Friday, January 18, 2013


When I was younger I refused to take pills. My mother relates horror stories to me as to how she would squish my cheeks together and try to force it into my mouth and then I would just spit in her face. Later I tried to crush the pills and mix them with water… more spitting.
I just didn’t like the idea of medicating. Later I realized that pretty much everyone in my family was self-medicating. My grandparent’s house had a bunch of random pill bottles with prescriptions for people I had never heard of. Even when I lived with a “normal” family they were constantly on medication. Like as soon as I walked in the house I was diagnosed with allergies and forced to shove a sprayer into my nose daily. I didn’t like medication. (Also pills are essentially what killed my cousin. She was on anti-depressants and when she was locked up she didn’t have access to them. The withdrawal fucked her up. When she was released she shot herself.)
As I got older I got over for fear of medicating. Maybe a little too over it. I kept a bottle of Nyquil next to my bed and would take ten Ibuprofen at the sign of a headache. Even with the Nyquil I was constantly taking sleep medication.
But last year my depression got really bad and so I started on my first anti-depressant: Prozac. I was on it for a while and it really helped but during the summer I felt fine so I stopped taking it. Now I know how dumb that sounds. “Oh it’s working so you stop?” But I kept having these great moments and I had this nagging sensation that I had to attribute that to the pills. I wanted my happiness to be mine, not chemically created. I guess I was just raised in a way that you took the good with the bad and if you didn’t have the bad, how would you appreciate the good?
However it started to get bad again. I had people on my back about how I should get a prescription. My mother pleaded with me to at least research it. I searched out experiences from my friend who was on Zoloft. I was actually trying…
But it wasn’t until my first anxiety attack that I decided to actually see a psychiatrist. The feelings of not being able to breathe or sit still or focus or have any control… I absolutely hated losing it like that. And when I wasn’t able to function these last two weeks at school I knew I needed a change. But it wasn’t because everyone was telling me I needed the pills; that just went in one ear and out the other. It was finally accepting for myself (probably for the billionth time) that this was a chemical problem and I truly needed help.
So this morning I talked to a psychiatrist and I am now on Zoloft for depression with anxiety and Gebapentin (which apparently treats seizures) for insomnia. Maybe I’ll be a functional adult now… I kind of hope so.


Patrick Forrest

I woke up when I was younger
And bawled "Mummy I have a headache"
She said
"Don't you worry darling,
Mummy's got a pill for you."

I sat up when I was 7,
With my head all full of phlegm
I said
"Mum I've got a runny nose"
And she gave me pills

I didn't sleep much at all
Once I had turned 15
The doctor said
"There's pills for that!"
So I was given pills

When my head felt like exploding
And my spine seized up with fear,
I thought to myself
"It's not a problem!"
There's plenty more pills
In here.

So I opened up a box or two
And I took them two at a time.
No matter how many pills I took,
The world just kept on screaming.
Until the day I took the lot,
And they found me cold and bleeding.

I woke up in the hospital
And was told
What they thought I'd tried to do.
The nurse just smiled
And told me softly
"I've got some pills for you." 

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever seen a therapist--psychologist rather than psychiatrist?? Have you seen one at your university? I know that's a very hard place to goat times, and maybe I really lucked out when I was there, but I think it's good to take advantage of free therapy when you have the chance.

    Not to discount chemical imbalances, which I think are completely legitimate, but I hesitate about drugs/pills/antidepressants (and that poem didn't really help my hesitation/fear!). The thing is, when I went to a counselor at BYU it was with the goal to get a prescription for anti depressants. I got them and took them. And perhaps they helped, but after a year of those I realized that there were better alternatives to the questionable stuff I was putting into my body.

    I decided to replace my generic brand of zoloft for two fish oil capsules and a vitamin B pill (yes, still a pill, but it's a vitamin). The result was significantly better. Granted, by that time I had a year of therapy under my belt and it was summer (which always makes things better). But I think that our body needs natural things to function at the very best. Fish oil (or for vegetarians/people who don't like fish in any form: Flax seed oil) is a natural antidepressant, and any good psychiatrist will tell you that. It's the omega 3 or whatever that help your body produce seratonin (sunlight helps with this too and is a form of vitamin B--but in the winter you don't get a lot of that from the sun, so supplements help).

    I hate to see people turn to meds for help with their body and mind when something as simple as a few vitamin supplements could probably do the job better. You don't have to try it...but if you want, I'd suggest asking your psychiatrist about it and probably just take supplements along with your prescription.

    Also, Dupree, I love you. Don't forget :)