One day I went to urgent care for an intractable migraine that just wouldnâ€™t let up. Sometimes it can be tricky to treat them because I canâ€™t have NSAIDS (due to gastric sleeve and taking Lithium). I was going over the meds I take and the nurse said, â€œWow, you are on too much medication.â€
Immediately my body went hot, I started to sweat and tears came to my eyes. I waiting until he left the room and then I cried. It was bad enough I had a severe migraine, I didnâ€™t need to hear that. There was so much judgement there. And I went to one of the best psychiatric hospitals in the country, so I was confident that I was taking the right amount of meds. When the doctor came in later I was still crying but managed to pull it together to tell him that it was inappropriate for that nurse to say something about how many meds I was on. That I felt attacked because I am on a number of psychiatric drugs. In between tears and hiccups, I continued. I told him that judgement just adds to the stigma of depression and keeps people from seeking treatment because of it.Â
The doctor assured me thatâ€™s not what he meant. That the nurse was not being judgmental, blah blah blah. But the damage had been done. How is there no judgement when a man says, “Wow, youâ€™re on too much medication.” What was the point in that comment?Â How is that helpful?
I wanted to leave, but I needed pain relief badly. As soon as the meds they gave me for the migraine started to work, I told them I was better (which I sort of was) and left.Â
I was embarrassed that I cried and made a big deal out of things. And the doctor, of course, told that man that I was upset. He did apologize but I just didnâ€™t feel better about it.Â
Looking back, I canâ€™t believe I was embarrassed, because the truth is that I NEED those meds to fight depression. They help me function, be productive and help me be a better wife, mom and friend. Those medications (along with ECT and therapy) changed and saved my life. So fuck that guy.Â
Iâ€™m proud that I sought help for my depression and that I take meds. And because Iâ€™m proud, Iâ€™m going to list my meds with no fear or shame.Â
Rexulti – antipsychoticÂ
Lithium – mood stabilizerÂ
Emgality – preventative med for migrainesÂ
Trazodone – helps with sleep
Gabapentin – anti-anxietyÂ
Imitrex – abortive migraine med
I hope that none of you ever faces that kind of judgement and shame. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help to fight such a debilitating illness. One that steals your joy, makes you so fatigued you canâ€™t get out of bed and one that causes so much mental anguish that sometimes you feel youâ€™d rather die.
Not a damn thing wrong with that.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your family. Iâ€™m going to because my meds help me to do so.
Stay in the light, friends.