What I Take Each Morning:
1 Cymbalta – 60 mg
2 Omega 3s – 1000 mg each
2 Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc – 1415 mg each
1 B12 – 5000 mg
1 C – 1000 mg
1 D3 – 5000 IUs
1 Lortadnine (Claritin) – 10 mg
1 Oscella (Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) – 3 mg
1 DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) – 25 mg
1 Probiotic – too many mgs of too many things to count
What I Take When My Head Hurts Due to Adjusting to Changes in Medications:
2 Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) – 220 mg each
What I Take When I Can’t Sleep:
3 Valerian Root – 500 mg each
Most women need Omega 3s and Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc. Those who deal with low energy and insufficient immune systems need B12 and C. Probiotics are also a good idea, especially if, like me, you can’t eat yogurt and get those good bacteria into your body. Those who live in the Northern Hemisphere and are not exposed to proper amounts of direct sunlight need D3. Women who suffer from irregular cycles and probable infertility (as I do) are commonly put on birth control medications in an effort to bring the reproductive system into balance. Those needing extra help often add DHEA into the mix. So, in all this, there is nothing particularly unique in my medication routine.
Then there’s the Cymbalta.
One little green-and-blue pill, one little 60 mg capsule, makes all the difference to some people. These are the sort who are prone to sneer at those crawling through the valley of depression and anxiety. They might even be so bold as to question the faith – or even the salvation – of the suffering. “Pray more.” “There must be a sin you haven’t confessed.” “God will heal you if you ask.” “You don’t need medications.” “Taking a pill means you don’t trust God.” “Just have joy.” (That one makes the least amount of sense to me).
I vacillate between anger and pity toward these people. It makes me angry that they feel a drive to talk about things they probably know nothing of. I feel pity when I realize how deeply insecure they must be to have such a great need to put people into neat little boxes. Above all, I wonder at the lack of compassion. Must we all agree on every method of treating illness? Can’t we just reach out to hold someone’s hand and refrain from comment?
If that Cymbalta were, say, an insulin injection or a blood pressure pill, none save the most fanatic would even bat an eyelash.
That makes no sense.
Clinical depression is more than sadness. It effects the whole body. (My husband and I like to laugh at those commercials that ask, “Where does depression hurt?” We usually respond with, “My left butt-cheek.”) When the brain is out of whack, it’s important to do what is necessary to right it. Is prayer important? Oh, my, yes. I don’t know how I would survive this season of life without being able to cry out to God. My prayers are often short and to the point these days; I no longer feel a need to be eloquent or lengthy. Is Scripture study important? Of course. I need to know about people like David and Elijah who sank to the depths but came out of it by the mighty hand of God.
Do I believe that the Lord can heal me? Yes. Do I believe that that healing will be complete in this lifetime? Not necessarily. That’s His will, not mine. I can’t know the depth of His mysteries. What I do know is that I must take every avenue toward health that is available to me. So, yes, that means a little green-and-blue pill. That means therapy. That means occasionally breaking a glass. That means prayer, tears, reading and sleep.
It’s just a pill, folks. It’s just a pill.
For all the posts in the What Depression Means to Me series, go here.