Avatar universal

Scared of medication

I have a fear of taking medications and suffering from the side effects. I wouldn't think twice about eating different foods especially of different cuisines, taking herbal supplements etc which could equally be hazardous to my health , especially the ones which cause serious allergies. For me it is the concept of having to take a pill for the rest of my life. Then there is the fear that it begins with one pill and then you have to go on many other pills to counteract the side effects.

So my question to membes is how does one overcome this fear of medication.  I know I have to learn to conquer this anxiety, so any responses would be appreciated.

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446896 tn?1237802742
Hey, we are in the same boat right now.  I, too, have always been against taking medication for my anxiety (now mixed with a little depression I think), but lately, it has became so overwhelming that I am seriously considering them for a short term trial.  I have several events coming up in the next two weeks, and I told myself that if after these events (a short vacation and a trip back to my hometown) I do not feel better---back to my old self---then I will consider taking a short trial of meds starting in June.  I also just started therapy again, and my therapist thinks that meds could benefit me if I just want to take them for 3 to 6 months, but she also thinks that I could get by without them, too.  My problem is I just know as soon as I take the first pill I will start experiencing every scary side effect that I have read about---even though it probably isnt really even happening to me! HA  But, part of me thinks it is time to be a little risky---to see just what benefits medications may bring to my life---who knows, they may make things great! (because some days I think any amount of side effects would be greater than the anxiety & depression I feel)

I have also been reading several good books lately, and one I would recommend to you is "Hope & Help for your Nerves" by Claire Weekes.  Many people on this formum have praised it, and I now that I have read it, I can see why.  Sure---some of the info is a little dated (it was written in the 60's after all), but I think she does a great job of explaining "nervous illness" and ways that it can be overcome.  You can get it online super cheap.  Also...the "Anxiety & Phobia" workbook by Bourne is another great resource I have been working through lately.

Please keep us updated about your decision...I personally would love to know the outcome!
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366811 tn?1217422672
Endorphins! The best med of all, and manufactured by little old YOU. Lady, you've got a grip. When you get a chance, shop around here for a few posts to answer cause I can tell -you've got answers!
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Avatar universal
Not a problem; I applaud you for your honesty here and your willingness to confront this problem head on.  Your attitude will definately get you through this!
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Avatar universal
Cj29 - From your post I note then that you evolved during your anxiety as far as medication was concerned. I agree with you in that the combination of talk theraphy and medication is the best. At this stage I am not ready to take any SSRI's ,as I am able to do the CBT etc . I myself have noticed that I have become more receptive towards medication be it for anxiety or blood pressure in the last year.

I think it stems down to unpleasant childhood memories. I was a sickly child and had medication forced upon me nearly every day. I had severe headaches all throughout my teenage and early twenties and had to take a pain killer nearly every single day, no joke and at that time I didn't think of side effects, I knew they made me feel better. It is only later on after reading horror stories on the internet , I have become fearful.

So I think a change of perception is needed as how JSGeare put it -"taking the meds gives me "the rest of my life," so I do it. Do I like it? No, I don't like it. Do I like life? You bet I do" . This is where talk theraphy comes in - it is a matter of shopping around for the right therapist.

JS Geare - As to the 'hari' thing, no it is not some sort of new trend Down Under, just pure coincidence and just a nickname. Having said that 'hari' is a common Indonesian name suffix. And speaking of Down Under, well it is a beautiful sunny autumn day here in Sydney at 14 degrees and I think I shall just go for my walk to get those endorphins going!!

Thanks cj29 and JSGeare for reading my post. I am happy to read more comments from members.

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366811 tn?1217422672
I'm not sure we ever overcome our "fear" of meds, and for pretty much the reasons you give. But we can learn to "manage" the fear, by simply understanding that:

1. The benefits, if they outweigh the downsides, make it worthwhile, and

2. We can always say "no" later on.

As to "for the rest of my life," that's a "point of view" kind of question. I take blood pressure meds, and expect to do so "for the rest of my life." But go figure: taking the meds gives me "the rest of my life," so I do it. Do I like it? No, I don't like it. Do I like life? You bet I do.

And now as to one pill to offset another, and then a third to ...you know. Fact is, while medicine, like everything else technical these days, is all dressed up to look impressive, it really hasn't come as far as "they" perhaps would like us to think. One day, one day, perhaps, there will be "self-adjusting" medication which reacts to specific body chemistry and metabolism, and rleases inot the bloodstream only exactly what is required for the desired effect. One pill a month, lodged in your gizzard, gradually breaking down into what ever chemistry is need as it is needed. Kind of like that minature tank I swallowed when I was a kid, to assist in the war against some childhood flu I had as a youngster. I think that battle tank ultimately was assigned to the campaigns in the fetid reaches of the municple sewage treatment facility and ultimately found rest in a landfill beneath the local golf course, where several centuries from now it will gain the attention of archaelogists who will conlude that at one time a very small species of home sapiens sapiens fought for possession of a most unusual landscape.

But that is in the future, and this is NOW -where we still need to mix and match sometimes. The important thing is to know what you are taking and why -and stay on the lookout for possible substitutes or changes in diet, lifestyle, etc., that may do the trick -and ALSO require a permanent committment.

Now, a question for YOU: At one time there was a frequent poster here, and a very GOOD one, name of "Johari" from down under. And here YOU are, "Sumihari," also from down under. What's the "..hari" thing? Thanks!
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Avatar universal
When I first started dealing with anxiety I was EXTREMELY against ANY forms of medication.  I did not want to become dependent on meds for this and had read so many horror stories about taking them.  

Now, I am a big proponent of medication COMBINED with talk therapy.  They are a useful tool, in my opinion, to help one along the way to dealing with this cycle of anxiety.  Remember, there is no magic pill that will 'cure' you of this.  Only by learning about why you think the way you do will you begin to 'recover' and work through this.  This is a VERY managable condition as long as you are willing to confront it; which it sounds like definately are.  I have never become addicted to the medications and have been off of them for years at a time and have only recently gone back on an SSRI.  To be honest, I have more side effects from taking a Claritan.  As with any medication, make sure you work with your doctor and therapist closely with any concerns you have.  Please keep us posted!
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