Choosing not to medicate

I admire the moms who know that it’s in their best interest to medicate. I was prescribed 50mg of Zoloft per day to help with my depression. After much consideration I chose not to medicate.

The thought of being on medication gave me even more anxiety. I felt that if I began taking medication, when would I be able to stop? And when I stopped, would I stay healed? I also feared becoming dependent on them. These were all questions I wish I would have asked my psychiatrist. Getting the answers to these questions may have changed my mind.

I’ve always been the type to try natural remedies before taking anything. Instead of taking an Advil for my headache I would rather wait it out, drink water or take a nap. It’s worked for me. Hearing that my dosage amount was 50mg per day I was shocked, that’s the amount they give for major depression disorders. I knew that I did need it but was scared for the reasons I shared.

I want to emphasize that this was my own personal decision and I’m not against medication. I believe everyone needs to do what’s best for themselves in order to be a functioning person in our society. Whether that be practicing self care or medicating. For me, luckily, I was able to function enough without it.

I would follow up with my therapist bi-weekly. I told her that I did not want to take the medication anymore because of my fear of being dependent on it, therapy was giving me good coping skills to use and I wanted to explore that more. Her response was that it sounded like I was ready to go back to work and she would have my clearance to return to work ready for me at my next therapy session. That was not the answer I was expecting and felt everything around me just crumbling down on me.

After asking questions I found that you will not be offered additional time off if you’re not medicating. If you’re not medicating then they see that as you’re not doing anything to get better. This made me so upset! Why do I have to take medication to show that I want to heal? Why was therapy recommended if it wasn’t going to be seen as a way to heal? I think mothers should be given the choice between therapy, medication or both for healing. I understand that medication is usually a quick fix but it comes with side effects such as insomnia and worsened emotions. It may take a couple of different prescriptions for your doctor to get the dosage that’s right for you and who wants to deal with that?

Many moms that I met had to deal with it which is why I know from hearing their experiences that the process was miserable. They would fear the night because they would get no sleep and their anxiety would be heighten, then during the day when they were tired they couldn’t sleep because they had a newborn.

I was able to convince my psychiatrist to give me a couple more weeks to attend group before going back to work. I let her know that while I wanted to use the coping skills therapy was giving me, I didn’t feel like I had enough since I was dealing with new anxieties.

Overall, medicating will be beneficial and sometimes the only options for some moms. This wasn’t the case for me this time and although it was hard, I was able to get by without it.

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