I’ll be honest, I debated a bit on whether or not to actually write and post this. But I’m trying to be real on this blog, and sometimes that means including things that, in retrospect, turned out to not be such a big deal but were at the time.
I set up an appointment with my doctor a week or so ago because my depression medication needed to have the prescription renewed. No big deal right? Except this was the first time I’d seen him to get it renewed and I was honestly terrified that he wasn’t going to renew it.
Where did this fear come from? Soon after he prescribed the medication to me, I attended a workshop my church sponsored where he did a presentation on physical and mental health. He mentioned there that he generally only prescribed antidepressants for around six months, since by then most people no longer needed them.
It may have also come with my experiences while working as at a Social Security Disability advocacy group and trying to get medical records and other paperwork from doctors and hearing my clients stories of trying to deal with their doctors to get medications.
Wherever it came from, I’ve been nervous about this appointment since even before I made it. I’d been rehearsing in my mind what I would say if he wanted to take me off the medication, what I needed to tell him to convince him that this medication was essential to my well-being and productivity.
Yesterday was the day of the appointment. I was so nervous and scared about not getting my meds renewed that I had a hard time focusing on much of anything. The closer to the time of the appointment it got, the more nervous I got. I made myself sick to my stomach, no exaggeration. What if he wouldn’t renew the prescription? Where would I get my medication from? I’m heading out of the state for a week in a couple of days and was due to run out during my vacation. What would I do without it if I ran out?
Finally the appointment came. I met with the nurse and she took my vitals and everything, then left me to wait for the doctor. I’m honestly surprised I wasn’t shaking by the time he came in, I was so worried.
Turns out all my worry was for naught. He renewed the meds without a problem. He just checked to make sure they were still working for me, and then gave me the prescription. It was such a relief!
Did I once again blow something hugely out of proportion? Possibly. But to me, this medication is an absolute necessity. Without it, I have a really, really hard time functioning. So to me, the possibility that the doctor might not let me keep taking it was terrifying.
I think this is something that a lot of people who don’t have a mental illness don’t really understand. Just like someone with diabetes would start feeling bad and have problems if they stopped taking their insulin, people with mental illnesses who are on medication are the same way. You wouldn’t tell a person with diabetes or high cholesterol or blood pressure or something like that to just suck it up and be positive and then they won’t need their medications anymore. It’s the same way for people with a mental illness. It’s exactly that: an illness. And like any other illness or condition, it needs treatment. What that treatment is will vary, but don’t ever knock somebody for taking medication for a mental illness. It literally can be a life changer for a person whether or not they have their medication. I know for me it is.
Thoughts? Comments? Please feel free to share below.