Tuesday, September 25, 2007

not for me

In my recent discissions here about my struggle with depression, I realize that I have not made it known that drugs are a last resort, if any resort at all, for me. I have real tangible aversion to drugs dating back to my father's last few years of life.

For the last five or so years that he lived, my father was quite sick. What his illness was, I have no idea, only suspicions. He was just always in and out of the hospital with various ailments that were never fully explained to me. It's true that I wasn't paying a great deal of attention at the time, being newly married and in a struggle to make my way in the world. His movements in and out of the hospital became somewhat routine and therefore noted only in passing. On those occasions when I did visit my boyhood home, I would find him sitting at the kitchen table more often than not with a half empty bottle of cheap brandy at hand, a smoldering cigarette dying in the ashtray, and a small pile of pills ready to be washed down with a gulp of that brandy. That ever present pile of pills was replenished as necessary from the horde of medications stored in quart-size bottles that occupied the top shelf of the refrigerator.

He was never particularly communicative in the best of times, preferring to keep his thoughts to himself. So we were never able to discuss those little piles of pills or the ever present bottle of brandy. I never screwed up enough courage to confront him and ask him why he needed the brandy or what those pills were for. His suffering was personal and not something he wanted to talk about with his only son. And I accepted that. In retrospect, I realize now that he was going through the throes of depression, probalbly due to his struggles with those unnamed physical ailments. Now I wish I had been more insistant about having that discussion.

It's those bottles of pills that have left me with my aversion to taking too many different meds for every known or perceived ailment. They didn't really help him as far as I can tell. So I have little faith in modern pharmacology as the panacea for whatever ails you. I have promised myself that I will never have quart-sized bottles of pills in my refrigerator. At least not pills that are mind altering as a way of coping with my mild depression.

to be continued.........


Kat said...

Fair enough, for now. Keep in mind though, that our parents were not as smart as we are. Doctors were nearly mystic people that knew all. We're smarter than that, we know they make mistakes which is why you could get help from a pill with no fear of it controlling you. But definately try everything else first. Thinking about you.

BobCiz said...

Thanks, Kat. I realize that my aversion to pills is probably irrational, and maybe potentially harmful, but that's the way I am aproaching it right now. I will keep an open mind.

Artistic Soul said...

Stay away from drugs unless you absolutely have to! They DO help people in some situations, but never helped me. So much of my mental depression was about pressure I placed on myself to be better at this that or the other...adding drugs was like giving into the enemy. It was admitting that depression had defeated me. I would rather fight it - but then again, some might say I'm just stupid. lol :) I honestly believe that drugs are only a temporary solution, and that if you really want to deal with depression, you have to learn cognitive restructuring to start addressing the habits that lead you to depression...if that makes sense.