The brain numbing effects of medication is scary. Ever since I took a mood stabiliser and an anti-depressant a few years ago, I’ve been hyper-sensitive to side effects in other medication that may have the slightest influence on moods or anxiety levels. The knee jerk reaction of most people that I mention this to is to suggest that the symptoms are entirely psychosomatic. However, they’re wrong every time because they say that on the assumption that I read the insert of the medication before taking it. I don’t. I usually take the medication, then observe the changes in my moods and behaviours (I’m weird like that) and then, if I can’t explain the changes, I go searching for answers.
This week I’ve been in bed with a combination of the flu, pharyngitis and a touch of bronchitis. The previous time this happened, the anti-biotic that was prescribed for me by my doctor caused me to get really aggressive and short-tempered. I only realised it after three days had passed, at which point I promptly reviewed the side-effects, honed in on the potential impact, and discontinued the anti-biotic (against my doctor’s advice since you are required to complete the course once started), and within a day or two, I felt my normal self again.
This week, a different anti-biotic was prescribed, and on the first night that I took it, I had graphic nightmares and woke up almost every hour on the hour, or in between as well, with the nightmares continuing like a sequel each time I fell asleep. This was highly unusual for me. Again, against the advice of my doctor, I discontinued the course of anti-biotics and requested an alternative. The alternative is much better and the side-effects have been much more bearable.
When I share my views about depression and mood altering medication, I’m speaking from first hand experience, and never conjecture. The reasons I took those meds to begin with are anything but ordinary, so you would most likely be horribly mistaken if you tried to guess what it was. The effects of the medication this week is still wearing off, with the current course of anti-biotics set to run for a few more days.
This seems like a really pointless post, but there’s an uneasiness that I feel when I consider how lightly or readily most people take medication without any concern for the lasting impact it has on their health. I’m not the healthiest person around, but given some of my life’s experiences, more than one doctor expressed surprise at the fact that I have not had a major life event yet (that’s doctor speak for a heart attack, or something worse). The point is, we need to live consciously. Most people don’t. Most of the time we’re so focused on fitting in and conforming that we forget to think about what is or isn’t good for us. It’s the common herd mentality. Try to suggest that the herd is wrong, and I guess my recent abrasive discussions on Tumblr with some sheep clearly demonstrates what happens. You get bullied and maligned until you conform. I choose not to conform because I see how pathetic conformance makes others.
I guess this is just a really long-winded plea for people to start taking themselves more seriously. Rather than accepting whatever criticisms you get from others, spend time reflecting on your own principles, motivations and merits that drive you to be who you are. If the criticism confirms that, and you’re comfortable that that is who you choose to be, then great. You’re on the right track, even if it means that you’re the odd one out. If you compromise your principles in the hope of being more socially acceptable, you will, not maybe, not likely, but definitely will be setting yourself up for a whole lot of pain.
Our past only rules our hearts and minds as long as we’re oblivious to the fact that it is in fact the past.