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What's wrong with meds?

Posted Dec 21 2008 10:21am
I was getting my prescriptions filled yesterday- I had taken them to a new place because I found a $25 coupon if you brought in a new prescription. Once we got the insurance all sorted out (a lengthy process since all of the information isn't super obvious on the card), I went to pay for the pills, and the pharmacist asked me this:

"Does your insurance cover acupuncture? Because you'll probably be able to get off your meds if you try it."

Um, I don't remember asking you for your opinion. But nonetheless, this statement bugged me, and I couldn't quite place my finger on it. This morning, as I was making my coffee, it occurred to me: why do people assume that psych meds are somehow optional?

I guess you could say that insulin is "optional" for diabetics, or that rifampin and isoniazid are "optional" for people with tuberculosis. Let's not talk about chemo for cancer, either! Sheesh.

I'm not a believer in "alternative medicine." As a confirmed skeptic, I believe there is medicine that is effective, and medicine that isn't. Most trials of acupuncture have not been shown to be any more effective than placebo. But some people swear by it, and I'm not here to judge.

I understand that not everyone likes, or wants, to use psychotropic meds. And that's fine with me. However, I find them necessary. I've tried to stop taking them, and I end up a suicidal anxious mess, practically unable to leave my bed. I don't really like having to take meds. They're expensive, they do have side effects, it's a pain to remember to take them, and I really don't like needing them.

But I do.

I'm trying to tell myself that there is nothing wrong with psych meds. As much as I don't like having to take them, I'm eternally grateful that these meds exist. Waking up to an almost unthinkable sense of foreboding and dread is not the way I want to live. Although I rarely wake up happy and chipper (I'm NOT a morning person!), my meds let me face the day. To me, they are necessary, and likely always will be.
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