch of stranger on the internet ; )

peace

 

I don't tell people that aren't informed enough!

Posted by FluffMama on December 3, 2010, at 2:58:43

In reply to Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by KathrynLex on December 2, 2010, at 20:27:50

It's really difficult to be around people who genuinely have no idea what I'm talking about when I say medication has helped me. If you've experienced this with your friends and loved ones how do you handle it?

**I learned the hard way - people at Church almost got me re-hospitalized by telling me to go off my medication, I didn't need it, I just needed to this or that or the other thing. So now I have better boundaries. If someone says, "Oh you don't need that!" I say, "How do you know?" The truth is, they don't, because noone knows the true depth of another person's feelings. Then I say, "Well, they certainly don't make me happy, but they prevent me from being so sad and imbalanced that I can't function." And then I say, (my favorite), "It's really hard for someone who hasn't experienced my unique situation to understand, but I appreciate your support - I know you mean well. Taking medication at this time is definitely the right choice for me - you'll just have to trust me."

 

Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds

Posted by B2Chica on December 3, 2010, at 14:54:51

In reply to Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds KathrynLex, posted by obsidian on December 2, 2010, at 22:44:35

cant believe i'm crying and laughing at the same time. crying because meds arent working, life sucks.

but when i read your reply about "ill just sit in traffic then" i laughed...really laughed...tears and all, because i've felt that exact reaction to many. if only i'd SAID IT!...
maybe theyd get it then huh.


thank you for the laugh.
desperately needed it.

and sorry if it wasn't meant to be funny.
but it helped me.
if even for a few minutes.

 

Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds

Posted by emmanuel98 on December 3, 2010, at 19:48:56

In reply to Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by B2Chica on December 3, 2010, at 14:54:51

Most of the people I am close to know how depressed I was before I got on meds that worked. I was hospitalized for five weeks and that convinced even my husband, who was very much a "pull yourself together" kind of person. Most people I know are on or have been on psych meds. On the other hand, I don't talk about it to people I'm not close to. I also don't talk about the fact that I was addicted to narcotics and alcohol and go to AA. I have never had anyone in AA suggest that psych meds mean I'm not sober, though I have heard others say they have heard it. Psych meds can cause physical dependence, but in general they are not abusable. Except for the stimulants and benzos. My sponsor was very concerned when I took adderall for a period of time. My p-doc stopped the prescription because it wasn't helping my depression and he was afraid I was becoming addicted. I take benzos for sleep (parnate causes insomnia) and my p-doc monitors my prescriptions very carefully to make sure I don't abuse them. I know he'd pull me off them in a minute if he thought I was.

 

Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds

Posted by manduh on December 4, 2010, at 0:40:00

In reply to Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by KathrynLex on December 2, 2010, at 20:27:50

I saw interesting billboards all over the place when I was overseas that said something like "you'd support a friend who has cancer, why not a friend who has depression?". That really helped me deal with peoples questions or comments, kind of brings to light the fact that this is a medical thing, and I do need help for it.

 

Re: Coping with People...Mellow

Posted by KathrynLex on December 4, 2010, at 2:03:14

In reply to Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by mellow on December 3, 2010, at 2:20:48

Mellow,

Wow. I can't believe people in your AA meeting would actually tell you're not sober just bcz you're on medication. You obviously have a lot of resolve and it's great to hear from people who manage to live their lives proudly...even when it isn't easy.

K.

> Meds and mental illness in general are controversial topics by nature. I will say I have encountered people along my journey who have not been very understanding. I practice 12 step recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and I have had people from my meetings tell me that I am not sober if I take psychotropic drugs.
>
> Thankfully many people in AA/NA recognize that as a bunch of hogwash. My sponsor is also bipolar and he takes lithium so we help each other. I also have friends who are anti-psychiatry that say I have been duped and that I am acting like a victim. They say I have allowed an industry to convince me that I am sick thus turning me into a life long client.
>
> Luckily after meeting an incredible therapist I have learned that recovery from mental illness is about growing as a person in addition to taking our meds. I finally got the ssri out of my cocktail this year and my doctor seems to think we can get me off antipsychotics and down to just Lamictal in 2011 because of the hard work I have done in therapy for the last 18 months.
>
> It was also hard for me because my wife is a dietitian and she has seen all the studies about the weight gain and diabetes associated with psych meds. I gained 80 pounds on meds. I've managed to get 40 of those pounds off this year by jogging and watching my diet. While everyone in my family has encouraged me to stay medicated my wife has always voiced the opinion that I am not mentally ill and do not need to be a medicated to the extent that I am. When I would make emergency appointments with my pdoc she would get upset and say I needed to learn to live with discomfort. This was a source of grief between us.
>
> I think people who have never had a psychosis, gone manic, been suicidal or been committed to a psych ward have no idea how incredibly frightening our lives can become. Even our own families lose their empathy over time.
>
> That's why I know my journey is my own. I have to do what is right for me. Nobody else has to live my life. So I will take meds if I want. I find a lot of joy in sharing my thoughts with you all. That's why it's important to find support wherever you can, whether it's with a friend over coffee or with a bunch of stranger on the internet ; )
>
> peace

 

Re: Coping with People

Posted by KathrynLex on December 4, 2010, at 2:12:32

In reply to Re: Coping with People...Mellow, posted by KathrynLex on December 4, 2010, at 2:03:14

It's such a huge relief to hear from everyone on this subject. You've all given me some great ideas on how to talk to people who are simply uninformed. It really is hard to convey the experience of mental illness and the need for medication to anyone who simply hasn't been there. (I envy them for being healthy.) I'm coming around to the idea that I'm not a dismal failure for not being able to pick myself up by the bootstraps. I think what makes a person a success is if they handle adversity well. (Adversity being, in this case, a mental illness or uneducated people who make assumptions about those of us who need medication.)

I have several close family members who just don't get it. It would have made more sense to them if I'd grown a third head. Hearing about how all of you cope with people like that is so genuinely helpful and I'm grateful you're willing to share.

K.

 

Re: Coping with People

Posted by emmanuel98 on December 4, 2010, at 20:18:47

In reply to Re: Coping with People, posted by KathrynLex on December 4, 2010, at 2:12:32

My sister-in-law is into homeopathy and she started on this rant about psych meds and MAOIs in particular. I said MAOIs saved my life and she shut up.

 

Re: Coping with People who don't understand Meds KathrynLex

Posted by Free on December 4, 2010, at 20:56:42

In reply to Coping with People who don't understand Meds, posted by KathrynLex on December 2, 2010, at 20:27:50

> It's really difficult to be around people who genuinely have no idea what I'm talking about when I say medication has helped me. If you've experienced this with your friends and loved ones how do you handle it?

I coped with it by not talking about being on meds. Unless, they talked about it first.

I just didn't need or want them putting their shame inducing baggage on top of mine. I felt bad enough as it was.

For me, it was simpler to keep my med use to myself.


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