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Balance is the Key for Me

How do we balance medication with self-reliance?

May 25, 2017

I’ve found medication helpful through the years, and have also found counseling helpful as well. I think the key is both, but I think there is a great point to be made about learning resilience. A dentist gave me a benzo a few weeks ago for jaw pain, and over the weekend I got super depressed and experienced some suicidal thoughts (which it turns out is a known side effect of this drug, I’ve stopped taking it and feel great again.) I hunkered down and made it through, but 10 years ago that mind state would have wrecked me for weeks, or maybe even pushed me into doing something stupid. But, thanks to the benefit of years of counseling and the development of some mental training and that resilience you mention, I know myself well enough to recognize those thoughts and feelings as irrational and ride them out. It doesn’t make them go away, but knowing that they will go away eventually makes all the difference in how you cope in that moment.

Medication has definitely been there for me in bad times, but at the same time switching a med or altering the dose can throw you way off kilter, and it’s that mental training and resilience that helps in that situation. I think anyone who says medication only, or anyone who says no medication–therapy only, is missing part of the equation. Both are so, so, so, so crucial, as is the expertise of doctors and mental health professionals.

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