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Battling Depression, depression, emotional well-being, Health, Mental Health, overcoming depression, well-being

B Is For Brain & P Is For Pills

When you break a leg, you go to the ER, have the bone reset and wear a plaster. For a while, you walk around with the aid of crutches. If only it were that simple when the brain overloads and breaks down. Unfortunately, there is no reset for the brain, during the 10 years I battled with depression I often wished that there was.

The truth of the matter is a bit more complicated. A healthy brain needs transmitter chemicals – serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine and the hormone melatonin – to circulate through the limbic system, which in turn regulates, among others, mood. A depressed brain stops producing these transmitter chemicals and let’s face it, when that happens all hell breaks loose. This is where the pills come into play. They are your crutches that help you carry on, but first you need to see a doctor. No doctor, no pills!

Now speaking from experience, if you’re depressed you need those pills. The first time around, I resisted the pill option with every fibre of my being, and then came the second time around. See what I’m getting at, and the second time was so much worse than the first. Hell is not a nice place to visit let alone take up residency, and that is what it feels like when you’re depressed.

So the second time, I went to see my doctor, and he explained to me that my brain was like a sink. When all is well that sink has a plug, but while suffering from depression the plug is pulled from the sink and all those useful transmitter chemicals are just doing down the proverbial drain. The only way to find the plug and fill up that sink is through antidepressant.

In this department, science has come a long way. Today not all antidepressant have horrible side effects and a long list of contra indications. There are many different kinds of antidepressants, and it’s a case of finding the right ones that work for you. My advice here, once again from experience, is give them time to take effect. That bloody sink won’t fill up overnight!

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About D.J. Haswell

I battled with depression, brought on by stress, for 10 years. During that time, I made many mistakes, due in no small part to the fact that I perceived my illness as a failing on my part. It took me a long time, coupled with hindsight, to realise that I hadn’t failed in my life, but rather that the circumstance of my life had failed me. I started my blog to bring hope to those currently suffering from the debilitating effects of depression that there is light at the end of what may seem like an unending tunnel!

Discussion

6 thoughts on “B Is For Brain & P Is For Pills

  1. I have also found that sometimes it’s necessary to experiment with the time of day these meds are taken. Also, if someone is very sensitive to medications (of any kind), it can be helpful to start with a low/subclinical level and work your way up. This can help to reduce possible side effects, if approved and monitored by your prescriber.

    Not everyone needs meds, and not everyone needs them long-term. Some do, and that’s ok. For some, they are literally a life saver.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Hope Happens | May 4, 2013, 1:17 AM
    • Hi Hope Happens, the main reason I resisted the antidepressants was because I’d always gone the homeopathic route and was more than a little dubious of the side effects that something stronger may have. I have a wonderful doctor who practices homeopathic and traditional medicine. He always started me off on the lowest possible dose and gradually increased it. I have one in the morning and a different one in the evening, and now I’m at the point of slowly decreasing the dosage. It’s been three years of trial and error, but today I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I feel great.

      I agree, that some people may not need medication, that talking alone and getting it all of their chests is a medicine unto itself. In my case, opening up and talking about my feelings, emotions and problems has never been an issue. However, I do know that a lot of people find it extremely difficult. I can only speak from my own personal experiences, and in my case those little pills were a life saver!

      Posted by djhaswell | May 4, 2013, 12:28 PM
      • I understand your perspective and share it. How nice to have a doc that will actually work with you! I found such support, but only “out of network”. In other words, insurance didn’t cover it. But it was worth the price. (And I love the analogy of the sink missing a plug for the drain.)

        There seems to be such conflict sometimes between those who say all meds are evil and should never be used, and those who know thier lives have literally been saved by those same meds. It’s really not an exact science, and can often take trial and error.

        I don’t believe there is one specific answer that is right for everyone. We have certainly benefitted from meds in our family, some long term and some short term. Same with counseling. I’m so glad you have been able to find what worked for you, and happy to hear that you are feeling great!

        Hope you have a lovely weekend ~

        Posted by Hope Happens | May 4, 2013, 9:07 PM
        • I’m so glad you could afford to get the help you needed. At the same time I’m incensed that you had to pay for something that should be redly available to everyone.

          Have a great weekend!

          Posted by djhaswell | May 4, 2013, 11:28 PM
  2. I have started the recent journey with medication also and I have to say it is making a massive difference. I saw above that antidepressants aren’t covered by insurance!!? Do you know what technicality they used to squirm out of paying for it? Luckily I live in Scotland where the NHS is free and we even have free prescriptions. I have had to go private for a physio but I am happy to pay that. It’s funny alot of people are happy to pay for a night out, but not happy to pay once a month to address health concerns, mental or physical.

    Posted by lifeoutside87 | May 9, 2013, 12:11 PM
    • Hi Lifeoutside87, thanks for dropping by and reading my blog. So glad to hear that you’re seeing an improvement with the medication. Regarding the comment that antidepressants aren’t covered by insurance refers to the US. Living in Belgium, I’m luck, the equivalent of the NHS covers 75% of all medical costs including medication.

      Posted by D.J. Haswell | May 9, 2013, 12:37 PM

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