Friday, September 14, 2012

Fear to Openness about Medication

I am concerned that I may be slipping into depression that may get worse if untreated.

Prior to the birth of my child I never had a bout with depression, but as my body changed so did my hormones and my susceptibility to depression. A few months ago I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and at the time I knew I needed extra support from my my treatment team. I knew I needed to focus on my mental health because my anxiety level was up and down, it was difficult to concentrate, and I felt extremely overwhelmed and afraid my mental illness would rear its ugly head and try to destroy my recovery accomplishments. I spoke my therapist who contacted my doctor and let them know I was coming in the next morning as a walk-in, which I did and we tweaked my medication.

Now, its hard to focus and to carry out minor assignments, sometimes I feel anxious for no reason, I am extremely tired and sleep more than usual, and I feel like I am on a downward spiral. Yet, I have reason to be. I have a lot of personal stresses that may contribute to these new feelings.

Lately, I have been participating in more support groups than before. I guess my subconscious was aware of my need for additional support before I noticed I needed it. I go to two therapist-led support groups a week and co-facilitate one self-help group. The meetings really help me because I am able to get a lot of information from my therapist and peers. For example, I asked my therapist what are the common side effects for antidepressants and how long does it usually take the body to respond to it.

In the past, my doctor prescribed antidepressant medication that I filled, but did not take because I did not know enough about the medication and believed the depression rose. Now that I understand what the common side effects are and how long it could take my body to respond to it, I am more open to taking it with the new information I learned from my therapist. Moreover, my doctor said to start the antidepressant medication if I felt I needed them. I need them. I will start taking them today in addition to the medication I am already taking.

If you or someone you know is in need of treatment but is afraid of getting treatment for whatever reason, encourage educating self by asking a healthcare provider questions about treatment.

If you want to learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Choices in Recovery, and Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

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