Without Meds

Linda's iphone July 2013 1766 (2)
“If depression is creeping up and must be faced, learn something about the nature of the beast: You may escape without a mauling” Dr. R.W. Shepherd

I tried again.  I tried to stop taking my medication.  I was doing great.  I thought I could do it. I won’t say I failed, but I just couldn’t do it.

I just  read my own blog post about medication (read it here:  To Medicate Or Not to Medicate; That Is The Question

It was a good reminder about denial, acceptance and surrender.  I’ve been through this before  and I’m sure I’ll go through it again.

So, why go off my medication if it’s working?  Good question.  It’s my ego.  My ego tells me that I should be strong enough not be controlled by a little white pill.  The chemical imbalance in my brain must be be healed by now. I mean, it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve been taking  medication.  That’s enough time, right?

I started off great.  The first 2 weeks were really good.  I had weaned off very, very slowly, just as the doctor had suggested. Then, at about 3 weeks, I started experiencing that manic feeling again.  I just couldn’t stop.  I was crazy busy at work, we started a renovation project in our house and life was just  go, go, go!  Yes, everyone gets busy.  I know that,  but it was the feelings that came along with it that were troubling.  My breath felt short, my heart raced faster, my brain wouldn’t stop and my need for sleep was less (insomnia sucks!).  I started forgetting things.  My confidence began to fade. Then irritability set in.  Ugh.  Look out!! I couldn’t stand people, which is a huge warning sign for me.  Finally, the tears came; in the morning, at work and at home.

I even started doubting God.  Is he not enough?  Is my Christianity dependent on a little white pill?

I was reminded that I have a medical health disorder.  If I were diabetic, I would take insulin.  If I had cancer, I would have chemo.  Intellectually, I know all these things.  Yet, I still felt I could do it on my own.   I guess I needed a reminder of the nature of the beast.  It still sits inside me, waiting for an opportunity to pounce.  But I won’t let it!

It was time to accept the facts. Yes, I did indeed need to continue medication, at least for now.  Of course, there’s a part of me that feels like I failed, that I’m weak, that I’m not strong enough.  That is simply not true.  I am strong.  I am capable.  I am loved.  I did NOT fail.  This is just a part, (a small part) of who I am.

And no…my Christianity is not linked to the little white pill.  God is my refuge and saviour.  He was with me through every single moment.

Have you experienced trying to wean yourself off medication? How did you manage?

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Note: This is a personal experience of what my journey has been like. I do not promote the use of medications. Each person is an individual, with individual needs. Always seek professional advise when considering changing medication.

12 Replies to “Without Meds”

  1. Funny you post this today, while my condition is in no way similar to yours, I kind of understand where you’re coming from.

    A couple weeks ago I was taken to hospital because I lost feeling in my right leg. I was diagnosed with Sciatica and given percocet.
    The drugs worked like I was told. The pain that was shooting through my back, hip, and down my leg was gone. (I was also pretty high)

    Fearing I’d become addicted (I can see how it would happen, I just wanted the pain to go away) I decided I’m going to try and cut back. With the drugs I could function (semi) normally. Without the drugs I stumble and experience surges of pain that are crippling. Sucks to be reliant on a little pill.

    That being said, I don’t think medication means you’re not relying on God. I believe God gave us the knowledge and wisdom to develop the meds that enable you to be a blessing to those around you. (And you TOTALLY are a blessing)

    Linda, you are loved.

    1. No, maybe we don’t have the same condition, but I definitely love the analogy. I, too, felt that “without the drugs I stumble and experience surges of pain that are crippling”. Same, but different. Thank you so much for sharing, AJ.

  2. Linda – Thank you for the post. I completely understand the desire to get rid of the meds. I also know the truth. The chemical imbalance is not my fault and it should be treated like anyother disease. Thanks for including the words about diabetes and cancer. Society understands those type of diseases and the need for medicaiton. Clinical depression isn’t any different. Have a great day, and keep posting.

    1. You’re right…clinical depression isn’t any different than any other medical condition. It’s sad that we (as society or as someone who has clinical depression) can sometimes still look at it that way. But we’re working changing that, aren’t we? 🙂
      Thanks so much for your feedback, Rick.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story! Trying to get off medication too soon after dealing with PPD was a bad idea for me. Waiting till the right time went much better. And I am totally prepared to go back on them if necessary after my next baby is born in a few weeks.

    1. PPD is so hard to deal with, isn’t it? I’m glad that you were able to get off meds, but I’m also glad you’re willing to do what you need to do when your next baby arrives.
      A huge congratulations!! I love the sweetness of new born babies. 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing Linda. You are so right… taking medication is NOT linked to your faith… just as you shared about physical medical conditions… I take anti-anxiety medication as needed. I just read this morning in Philippians 4 “Be anxious for nothing…” I couldn’t help but think, “Why do I need to keep taking anti-anxiety medication? God’s Word tells me NOT to be anxious!” The truth is that there is something in my brain chemistry… or it’s my emotional state and the stuff I’m working through in my counseling… whatever it is, God gave Dr’s wisdom to make the medication for us to use as we need it. There is no shame in it! Thank you for your authenticity and openness! 🙂

  5. yes, Linda we are working to change the way mental health is viewed, you are not in this alone…

    thank you for sharing your journey…I’ve not tried to go off my effexor or welbutrin because I know that I know that I know I need them, just like I know that my Christianity is not tied into taking or not taking them…in fact I am a much more credible witness for Christ ON the meds 🙂 I am going right now to add you to my blog list…

  6. Thanks for sharing your story. It has been a hard road, every time I have tried to come off my meds; disaster strikes. I always say never again, but time passes and I take that leap and try to go off them. It can be a challenge to admit that I may never live life without them. It helps to hear others travels with dealing with depression.

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