Friday, August 26, 2016

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Medicine

This may be a tough post to write. I'm praying as I begin that it won't be a hard one to read. Stay with me and let me know what you think in the comments. 

I'm going to start a new antidepressant tomorrow morning. The old one worked quite well. It got me to a stable place after I was very sick with clinical depression about two years ago. It had a couple of minor side effects, so I talked with my doctor and decided to try a new medication and see if that works better.

I had to taper off the old medicine. When I went to a half dose, I felt quite good. I continued feeling great for the first few days after I stopped taking it completely. 

As usual, my idealistic tendencies started to kick in. 

Maybe I'll keep feeling great and I can get off medication.
Maybe I'm strong enough to keep depression away for good.
Maybe I'm not depressed anymore.

Then Thursday happened.

I had some frustrations with my laptop and when I tried to talk to Gary about it I dissolved in tears. At lunch time I was on the verge of crying for most of the meal. Little things upset me all day and I felt anger trying to take over. (I didn't let it.) Thank goodness we had Fresh Hope that night. Even though I cried more than usual, it was great to talk to friends who understood those feelings and could urge me to hang in there.

Earlier in the day, Gary came home for lunch and I went to him for a hug as I tearfully admitted "I don't want to need medication."

And that's really the sum of it. I'm proud. I want to be strong enough to do life without help. I don't want to have to take something.

The truth is, depression runs in my family. I've experienced many seasons of depression over the years. I always came out of it eventually, but not without lots of tears, frustration, and angst.

Thursday reminded me of those times. I hadn't had a day where I felt helpless to keep my emotions steady for a long, long time. I think medicine is a tool God has supplied to help keep me emotionally healthy. So, I will start taking the new medicine tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, it helps me feel even better than I did on the old one.

Most importantly, I'll keep working on the way I think and react to problems and stress. I may need medicine because of the way my brain chemistry works, but right thinking is also necessary for living well in all situations. Choosing to focus on what is true, excellent, and good will work with the medicine to keep me in a healthy place. 

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22 NIV)

What do you think about taking medicine for depression or anxiety? How can focusing on God help you to accept the need for medicine, but also work on having a happy, healthy way of looking at life?


  1. That is perfectly fine to be on medicine for depression. I had a hard time to accept this too but someone finally said---depression is not that different from any illness. But the biggest thing i feel is many people do not understand and treat if very differently. If you feel better on the meds.--take them. And than focusing on God will be easier again too and doing all the things you enjoy. I will be praying for you!!! I love seeing you SMILE!!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I hope that more and more people understand about medications for depression and don't just equate it to weakness - people who deal with depression and anxiety are probably some of the strongest people out there! Let's all keep pushing through and make sure we're choosing to do things that help us live a happy, fulfilling life. If you love seeing me smile, you must know me. :-) Please talk to me sometime if you feel comfortable doing that...praying for you, even though you're anonymous. ~Robyn

  2. My husband also suffers from major depression and the fact that he has to take medications to counter the side effects or the depression medicine gets him a bit depressed but without the psych meds I don't feel he would be here. It is unfortunate that they have to be so pricey. I wouldn't be able to support him as much as I do without the grace of God.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I'll be praying for you and your husband. So glad he chose to get help and that you support him. I agree about the price of medicines. My old med didn't cost very much. If this new med works it will be more expensive, but hopefully worth it. It's really sad when someone goes off their meds because of the financial burden. ~Robyn

  3. My dear, brave friend. You are courageous and I loved your post. Medicine to some brains is like insulin to a diabetic. I'm so grateful we live in an era when help is available. I also found out I need to take an anti-depressant, and I'm okay with it. It improves my day to day ability to cope with stressful situations. I went off and discovered I just feel better in all ways, so now I stay on it. Hugs and thank you for your openness.

    1. Thanks, Virginia! I'm thinking that I may be someone who needs to take medicine my whole life, and I'm slowly accepting that. Why should I ride the ups and downs and make my family suffer when I feel bad if the medicine can help me go along at more of an even keel?

      I'm praying that your wonderful book helps many people, too! (Broken Brain, Fortified Faith by Virginia Pillars is available at Amazon and other book sellers. It's so good!)