…or Not to Medicate.
Now that is the question. At least it’s the question I’ve been asking myself over and over again for the past two and a half years.
I wrote a blog about this when I first started taking anti-depressants. It’s interesting to read it now, I still have exactly the same concerns I had back then. These concerns have stopped me from being able to consistently take my medication. I’ve spent the past two and a half years coming off Citalopram and going back on Citalopram and then coming back off it again, but I think I’ve finally come to a positive conclusion on the subject. After spending the past three months completely anti-depressant free I recently made the decision to go back on them and, I think, this time for good.
I’ve tried everything. I have regular therapy appointments, I meditate daily (something I recommend to anyone who suffers with anxiety and depression…well everyone in general really), I get plenty of exercise, I make sure I get enough hours sleep every night – I even have a piece of “smart jewellery” that tracks all of these things so I can make sure I’m staying on top of it all! I work very, very hard at being okay; at being level and content and calm. It is a full-time job. So I’ve finally decided that I need to make life a little easier for myself (I’m really good at making life harder for myself, it’s a gift). I’m going to keep doing all of the things I do to keep myself sane but a very small dosage of an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor – mouthful) means that I can relax a bit more, be less militant about the whole thing.
The best way I can describe it is that not being on medication has been like trying to walk with a toddler down the side of a busy duel carriageway, I have to be so vigilant. Medication means that I’m walking that toddler down a normal street, I still have to be careful but the danger is so much less and I can relax a little bit more.
I’m a bit of a hippy and one of the big reasons I didn’t want to take medication was because I don’t like the idea of artificial chemicals in my body, or being reliant on man-made medication but as far as I understand it SSRIs don’t add anything artificial into the body, they help you to retain much-needed serotonin…or something. And hippy or not, if you’re ill you should take the stuff that would make you better. It’s not like taking painkillers if you’ve got a headache because that’s a quick fix to a temporary problem. It’s more like not taking your heart pills if you’ve got a heart condition: that would be stupid. By all means find other remedies to supplement your medication and may be lessen the dosage but keep taking the stuff that is clinically proven to keep your heart ticking!
I know this is a subject many people have to debate with themselves and it’s been a while since I spoke about my mental health which is sort of the reason I started this blog in the first place. So I thought I’d put my two pennies in there, in the hope it will help other people with this decision, whether that be to take medication or not, do what’s best for you.