What Depression Means to Me: Pills


Gentle Reader,

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.

My journey to faith. (15)

For all the posts in the What Depression Means to Me series, go here.


6 thoughts on “What Depression Means to Me: Pills

  1. Sometimes God’s greatest miracles come from medical research and skilled doctors.
    This might give you a good chuckle. One time a friend of mine was working at camp. One of the campers got sick, and the release form/phone call to mom allowed for her to take Niquil. The little girl refused to take medicine, so the camp staff assured her that the “magic grapes” would help her sleep better and not be up coughing all night.


  2. I just read through the three depression posts, Marie. Each are extremely well done. You have captured quite well that depression is a brain – not mind – problem: the brain chemical seratonin gets reuptaked (love how that word sounds) when it should be flowing right along; selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors keep that from happening; and things are much more groovy (maybe not perfect, but usually more groovy none the less). The medicine works to one degree or another for so many people.

    Bottom line: true depression is medical, not moral.

    Praying for you.



  3. Bravo Marie! This is well expressed and a message people are really needing to hear. I don’t really like the fact that they advertise medications on TV as if they were candy bars we might like to try, but at the same time, some of the anti-depressant ads do an amazing job of depicting depression. I love the one where the black hole keeps getting in the woman’s way and even when she is on medication and living her life fully there is still that little black blob following along behind her.

    I think the more people like you and me, who deal with depression in our own lives, speak openly about the issue the better things will get.

    Peace of Christ to you Marie



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