It's Not Enough! Mismanaged Meds (and a Bottle of Rum.)

December 2, 2010 Kate White

Nobody can tell me precisely when I got ill, nor why. This seems odd.

Shouldn't there be nice neat 'Before' and 'After' shots to go with this anxiety/depression thing? What I wouldn't give for something - for a point, a moment that tipped the balance.

Thing is, we don't know enough. The best available treatment is all too often necessary, but not sufficient. Yes, it works. For some. But not for nearly enough of us: 1 in 4.

High expectations? Absolutely! -It's my brain, not a jar of Playdoh sponsored by Pfizer.

They can poke and prod and jolt, prescribe, proscribe, diagnose, and misdiagnose, then rework stats till they're as discontented as the rest of us; Many do, and they do it all very well. Equally, many don't.


At one stage I barely recall I was on about 5 different meds: Felt like a bunch of chemists had gone to town on my mind using a copy of the DSM, a bottle of Jaegermeister, and a highly intelligent, semi-comatose rat.

Not that I blame them: I'd have medicated me too and I signed below the dotted line, so to speak. Consented to... whatever it was I consented to because right now I can barely remember my own name (jet-lag).

If I knew a better way, I'd take it

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others", right? Yeah, maybe that's it.

Currently sitting in an airport lounge, munching on a bagel and trying not to freak out over-much since I have a phobia of flying. It's better than it used to be. Feel like Pavlov's hound in this equation, though - Xanax/airports have been paired that many times.

Anyway, anxious children don't always grow up to become anxious adults: I was not an anxious child. Not the nervous type, anyway. Not exactly. I was an actor for a while - should you dare believe such nonsense.

And plenty of very secure kids grow up to become walking Woody Allen films. So what happens in between?

What role do hormones play in anxiety?

We know they play a big role in depression, though they haven't really thought that one through so well in terms of medication. And clearly cortisol is the big one when people start the discussion of hormones and anxiety but it doesn't get terribly much farther.

If hormones play as large a role in memory as this study on the effects of jet-lag suggests, then it seems like they're probably much more significant than anybody has previously mentioned - no matter what variety of panic you're presently dealing with.

[Google the jet-lag, melatonin link if you're interested in that logical jig I just did right there. It was a little fabulous. I'm way tired. Just got through a security checkpoint, which really they couldn't make me feel less secure than by introducing a large, Inspector Gadget-like device which can see things my doctor hasn't seen.]

Are the standard diagnostic tests for mental illness enough?

I really do think that as much as we know about the mind, anxiety, depression, mental health - what we don't know is so much greater that if I thought about it too hard I'd probably stop taking my therapist's advice altogether. (I'm not suggesting anybody does that, btw.)

Point is, when it comes to mental illness, we're on the dark side of the moon a significant proportion of the time. The roles that our natural, baseline chemical balance plays in the life of our daily mental and physical experience cannot, I believe, be underestimated.

What is the felt experience of mental health?

Basically, I don't want to take the "details" for granted. Mental health is right there, right in there with the shifts that happen to us so gradually it's hard to notice until they start a flood. Because you live with yourself so those things don't occur to you unless you're really looking hard.

When it happened to me it felt like an ant had been picking at the side of the dam - for years. Patiently carrying away its treasures until, one day, it broke. The waters crashing down, and suddenly there I was - thirsty, impatient, and anxious beyond belief.

APA Reference
White, K. (2010, December 2). It's Not Enough! Mismanaged Meds (and a Bottle of Rum.), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Kate White

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