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to actually feeling really SHIT when people say "nothing to be ashamed of - it's only temporary"

(29 Posts)
AliceInUnderpants Sat 16-Jul-16 18:40:52

Seen a bunch of posts here and other places over the years, regarding the taking of medication. Usually in relation to anxiety and/or depression. Many posters will say "Nothing to be embarrassed about, it's not forever", or "Don't be ashamed of yourself, it's only temporary". The underlying message is that medication is a temporary fix and then you can feel great for coming of it again.

It needs to be remembered that for many medication is a PERMANENT treatment. I, and many others, have various conditions that mean a life-long relationship with drugs. Due to the 'temporary' attitudes of many people, I spent years fighting against prescription drugs, feeling like the sooner I could come off them again, the more acceptable it was.

I know it is my issue to deal with, but please think about what you are saying. Each time someone says that there's nothing to be ashamed of in taking temporary medication, it could be suggesting to someone vulnerable that there is shame is taking medication permanently.

Personally, I'd rather be alive.

AliceInUnderpants Sat 16-Jul-16 18:41:50

And actually, regardless of the response to this thread, this has been cathartic for me. That's the first time I've honestly admitted I'd rather be alive in a long, long time.

mrgrouper Sat 16-Jul-16 18:42:20

I am on lifelong meds. Nobody has ever said "only temporary" to me.

Wolfiefan Sat 16-Jul-16 18:44:44

There is actually nothing to be ashamed of in being unwell. That's the point they were perhaps trying to make (hoping it was!) Many people are completely clueless about MH issues.
If you need meds. Take them. Why should anyone feel embarrassed. I'm on asthma medication. Should I feel more or less embarrassed about that than anti depressants? Of course neither are embarrassing!!

Lilaclily Sat 16-Jul-16 18:46:39

You know many people just make small talk to be kind
They haven't got a clue what to say
They are being emphatic or trying to be and not trying to make you feel shit

Sometimes it's easier to say nothing but we keep trying even though we get it wrong sometimes

MargaretCavendish Sat 16-Jul-16 18:46:41

As someone who was fortunate enough to only need antidepressants for 18 months to aid recovery - I absolutely, 100% agree with you. You shouldn't feel ashamed because there's something to be ashamed of, not because it might be temporary. There is no shame in taking medicine that is necessary for your well-being, whether you take it short-term, long-term or permanently.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sat 16-Jul-16 18:47:15

Xx. 💐🎉. Say it again, out loud!

I think when people say it, they're just trying to reassure people who are worried about starting medication, it's no reflection on people who do take medication permanently at all.

Whether it's the medication my friend takes to keep him alive after cancer treatment or anti depressants to keep someone wanting to live, makes no difference and both are necessary & we should just be grateful we have them.

No one is judging you for taking medication for life. If I'm wrong, and they are, they're not even worth considering.

Twiggy71 Sat 16-Jul-16 18:47:22

Know exactly how you feel as i have been on medication now for 22 years for depression. It keeps me functioning and alive, my df recently said to me its a pity you always have to take tablets. I don't think he was being mean but more rather thoughtless especially with my history and told him if it wasn't for my tablets i wouldn't be here..

MargaretCavendish Sat 16-Jul-16 18:48:23

Sometimes it's easier to say nothing but we keep trying even though we get it wrong sometimes

And in that case shouldn't you be very grateful for posts like the OP's? You're not going to stop getting it wrong if you don't welcome people explaining what they would actually find helpful.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sat 16-Jul-16 18:48:57

I don't think people necessarily feel ashamed but for me when I was quite badly depressed, the idea of becoming reliant on medication was frightening, and it still does scare me.

treaclesoda Sat 16-Jul-16 18:49:33

I'm pretty sure I'll be on antidepressants for life - every time I come off them everything falls apart.

I look at it like being diabetic - a lifelong condition that can't be cured but can be controlled.

Lilaclily Sat 16-Jul-16 18:49:53

Where did I say I wasn't grateful ? You don't need to make it personal!

deathtoheadlice Sat 16-Jul-16 18:58:54

I hate asthma medications but they are better than risking lung function. Turns out breathing is important...
Anyway. Good for you op, absolutely nothing special about "temporary" . We are lucky to have the medications we have that save our lives in all kinds of ways even when those medications aren't perfect or aren't what we might have imagined for ourselves. Ignore them. Or accept the well-intentioned thought and ignore the rest.

EreniTheFrog Sat 16-Jul-16 19:01:58

OP, thank you for saying it. Hugely agree.

MadameJosephine Sat 16-Jul-16 19:09:27

Totally agree. My dad has struggled with anxiety and OCD for years (more like decades). His GP finally got him to agree to take meds and now a few months down the line he's feeling a bit better but constantly talks about going to the doctor about weaning himself off them. It makes me sad that now he's eventually found a treatment he feels this is a character flaw or failing and to be avoided sad. After all nobody would suggest weaning my mother off her insulin too 'in case she becomes dependent' would they?

EarthboundMisfit Sat 16-Jul-16 19:11:12

I have been on anti-depressants for years and know myself well enough to know it will be a lifelong thing.

MargaretCavendish Sat 16-Jul-16 19:16:58

I wasn't trying to make it personal, but your first post did make it sound like the OP should just be grateful that people were trying to be nice. If that's not the case then I apologise, but that is how I read it.

P1nkP0ppy Sat 16-Jul-16 19:18:06

I think people don't know what to say , and it often sounds trite and is not intended to upset you or me but when you're feeling fragile it can certainly jar.
I'm on life-long medication and have taken antidepressants for extended periods during my life so I do know what it is like.
I don't tell people that I am taking medication if I can possibly avoid the conversation, after all it is none of their business.

I8toys Sat 16-Jul-16 19:27:16

Its only now at 44 that I realise that I will need lifelong meds.

I have had OCD and anxiety/depression since I was a child. First took medication in my 20's and then did the repeat cycle of feel shit/no sleep then take medication, feel better, stop medication and then repeat again.

I actually confronted the fact that I don't feel depressed and have no reason to be depressed with my last doctor and he made me realize that for me its a chemical imbalance that needs medication. After this I now take a low dose antidepressant and have not had an extreme episode for years. For some of us its lifelong and not temporary.

StarlingMurmuration Sat 16-Jul-16 19:34:41

I know what you mean, OP. I've had depression and anxiety on and off since I was a teenager, and been on and off antidepressants too. While I'm happy to tell people I'm depressed or on drugs if it comes up (if only to resist the attitude that it should be taboo), there is a sort of unspoken thing that it's better to get off the drugs if you can. And in fact, I'm trying to get off them now, mainly because I'm sick of the side effects.

SoHereItIs2016 Sat 16-Jul-16 19:36:07

I work in mental health and in my experience many people express the wish that the medication will not be permanent/ will be temporary, there are as many reasons for feeling this way as people taking the medications.

I would always try to support someone's wish to reduce or come of meds unless there was an exceptional reason for them not doing so.

Equally I would support someone who had decided that medication needed to be a life long thing. Everyone's different.

My personal belief/ observation is that for some people there really is a fundamental instability in the brain chemistry which benefits from the effects of medication, just like for some people they don't make insulin if they are diabetic or lactase if they are lactose In tolerant. This is an an,off I've used to try to help some of my Patients come to an acceptance of the need for medication, to me it makes sense and I hope it does for them too.

Hope you remain as well as possible on your meds OP.

I8toys Sat 16-Jul-16 19:40:08

Its taken me a long time to accept the fact that I need this medication long term. I am ashamed of it - I don't want to appear weak or lacking in anyway. I have never taken any time off work and will not let it beat me. The stigma exists unfortunately.

ProudAS Sat 16-Jul-16 19:40:52

Nothing wrong with saying "don't be ashamed" but don't assume it's temporary. I've been on antidepressants since 1997 and not likely to come off them anytime soon.

DownstairsMixUp Sat 16-Jul-16 19:41:21

Tbh I don't feel shit when people say it. I am on meds as well for life (epilepsy) but depression/anxiety have always been short (ish) term for me. I hated the idea of being on them forever as my epilepsy medication already makes me tired enough so the two combined make me zombie-like. Sometimes hearing "it's not forever" DID make me feel a little better.

topcat2014 Sat 16-Jul-16 19:43:59

@deathtoheadlice - have you thought about asking for a different one?
I really struggled with the 'brown' preventer I was given - couldn't inhale it without explosively coughing - so tended to stop, with all that caused.

Now on something different (seretide) - take daily as before, with no adverse effect. Peak flow improved as well.

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