I’m No Doctor, But…

I’m seeing a pattern here connecting my facial breakouts with the glorious sunshine of Oklahoma. I spend a little time outside and BAM! A complexion that would make a hormonal teenage boy run screaming.
 
What is up with that? It happened last year right around this time; only then, I blamed it on a chemical imbalance and an undying love of Coca-cola. Well, I still have a coke problem…but that’s beside the point.
 
I am a little worried; last spring, a blotchy red face was the first sign of some kind of freak hormone-thing. I then began going through a horrendous stage of what my doctor diagnosed as "depression and anxiety". I’d rather burn my arms off then to suffer that emotional turmoil again.
 
Really. My arms. With a blow-torch. I’d forget my precious pink bike and learn how to ride a unicycle. I’d be such a badass.
 
I was put on miracle drugs, and almost immediately I felt better–so good in fact, that 2 months later, I did a very bad thing and took my own self off of any and all prescribed medications, hoping to keep control of my moodswings and temper-tantrums with diet and exercise. And so far, so good–but I’m not totally opposed to going back on the crazy pills if it becomes absolutely neccessary. Especially when I take into consideration my passion for beer and coke coupled with my growing dislike for healthy food and sweating.
 
Anyhow, when all this went down, I was fortunate to have love and support coming from my family and friends, and even people I’d never met courtesy of MSN Spaces. And I was shocked–SHOCKED–and appalled, at just how many people had gone through the very same thing–and how many were actually willing to share their experiences with me. It was encouraging, to say the least…but yet, maybe even, a little scary. Can all these people really be suffering from depression and anxiety? Or, are we all just worked up (and drugged up) over nothing? Is it some sort of plague in the 21st century? Did our grandparents go through the same thing and just shrug it off as a bad case of the blues…only to soldier bravely on until some sort of sanity returned to them? Should we be handling our emotional problems the same way? Do we turn to drugs too quickly?
 
My thoughts: Yes and no. I think many people look to drugs as their ultimate cure-all. Maybe I can put this in a way that people will understand. Think of an obese person that has a life-saving gastric bypass surgery. Yes, it needed to be done BUT the problem does not just go away afterward. It’s about taking care of yourself, and making lifestyle changes can affect a person mentally and emotionally just as much as it can physically.
 
Case in point: a girl I know, no names, recently saw a doctor–once–about her difficulty breathing. She walked out of the place with a nice fat prescription for Xanex (sp?) and an optional 8 paid visits to a psychiatrist. Before, during, and even after this ordeal, the girl still fails to recognize what might have played a HUGE part in her bought with anxiety and depression: She’s a full-time student. She works 2 jobs. She parties 4 or 5 times a week until the wee hours of the morning and she drinks like a fish–and I’m only assuming that when she eats, if she remembers to eat, her choice of food isn’t the healthiest our green earth has to offer. How was medication automatically the answer to her problem?
 
My ideas on this subject are obviously not based on professional knowledge or solid, known facts…they’re just thoughts that occur to me. There are certain things people have to do in order to keep their minds and bodies healthy, and if medicine is a part of the routine, then that’s great. Whatever works. But I have trouble believing that it’s the ONLY thing a person needs–that you have to take an active part when it comes to your health, both physically and emotionally. And I would LOVE to hear some other opinions.
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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

5 responses to “I’m No Doctor, But…

  • Normal Every Day Life

    I am with you.  I think alot of people think some drug is going to magically fix everything.  In my opinion most of the time, they have deeper issues that they don’t want to address, so they mask that with medicine. 
     
    Well that is just my thoughts……..Have a good weekend watch out for the storms it is suppose to get bad saturday but who knows with Oklahoma.

  • Sheryl-Ann

    Hi Toni, I agree with you.  I think most of the time, the medications act like a bandaid.  They just cover up the problem for a while.  Like you said, many times what we need is discipline and major lifestyle changes to combat whatever ails us.  This does not mean that sometimes medication is not the answer.  However, I believe that all too often we are too quick to choose the easy way out – popping some magic pills.
     
    Enjoy the weekend, Toni………I will be the one with the basket picking all your fruit this summer:)

  • Nikki

    Toni, I agree with you.  Drugs are too readily available in this country.  I will be the first person to admit that I was put on Wellbutrin for anxiety & depression.  Sure, I noticed a change when I was on the pills, but was it really them that helped? I can’t be sure.  Shortly after having my breakdown…I also quit my job.  The job was the major cause of my anxiety.  I’m sure other things factored into it (i.e.  dealing with deployments, being away from my family, etc) as well.   I’m sure there are people out there that really truly need drugs to help them, but for the majority of folks…I think they just want that instant fix.  It’s an easy out. 
     
     

  • Tracy

    Hi, I’m usually a lurker here (I love your writing!) but wanted to comment on this.  I totally agree with you.  First let me state I am sure there are times when medications are absolutely needed.  But I think people are lazy and are way too quick to just go get a prescription for this, that, or the other thing instead of really work at naturally solving the problem.  I have a friend who went to the doc and got "diagnosed" depressed and put on meds.  What gets me is how the doctors will put people on meds so quickly.  This friend needs to exercise and eat better and I am sure that’d make her feel a ton better, lower her blood pressure and get control of the diabetes.  Granted maybe not but shouldn’t she try that first instead of just go on meds?  Now she has diabetes and is on a million other meds and every day tells me of some new ailment she has and new prescription she gets.  And now, not only does she have the "sicknesses" but she ALSO has the side-effects from the meds and it’s just a total snowball effect. It drives me bonkers because I know it’s not all necessary and, if she would put the effort into it (mainly exercising and eating better) she would feel so much better but she’d rather lay on the couch and be on about ten different prescriptions. 
     
    That said, good for you for taking yourself off those meds and doing it the "old fashioned way"!!  LIke I said I know sometimes that stuff is necessary but people are WAY too fast to rely on meds — because it’s easier!

  • Tiffany

    Girl, I’m with you 100%.  And, I’m PROUD of you for trying to balance everything with diet and excercise.  I know this may sound weird, but I think that the preservatives in a lot of food causes issues with people.  I think we need to eat more organic vegetables and meat!  I know it’s more expensive, but it’s just better for you!
     
    I’m loving the Spring mode!  I hope we sell our house SOON… the faster we do it then the faster I get to stay at home with Baylee and try for another baby!
     
    Hugs – Tiffany

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