I have come to realize that not only the pharmaceutical companies holding us hostage to meds, but many Dr.s are using our physical dependency on Rx to holds us hostage as well. One of my prescriptions needed a refill. This particular one is a compound of melatonin, one I can easily buy at the health food store, but I prefer the troche. Well the Dr. declined the refill, I called and they said I needed to be seen. Keep in mind I have been seeing her for 6 years every 3-4 months. Unable to find time to see her before my trip, a phone consult was recommended. The CC they had on file declined so the nurse called to get a new one, I asked what the cost was. 250.00!! For a phone consult for a med I can easily get at the health food store. Needless to say I said NO Thank you. This is the same Dr. who suggested I go back on the full dosage after having just spent 5 days with horrible physical withdrawals and then come see her for a plan to get off.
Seems to me the time to discuss a plan to get off is at the time they say that you need to quit taking the meds. I learned from past experience lexapro CANNOT be stopped suddenly, you must taper off and this does not guarantee there will be no ill effects.
The staff at the center in Costa Rica where I will be goin have gone over and above anything I expected to insure that this process is not only successful, but safe. They have scheduled an ekg and stress test in San Jose, I have had several phone consults along with giving them a full medical history. They have not only been diligent in the protocal, but supportive, caring and understanding. Knowledge is power and it is reassuring to me the care and attention I have received thus far.
As far as my withdrawals, I am beginning to experiences the swoosh, but it is subtle, the physical pain is almost completely gone. I am now wondering how many of my clients physical pain is due to SSRI’s effect on the CNS, specially those with no known structural issues. Could the SSRI dependency in many of my clients may be the missing link to helping them with their pain that has brought them in to see me. This will definitely be an area worth looking into and may prove to be the missing link in my ability to help them find long term and complete pain relief. But for now, it is all about me. Any lessons learned will be shared.
Through my personal experience and research I have learned that some of my phantom pain may be from the effects of the drug on my CNS. Some of the pain reminds me of the symptoms I suffered from my porcelain gallbladder and appendix and although they are gone, there is still an energetic response from the missing organs that may be due to the lexapro and the mind body connection that created the dis Ease to begin with.
I have as yet not begun to have any emotional effects from lowering my dose other then a little bit of anxiety and sadness one evening. I know that this will be a huge part of my recovery and I am ready to face my hidden emotions head on.
From listening to all the stories from others I am also realizing there is going to be some major adjustments that my family and friends are going to have to face. But I cannot carry that burden any longer and hope it will be a time of growth for them as well. They will either except me or not, but I am ready to accept and meet me.
Friday night I found I had to make myself follow thru with plans to attend a function with a friend. My first choice was to hibernate in my safe dwelling but went and so glad I did. It is funny how sometimes the things we need the most, we are often most resistant to. My community of support is my lifeline and I am so grateful. I have come to see the more open we are to our authentic self, the more our authentic friends show up. Many were unaware that I have been medicating myself and have a dependency on an anti-depressant, and having shared my story, they have been so open to sharing their story as well. I am not alone in this, you are not alone in this. Hiding and keeping secret the struggle is what makes you feel alone.
I am not sure if addiction is the correct term or physical dependency, mainly because addiction has such a negative connotation. But it is a word, a label and which ever resonates with you, use it.
For me I see it as an addiction because I am physically dependant on it to make it thru the day. I also must say chemical imbalanced depression and situational depression are two different things that are often treated with the same medication. Situational depression can turn into a chemical imbalance because of the effect of the drugs. These drugs are not designed for long term use, but should be taken for short periods of time, if at all, along with therapy. If you are not in therapy and taking these medications then you health care provider has failed you.
We are a society looking for a quick fix, the pharmaceutical companies advertise specifically to this desire, just look at all the commercials and new diagnosis advertised to you on the TV.
It is not just happy pills, but erectile dysfunction, leaking bladder, anxiety disorders, all of which may be helped with selfcare through specific diet and exercise plans, pelvic floor work, breath work, meditation, acupuncture, energy work etc……
It is time we take responsible for our disEase and stop looking for a quick way out that is loaded with side effects, some of which may be irreversible.
Our health care system is motivated around money and it should be motivated around self care, empowering the patient thru mind body skills. Not empowering and filling the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies.
My training over the last few years has been focused on self care, and it is now time for me to practice what I preach. By sharing my story, having walked this walk, I can come from a place of knowing, of understanding.
It is not a coincidence that things are unfolding the way they are. My study and work on back health, the pelvic floor and the breath along with the mind body skills training will greatly be impacted and used by me during the next few weeks, and for a life time.
I leave for Costa Rica Wednesday for a few days of play with my son and then the next step of my journey begins. Stay tune!!