Self-Care Tip #140 – Push for full treatment response. Be a friend to yourself.
Frankie was 45 now, feeling it, and feeling grumpy. “I’m on Lexapro!” she said as if that should exempt her from her present condition. She had teenagers. “Enjoy these times when your kids are young. It just gets worse!” Frankie thought that if her kids weren’t stressing her out, she’d be fine.
Maybe parenting and other life-stressors do get worse as we progress through years. Even if it’s true, it isn’t the point.
Frankie told me that she had felt “normal” until the last approximate four weeks when she wasn’t able to let stress go. She was taking things personal, even when her mind knew they weren’t about her. She didn’t like herself as much and was angry when she thought that her kids were thinking the same thing about her. She was just a little angry. Not like she was before she was taking medication. “I’m not so bad. I’m ok. I’ll be fine.” About 70% of Frankie believed that she was still good. About 30% of her knew at some level that she wasn’t.
“Frankie, stress is always going to happen. It won’t get better necessarily when your kids move out. Life will keep the spin on. Frankie, the difference can be in you, not life. How you cope can be different. Things don’t have to feel that hard to get through.”
We talked about partial treatment response and what that meant in regards to disease progression. Depression progresses as does anxiety as disease processes. Also, people lose response inconsistently to various treatments. However, it is not the time to throw our hands up and say, “Bummer! Life really is harder on me than necessary!” It is the time to say, “This is medical.” And explore if there are any other things we can do to improve treatment response and decrease disease progression.
Leaving ourselves partially treated is leaving a leaky pipe in the wall of our health structure. We will worsen faster, more dramatically, and be harder to treat in the long run. We will lose treatment options over time simply by not doing as much as we could earlier than later.
This is not to say, that if this blog-post finds you at a “later” position in life, that it is of no use. Unless that’s how you see your future. Which if true, I’d respond that this is distorted thinking. Possibly secondary to the disease process and all the more reason to get treatment, again, sooner than “more” later.
I was so happy to have had this brief discussion with Frankie because it resonated with her. Her approach to her self-care tweaked and she saw her negative emotions and behaviors were coming from her condition more than from the chaos around her. She made friendly choices to heal. Medically heal.
Later in our treatment together, I asked her about how her kids were. Frankie brightened up with stories of their successes. I asked further if they were stressing her out, and she looked at me like, “Why in the world are you asking me that!? That’s out of left field!” She had already forgotten that she had held them responsible for her feelings not too long ago.
Question: What barriers have you been up against to get full treatment response? Please tell me your story.
- The Presence of Stress Doesn’t Make the Disease Process Any Less Important (friendtoyourself.com)
- Do I Need a New Depression Drug or a New Therapist? (everydayhealth.com)
I’ve had serious reactions to over 41 phychotropic drugs….several of which have caused me to be hopitalized for weeks, just to get off one drug and “try” another. It didn’t help that I developed Fibromyalgia a few years after my breakdown but before I was emotionally well enough to quit antidepressants. People with Fibromyalgia react bacly to drugs just because that’s part of the disease.
Two years ago, although I felt myabe 90% okay, I was told that I could not try another psychotropic drug. My only other option would be electro-shock therapy, which is NO option for me because loss is my major problem to begin with.
And that leaves…..?????
My hope lies, and always, even at my lowest point, has lain in the manger in Bethlehem. Thank God for Christmas, for faith, and for people like you, Sana, who care gently. Have a wonderful Christmas.
that was my little gift from u nancy. thank u as always for your kindness and support. fuel u know ;).
and… ahem Amen! 🙂 Praise God for hope which is in itself a miracle. blessings.
I’m allright, Jack 🙂
Happy holidays, Doc.
And thanks …
where’s that video
I did not know depression was progressive. That’s depressing.Neither is the realization that aging is progressive. Hmmmm. On the other hand I can say I’ve had 61 more Christmas times than a new born and perhaps that makes it worth it!
Hey Carl! I agree. the good and the bad. u’ve got more to be grateful for than regret! yes! 😉
merry merry Carl.
Thank you for this blog Dr. Q! I have been going through a rough patch and needed this blog especially!
Hey Lisa! thank u so much for reading and commenting a bit of you and your inner life. i’m glad to connect w u when u r in a bad spot. it is a place of privilege really. Keep on.
This post is eerily relevant. I ended my latest eating disorder treatment program at the end of September, although I know I wasn’t quite ready. My issue now is that I’m not ‘bad’ enough to go back to treatment and I don’t know that I want to.
The 30% of me that knows I need more help before it gets too bad doesn’t seem to be in control right now.
Thank you for your though-provoking posts! I guess this one will at least get me to do some thinking…
thank u for reading and commenting. It is hugely rewarding to hear something about resonance in someone else’s life! u complete the blog-post this way!
I hear you too and know that your “thinking” is part of recovery. Fight hard for yourself. u r so worth it. keep on!
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