Right from the beginning, I know you don’t want to take meds for your feelings. But who would? I also know you probably don’t believe in them. Haven’t you seen “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”? And you have read the articles on “designer emotions” (which is crap-full, to say it nicely).
You have to be aware of side-effects that may hit you. If you read about side-effects online for these meds (SSRI mostly), it will feel like there is nothing but side effects — and that is simply because they legally are required to list every possible side-effect. It is best to ask your GP for his / her ideas about particular side effects that might impact you.
You may be interested to know that new meds are coming out all the time to reduce the side effects of medications. A new medication called Viibryd (sounds like a raptor to me) is a successful SSRI anti-depressant for men. It helps reduce sexual impotency, a frequent side-effect to anti-depressants for men.
Having said all this, medications for your emotions might just work for you because they work for lots of people. And here are some assessments that might help you think it through whether meds are right for you.
I also suggest my client friends look into the NSAD Stress Questionnaire, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), and the GAD 7 or Generalized Anxiety Disorder Checklist. You can find these 3 assessments on my website under “Tools / Psychology and Emotions.”
So what do you do with this advice? You take it seriously because the quality of your life might depend upon it. You read through the assessments to see if they reflect who you are and what you think. You don’t just believe it and do it. You think. And you make some decisions.
Your doctor will also talk to you about how long you may wish to take the meds; when you should see some decent upturn; and how to discontinue them.
You get meds by asking your Medical Doctor or Psychiatrist. And make sure you take your doctor your completed assessments. She looks at them and helps you come to a conclusion about whether or not a medication is right for you. It is a consultative process. No one will coerce you. At least I hope not.
If you and the doctor decide to progress, he gives you a prescription and you fill them at your pharmacy. The dispensing fees as well as the medications themselves, tend to be cheaper at Costco, but do ask advice. And if you have a pharmacist that you work with now, this is invaluable.
You can also use the assessments to monitor your progress in therapy. If you complete them when you first visit Carole or Paddy, take them again in a month or so. You will probably see a change.
If you wish reliable information beyond what I have written you might wish to consult the Canadian Government website for mental health. There is a lot of info there.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Carole or me for guidance on these things. We are willing and able to help.
See also an additional article on my website on SSRI and depression and anxiety. Helpful, I think.
[You are welcome to comment on this blog or anything else you see on my website. Please suggest improvements or ideas, or just dialogue. Contact me at life@theducklows. Hear from you soon. Thanks.]