Self-Care Tip #163 – Taking care of yourself is the best part of your treatment cocktail.
We often talk about partial or failed treatment in medicine, in each other, in relationships. But those are only about 40-60% of the time. There are many people who get full treatment response to medication and self-care. Mindy is one of them.
Mindy has seen me for about four years in clinic for her depression. She’s never been very anxious, which is less usual as anxiety and depression tag-team so often. Mindy’s depression had lurked in her, stepping out in the light and slipping into the shadows, for years even before she started working with me. We seemed to hit by chance or skill the right medication cocktail that had evaded her, and she was not depressed anymore. However, she never told me she was great. She was “pretty good.” She was, “doing alright.” She was, “you know, good.” Mindy wasn’t great. She was good. We spent three and a half years like that.
Then about six months ago, Mindy came in looking hot! (I can say that because I’m a girl.) She had lost the mom bumps around the midline, dropped padding in the hips, her hair wore a fresh coat of glossy brown, and I could tell her outfit hadn’t been worn more than twice. Mindy was smiling and sincere when she said,
I’ve never felt better! I had no idea what taking care of myself would do for me!
Her eyes were telling me their own conversation. They were so expressive saying,
I can’t believe this is me!
Mindy told me in testimonial fashion, about the strangers who now noticed her. Being noticed was an elixir and she was drinking it as often as it was served, but not in an arrogant way. Mindy was still very human. She wasn’t manic or grandiose. She was doing what Gary Vaynerchuk describes in his book, Crush It!
“Do what makes you happy. Keep it simple. Do the research. Work hard. Look ahead” (p 12).
I used to think that what I got from life was good enough; from my husband and from the people out there. I didn’t know I could get this by just doing what I wanted to do for myself all along.
Mindy was still taking her medication cocktail and had no plans of tapering any of them. She thought the combination of these medications that took her out of depression, along with exercise and other self-care measures were just right. Mindy had not forgotten her years of melancholy and sadness even though it was now four years since.
Questions: 1) What is your reaction to Mindy and the 40-60% of people who get full treatment response? 2) Do you have any questions you wish you could ask the “Mindy’s” out there? 3) Or something to say for the other 40-60% of people who don’t get full treatment response? Please tell me your story.