Feeling Bad For Taking Medication
At the moment I’m feeling really bad for being on and needing medication. At present I’m on:
A fixed dose of 200mg Quetiapine a day but can take upto 350mg a day if needed
150mg Lamotrigine a day
200mg Sertraline a day
150mg Pregabalin a day
Lorazepam 2.5mg tablets as PRN (upto once a day)
On one hand I feel bad for being on medication and that I should be able to cope without it by now. On the other hand I’ve really been struggling with my anxiety and never want to go back to the point I was at in 2018 when I took a serious overdose and spent 5 days in ICU and a further 5 days on another medical ward in the hospital. I still experience suicidal thoughts some days.
I don’t have anyone really to discuss this with. The NHS Psychiatrist I was seeing has discharged me from her outpatient clinic because she doesn’t think I need her and she had to reduce her caseload due to Coronavirus (she is also a Clinical Director at the NHS Trust so has lots of responsibilities). My GP surgery aren’t very helpful at the best of times and I often just end up speaking with a different locum every time I make contact.
I know people can’t give medical advice on here. I just wondered whether anyone ever feels bad/a failure for needing medication especially if needed long term? A psychiatrist I used to see once said to me that some people need to stay on medication to remain stable and that there is no shame in that but I still feel a failure.
I'm on lamotrigine, lexapro, and clonazepam (high-five, lamotrigine buddies!).
I felt the same way before starting medication. I felt, at the time, that if I resorted to medication that I'd be "giving up" and that instead I should "try harder" with the coping mechanisms I'd learned in therapy. While those mechanisms helped a tiny bit, but I was still pretty miserable.
The hesitation and guilt I felt stemmed from being raised in a family that never talked about or seemingly understood mental health.
So I took my Dr's advice and started some medications. After numerous conversations with my therapist I started to see things differently.
Looking at it objectively, there is nothing inherently wrong with taking a medication that your body needs. If you broke a limb, I suppose you could just "tough it out" and suffer while it heals...and then be stuck with a bone that healed improperly and is permanently painful! (Straight up, I did that before and it was dumb). ...Or, you could just go get a cast.
I don't think there's any reason to suffer when medications can drastically increase the quality of your life. Mine allow me to enjoy things more and participate in communities that I would otherwise be too anxious to join. Feeling less anxious and depressed also gives me the motivation and confidence to fix things in my life that might have been making my depression and anxiety even worse.
You mentioned that you might need to continue to stick to your meds indefinitely - that's likely going to be my case, too. I guess I think of it like this: ultimately, if I do need to take them forever, then it's because my darn genetics and brain chemistry make it so. It's not my fault - I'm just adapting with the help of science.
Those are the things I focus on when I start to question my medication journey. I hope they're somewhat helpful to you and that I'm not just rambling away. If you have any other ways you think about these things I'd love to hear them!
The pysch you used to see is most definitely correct.
You mentioned you don't want to go back to 2018, can you use that as motivation to keep taking your medication? Can you try to think of it as a protective factor keeping you stable and safe?
Sorry for 100 questions, feel free to ignore them :)
Thank you so much for your experiences, thoughts and making me think about things a bit more. I really appreciate it. I think my reply is going to be rubbish because Iíve not been doing very well and am a bit low on words at the moment but I want you to know Iíve read and appreciate you replying.
I am currently under the care of the local Home Treatment Team and am seeing their Psychiatrist Thursday so I think I am going to try and discuss my feelings with her.
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