The train was tarnished from soot. The engineer, Jack, grimaced over the craft, while he hauled wood into the fiery oven hidden in her belly. She was a steam engine and her whistle sounded through the air like a shiver breaking ice.
Indians watched from a bouldered distant peak. They saw the smoke and marked its passage with each puff.
Just then, a mischievous current sucked up that chimney-spew like a genie to her lamp and the loud wind masked the sound of her turning wheels. To the unfamiliar natives looking on, the tiny far off train appeared to have stopped, silent to them now and no smoke to ribbon the air.
Not so, though. Jack did not know they were watched, he and his steely lady. He did not know he was described in the mind’s of others.
Moving. Not moving. Progressing. Stopped.
But the sensory descriptors were misleading.
Music please. (Perhaps tom-tom pow wow drums.)
As in this tidy little parable, we think that when we get relief from symptoms, it means that the disease process is better.
Anxious? Have a beer and vuala! Better. Can’t sleep? Smoke some weed and, “Aaaah.”
No? “Of course not!” we say. “We don’t do those plebeian substances. We use our medications as prescribed. We don’t abuuuuse them. If we need more, we ask for more.”
This dialogue is usually regarding benzodiazepines. “Doctor, I can’t take antidepressants or those other meds! Why is everyone always pushing drugs on me? I’m just taking klonopin.” Or, “Doctors over-prescribe! I just need xanax!”
Brain disease runs something like the steam engine train.
The steam coming out of the chimney is what we see in symptoms, such as, anxiety, inner tension, fear, insomnia, irritability and so forth. Get rid of the smoke and we think the disease is dealt with. However, the train is still going. The disease is still progressing, although not as notably disruptive as before. To stop the train, we must stop the engine, or the disease process. I’m not saying we must cure the disease, rather, just slow or stop the disease progress to treat it effectively.
Our goal is more than symptom management. Our goal is to treat the underlying illness to preserve brain health and prevent against further injury.
Self-Care Tip: When medically indicated, consider medical therapy.
Question: When your symptoms improve, how do you continue toward treatment goals? How do you go past getting “better” to full treatment? Please tell us your story.
- When You Treat Only the Symptoms and Ignore the Cause (longversion.wordpress.com)
- Mistaken Expressions of Freedom and Medication Compliance 2012/10/30
- Fighting For Brain Health Is At The Core Of Being A Friend To Yourself 2011/09/16
- What We Will Do For Brain Health – Looking For Heroes 2011/11/06
- Medications and Being Chosen by Fear 2012/01/04
- Other Fears of Medication For Brain Illness 2011/06/15
- Fears of Addiction To Medications for Brain Illness 2011/06/14
- Where Do You Think Behavior and Emotion Come From? 2011/04/05
- Go Toward Mental Illness and Take It To The Floor 2011/01/13
- Say Yes to Medication And No To Drugs 2011/07/13
- Eating the Right Foods – part 2. (drchana.com)
- In 1967 A Plan Was Made To Medicate You Into Submission (Watch This and Read). (afteramerica.wordpress.com)
- The Little Train (Mr. Small #4) by Lois Lenski (blueonbooks.wordpress.com)
The pharmaceutical companies are an industry like everything else!
hi angel heart. I don’t have much experience in these businesses. thank u for commenting.
I think finding effective non opiate based meds is good mental health practice. Any med regimen alone is insufficient and should be aligned with talk therapy, self help literature and support groups for a holistic approach.
nice rap around approach carl. thank u for shouting it out.
but how do we stop the train? my meds help get rid of the smoke, holistic therapies, yoga and relaxation help slow down the train but will the train EVER stop? Stop the engine? I wish I knew how. even with meds the anxiety still rolls on.
what ever u r doing, or any of us, we are doing what we are doing and in this moment we will give ourselves a break. some illnesses never reach a baseline of full healing and wherever we find ourselves on our journey to healing, we know that we are doing more than if we were “sitting on the couch” figuratively speaking. we are courageous. we are loved and of high value. we are fools. we are diseased. we are flawed and broken and have poor footing. we are what we are.
Stopping the engine, ie the disease progression is the goal. So are skinny jeans. Let’s get stubborn or what we must to pursue and be pursued well.
cat, u r not alone. big hug, lady courage. keep on.
They key, in my opinion, is to know what we have. We understand the dynamic and can say this is my illness and things may not be as overwhelming as they appear. Our insights help us keep balance. We know our feelings are distorted.For me , I don’t put things off and finish each day knowing that I have addressed my problems and there is nothing more I can do. The outcomes are not in my hands We just try to bring closure whether we like the ending or not.
don’t put things off and finish each day knowing that I have addressed my problems and there is nothing more I can do. The outcomes are not in my hands. Try to bring closure whether we like the ending or not.
thank u carl.
Unfortunately our society is addicted to quick fixes !
quick fixes and addictions sound familiar to each of us i’m sure.
tengo un habito; de cuando me siento mal o me recetan medicamentos; pero al sentir un poco de mejoria me olvido de ellos. siendo una enfermedad pequeña. pero reacciono con este tema de que el tren continua lentamente sin darme cuenta. tomare en cuenta este consejo.
I have a habit of when I feel bad or prescribe drugs but to feel a bit of improvement I forget them. disease being small. react with this topic but the train continued slowly without realizing. I’ll take this advice into account
Thank u so much for this lovely bilingual comment! Way cool. U got this. We can all relate to your description. U r not alone. Keep on