If You Are Ill

The 'Glasses Apostle' in the altarpiece of the...

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A reader commented on yesterday’s post, “Afraid of Meds,”

My fear, I think, would be not so much the dependence—but what would happen if I did need that medicine and it suddenly became unavailable, like I couldn’t get my prescription because of a natural disaster or something like that.  …Would going off of those meds cold turkey put me at a real disadvantage?

In my late 20′s I had similar fears, only for me it was related to my eye-glasses.  Because I didn’t tolerate contact lenses, I especially had vivid fears of getting into the driver’s seat of my car without my eye-glasses anywhere to be found.  Living on loans at the time, I took out extra money and got LASIK eye surgery.  Oh the joy when I woke up one morning and could see clearly, high-definition, no glasses to grope around for, freedom!

Unfortunately in neuropsychiatry, we don’t have the privilege yet of offering many curative options like LASIK surgery for emotional illnesses.  I don’t believe it’s too far off in the future.  It wouldn’t be wild to say our children may have those options some day.  For example, embryonic stem cells may offer a cure for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.  However, until a cure becomes as available as Prozac or even LASIK eye surgery, the reader quoted above has a reasonable fear.  Medication becoming unavailable is a disadvantage.

Now I’m not great at twisting reasoning powers, so I’ll say this as best I can.  That’s like not getting eye-glasses because we are afraid of loosing them.

So to this reader quoted above and to you I ask,

Question:  What do you think?  Treatment or no treatment?  Please tell me your story.

Self Care Tip #53 – If you are ill, get as better as you can.  Be a friend to yourself.

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