Monday, April 16, 2012

To Medicate or Not to Medicate - THAT is the Question.

I have thought about writing this post for a few weeks now.  Sort of mentioned it here, but something always stops me.  I'm going to try.

When I started blogging, way back here, my little "tag line" was - "From One Un-medicated Mummy to Another."  Back then I WAS un-medicated, and still am.  But it hasn't always been that way....

I was told by my GP back in 1999 that I was depressed.  I was 24 years old and had a little baby boy who depended on me.  I can still very clearly remember returning home to my then husband and telling him that "The Dr says I am depressed".  His response?  "You're not depressed".  This pretty much summed up the support system I had at the time.  Zilch.  I soldiered on for a while longer until I decided I should fill the script for medication I was given.  It was only a year or so later that I realised I wasn't really depressed - I was really unhappy.  In the boldest move I would ever make in my life (I am was a chronic people pleaser) I decided I would take control, and left my husband.  Strangely enough - my depression left.  And so did the medication.

I was lucky enough to meet my fabulous husband - Andrew - about 14 months after that.  Bliss.  We have now shared over ten years together, and that unhappiness that weighed heavily on me has never shown its ugly face again.  For that I am grateful.

Regardless of my giddy happiness, and complete and utter fulfilment family wise, my dear old brain and its battle with serotonin have led me to medication a few times.  Well, three times to be exact!  It seems one of the downfalls for me whilst being pregnant, was that I felt like a crazed woman.  I couldn't control my temper, my emotions, my anxiety.  I had no control.  Over anything.  I was in the fortunate position of having a wonderful obstetrician when pregnant with Chelsea, and he suggested anti-depressants could possibly help.  And he was right.  They did.

I always made a point of explaining to people that I was NOT depressed.  Anti-depressants, for me, level me out.  They lessen my stress levels, my anxiety, and make me a little more "zen".  Throughout my last two pregnancies, a point would come where Andrew and I would have a conversation that went something like this....

Andrew - "I think maybe you might need to go and see the Dr?"
Me - "I think maybe you're right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I wish I had of had such insight back when I was pregnant with Lochie.  I was the same anxious, stressed ball of emotion back then - but did not have the support or type of relationship where it was acknowledged.  There were warning signs.  Like the time we got in to a fight (I was probably 7/8 months pregnant) and he locked me out of the house to calm down.  In the rain.  Not a good idea.  Let's just say I ended up kicking a glass door in.  Hmmmmm......should have taken that warning sign and run with it!?!

Anyway.......... The reason I am writing about this NOW is that over the past few weeks, well months really, I have admitted to myself - and Andrew, that I'm struggling.  Struggling with everything.  And unfortunately I take my frustration and lack of control out on my beautiful kiddies.  I've always been a bit of a "yeller".  Not something I'm proud of, but it's me.  When I feel like I have been feeling, I lose control, and I can scream like a banshee.  I hate it.  I hate myself when I'm doing it.  I hate myself after doing it.  

I'm super aware of the fact that mental illness is part of my family.  It's part of my genetic make-up. I figure I shouldn't put it off, so it's off to the Doctors again.

I have a LOT of people ask me how I do it all?  How do I have four kids, work, run a small home business and still have it all together?  I generally laugh it off and joke about how I manage.  I look like someone who has it together, but THIS is the truth.  I don't!  I'm not worried about it.  My darling friend at work reassured me that sometimes we just need a little help.  SO I'm going to get it.

My question to you - How do you do it all?


  1. Great piece Midge. I read 'Calming Your Anxious Mind' by Dr Geoffrey Brantley, it changed my life. I don't have four kids but I'm single so two can sometimes feel like four. I dropped my working days back to 3 and a half, stopped tweeting and tried to live in the moment. I have three stillness meditation apps and have taken all pressure off myself to achieve stuff. I'm a yeller, what Gottliebsen isn't. It get's shit done - but each time I ask myself, how could I have done that differently, and appologise to the kids for yelling. I'm getting better. Good luck x

    1. I think I shall have to seek out that book Kerrie! It sounds like you are working things so that life isn't as stressful as it could be, so that's great. I have started asking myself how I could do things better and trying to just breath (without the words following the breathing lol). Thanks for your tips! xx

  2. I medicate for the same level myself out. I have found that have 'me' time is paramount to being a happy mummy. So I went back to work at night for a few hours a couple days a week. It is a busy role with nothing that carries over to the next day, end shift...end work.
    Finding something just for yourself that has nothing to do with the kids is my handy helper hint for the day lol

  3. I feel like I am reading about myself often on your blog. I have been having insomnia for months which has never ever been something I've dealt with. I take Ambien and have tried Xanax but neither Has worked.

    1. Oh Jamie Lee - insomnia absolutely sucks. I so hope that you can find something that will work for you - really soon. Thank you for reading xxx


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