Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The same old medication dilemma

Why bother with these now? That's where my brain goes when I feel good, especially when I feel good on vacation. I'm here in Colorado. The air is clear. My brain is clear. I feel happy and free, so why take my medication? How about just taking a break from my medication? Yes, that's it, a break...

These thoughts are subtly compelling, provocative. It's hard not to pay attention, and I'm not sure I won't pay attention. Like I said, the thoughts are compelling. I take eight pills every morning--not all of them are for my depression. It's appealing to think of taking fewer or none at all. I mean if I'm better, and if I'm in a place where I expect to continue feeling better, why not take a break and clean these 'toxins' out of my system.

Of course, I know why. Because these 'toxins' are likely 75% responsible for my current state. Without them I may not be sleeping at night or staying awake (for the most part) during the day. Without them I may not be working. Without them I may not be socializing. Without my meds I may not have been invited on nor felt well enough to make this trip. Of course, I know that.

Unfortunately, that doesn't make the thoughts any less compelling...


John Folk-Williams said...

Etta -

I've been feeling the same way. I know it can be a trick of mind to stop medication in the midst of an upbeat phase, but there is a problem. Hopefully, at some point you will make a change for the better that isn't self-deluding. How do you know when to trust that the improvement is real? I'm trying to make a list of things I could look for that would be reliable signals for me. Have you developed your own guidelines on how to distinguish true change from false?


Anonymous said...

Etta -

Have you ever had to wear orthotics or maybe a knee/ ITB/ achilles brace when you run? To a much lesser degree, having to fiddle with these types of "aids" when running seems similar to your medication dilemna. At the core, both examples help you function better and overcome the underlying "stuff" that can keep you from being able to perform at your best. Now, I'm not trying to make a direct comparison between medication for a physical condition and running gadgets, but the parallel is similar in theory, if nothing else.

See the meds for what they are in their most basic form; tools that help you function better than you might without them. Many a time have I decided to stop taking my prescription anti-inflammatory for quadriceps tendinitis when it is not bothering me any longer. Like you said, I somehow seemed to miss the fact that the reason the tendinitis was better likely resulted from my ongoing medication regimen. Duh !

Run long and prosper.


Anonymous said...

I hate depression. It make me sick and i am unable to do any work I actually hate it :(

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mg said...

I have felt the SAME way LOTS of times. I like the feedback you received:)