The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Let’s Put You on Some Drugs

Posted by thearrow on October 28, 2008

So it turns out I have anxiety. Nothing new except now it’s medically diagnosed. I went to my annual physical examination yesterday and told the doctor that I can’t fall asleep sometimes, other times (very rarely) I can’t breathe. She took detailed notes of my account, went to talk to another doctor, and then gave me the news: “We’re going to put you on Lexapro, which treats both anxiety and depression.” (Me, thinking to myself: oh, is it that obvious that I’m depressed as well? :). Hm… Maybe anxiety and depression just go hand in hand. I hope.) “And, because it takes it about two weeks to work, we’ll put you on Ambien, which will help you sleep. It is addictive, though, so we won’t prescribe it for more than that.”

Whoa, dude! Not so fast. In case you guys (as in my three readers) didn’t know, Ambien may cause sleepwalking. A bunch of people put on weight while on it, only to discover that they were eating in the middle of the night and didn’t know they were doing that. Others sleepwalked out of the house (also in the middle of the night). Antidepressants, too, can lead to weight gains, from what I hear. If you ask me, that sort of defeats the purpose of taking these drugs, since putting on weight makes you even more depressed πŸ˜€

But, weight issues aside, the idea that I would be on these drugs was downright scary to me. I don’t think I take more than two aspirins a year, and that’s for random headaches. I took two sleep-aid pills with some natural extracts one night last week (two being the quantity recommended on the box) and I was groggy until 8 p.m. the next day! I cannot imagine what would happen if I were on two drugs, one of which could cause addiction. I’d probably get hooked just by looking at it. So I have one thing to say: No effing way!

Don’t get me wrong. I agree that there can be very stressful situations that you just cannot manage, in which case drugs can help. I don’t think you can do anything through sheer will. But I was shocked to see how easily I could have been prescribed some really powerful drugs, without much thought given to milder alternatives. It’s not that I don’t trust the doctor; I don’t trust the system. I politely declined and said that I’ll try to manage with those pills with natural extracts, which I hope to take as infrequently as possible.

On second thought, I could have just taken the drugs and go to a Halloween party looking like a natural zombie.


11 Responses to “Let’s Put You on Some Drugs”

  1. Departe said

    …or maybe you could try the drugs and then abruptly stop taking them, just to see if people ask you in a movie-like fashion “have you stopped taking your medication again?” πŸ™‚

    Joke aside, I wonder how many people actually think it’s a good idea to follow the doctor’s orders and take such pills? I might be repeating myself, but in my opinion the best cure for anxiety/depression/stress is a holiday. A proper good old fashioned holiday. The cure for everything.

  2. thearrow said

    Hehe! Or the other way round: I start taking the drugs and THEN get asked if I’ve stopped. LOL.

    I’m with you. I don’t think people question their doctor’s orders too much when it comes to medication. When I told my doctor that I’d rather try those pills with natural extracts her warning was that those are not approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Right. Like that’s going to make me trust drugs blindly :). Vioxx was FDA-approved and people died. My bottom line is, stay away from chemicals as much possible.

    As for your old-fashioned holiday, I agree completely, but it’s not within the realm of possibility for the near future. I haven’t had that kind of holiday in seven years :). And I can’t count my trips to Romania holidays because they’re anything but relaxing. I come back more exhausted than I had left :).

  3. Departe said

    Gosh, I wasnt’t talking about going to Romania, of course those are not real holidays. I was talking about going away for a long weekend (if a week is out of the question)……it might seem impossible to do, but see it as a medicine πŸ™‚

  4. thearrow said

    Yeah, even a long weekend away is not in the cards until May next year or so :). Meanwhile, I’ll try to get some plain-vanilla long weekends. Miraculously, it’s been very quiet at work lately, which helps a lot.

  5. thearrow said

    A friend suggested that I should have taken the prescription and take the drugs with me at the Halloween party, which would have guaranteed instant popularity πŸ˜€

  6. alt.L said

    and another friend suggested another visit to New York πŸ˜€

    and also suggested Ellen Degeneres’ show, Here & Now (youtube). it’s an older show, but she’s hilarious: (she’s only at the beginning)

    “All the commercials on TV today are for antidepressants, for Prozac or Paxil. And they get you right away. “Are you sad? Do you get stressed, do you have anxiety?” “Yes, I have all those things! I’m alive!”

    joke aside, as i said, i do think drugs can help, but i understand why you’re reluctant to take them, especially those that can give addiction or seem too strong. maybe you should ask your doctor more questions about this: why do you need to take both (really!), what about side effects, what would be an alternative or solution you’d be more comfortable with… also, if you have anxiety attacks, those can be quite bad. so, if sleeping well doesn’t seem to help, go back and talk to her again. apparently, i just had a wise πŸ™‚

    or, of course, you could just come visit again. i offer mulled wine (with cinnamon sticks, yummi) laughs & chats (how presumptuous of me!), and trips to NYC. just so you know πŸ™‚

  7. thearrow said

    Haha! Great LOL. That EXACTLY how I feel many times: like that cat in the tight bag, eyes bulging out, not sure how the heck she’s going to get out of there.

    I think I’m reconsidering the anxiety drug thing; I’m inclined to give it a try to see if it helps.

    Thank you for the invitation but I’ll stay home for a while. I’m always ready to pack my bags and go but right now I can’t…

  8. v said

    i’m so proud of you – but you already know that. πŸ™‚

  9. thearrow said

    But I’m tempted to give it a try now. Maybe I’ve been miserable for so long that I don’t even know what’s normal anymore πŸ™‚

  10. v said

    i can understand you’re tempted! but that doesn’t make me feel less proud of you πŸ™‚

  11. thearrow said

    I feel like a kid patted on the head πŸ™‚ Nice feeling, though.

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