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Mar 16, 2010

The World Behind the Happy Face... Part 2

Hi All,

Welcome to Part 2 of my series on "The World Behind the Happy Face". I know, I know, I did promise weekly updates, but for varying reasons I just haven't had the time or urge to do them. Oops!

For me, depression, PTSD, panic attacks etc, fade in and out throughout the years... I can have really good days, and then really horrible ones where I will stay in bed, miss important deadlines and meetings, and just not want to have anything to do with anyone. I cannot go out, and if I do, I will have panic attacks all day, and feel on edge. I am very good at hiding these things, but still they remain, ever lurking behind the scenes, bursting out in occasional bursts of anger or tears.

Regardless, I have always resisted the idea of medication. For some reason, it felt like I would be cheating: having fought this battle for so long on my own and with the help of varying counsellors etc, I would feel like I took the easy way out. 

Lately I have been having some extremely negative, 'scary' thoughts about a friend's situation. Thoughts I can't get under control. Thoughts which are increasing in intensity and number. Thoughts which are making me angry because I cannot move on from them. In other words, my thoughts are taking on a scary, obsessive tilt, and that is NOT healthy. My thoughts on the topic may, in some way, be right and based in fact, but my obsessiveness isn't... and my extreme distress isn't either.


I have decided to turn to medication.

Zo.loft to be exact.

I am giving it a month.

If it works, well, then great!

If not, it is one less pill I need to take.

I decided to share all of this with you, my dear readers, because as I was floating through cyberspace, I found a series of articles about the phenomenon of "strip blogging": bloggers that reveal "peel back their onion and reveal layers of their lives". As I was looking at other blogger's entries on the topic, I was struck by this post, by JM at the New Australian. She was talking about her choice to not go on medication for her depression etc: it made me realise that I should share why, for me, I made a different choice. Why I decided to say "no more" in the crazy world of depressive illnesses and post traumatic stress disorders. For me, this is where the line is drawn. To JM and the others that continue to fight and can continue without the help of meds, well done. It was not something that I could do.

But this choice does not make me any less of a fighter, or a survivor. I am still fighting, just with different tools: that are the right ones for me right now.



shadowspring said...

I applaud your courage and tenacity, Jo!

You did not need to share your decision with the world. It is your personal struggle and decision and you have a right to keep it private.

But thank you, on behalf of everyone on meds or wanting to try them but afraid to for whatever reason. =)

It should be no embarrassment to take meds for any trouble in life: anxiety or acne, all the same. If you can do something to improve your life, I say go for it!

Hope it works out better for you than you even thought it could! =)

JM said...

Thank you for the mention.

I don't think you're any less of a fighter than anyone else who struggles with these issues. If anything, you are in some ways more brave because you are willing to stand up and say you need help. Admitting that takes an amazing amount of bravery.

I do hope the medication helps you. I still haven't decided firmly one way or another, and I recently let my husband know that if I don't get out of this cloud after we move, then I'm going to the doctor for some help.

Laura said...

Good luck, Jo! I hope it works for you. And I totally agree with the commenters above!

Vee said...

I am glad you are giving the meds a go. Just from experience, if they don't agree with you ie make you feel sick. Don't give up just find one doesn't. I know I tried a few before finding one that helped, just taking the edge off makes the day a lot easier.

All the very best xx

amulbunny said...

It took me several meds to find the right one to work with my depression and anxiety. I take citalopram daily and have Xanax on the side for those really bad days.

I've struggled with depression my entire life. It's a day to day thing. I thank God for the doctor's I went to who have helped me with the chemical solutions that work.

Good luck with your search.


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