I’ve been enjoying the #BlogHer13 conference and community of course from a distance, and I came across a post by @livelovelatina questioning Zoloft (depression medication) and possible long term dependency. I wrote so much in my response, I felt I should add it to my own blog …
This is a tricky one because I too hate how we are sometimes over prescribed in this country. Since you desperately seek relief without the long term dependency or other possible side effects, I would suggest you talk with your doctor about your concerns.
However, only do it from the medical interaction side. If you talk TOO much about your fears, they may want to bill you an additional hour, ask questions on how does this make you feel, ponder if this is you trying to self sabotage, wonder if you just don’t have the ability to go through the regiment … INSTEAD of focusing on the medication as desired.
Hence, I am providing you with a script. When you set up your next appointment, tell the receptionist, “I want to use that time to discuss the medicine and possible interactions, so please advise the doctor to be ready to answer such questions.” If the receptionist wants to know the questions aforehand, you may want to consider doing so because it may help the doc to prepare. However only give the first question (and not the precursory statement) listed below.
During the appointment, state that you are interested in taking the medicine in relieving your symptoms. Ask, “Do you have an idea if and when I may go off the medication? (Yes, I know this depends on the patient, but I want to know if the doctor has a regiment in mind especially for you or just wrote you a prescription like every other patient.) If the doctor informs you that it depends, ask, “What is the typical duration on that medication from what you have observed in general”? “If I stop taking the medication, are there any side effects”? “Will you monitor my progress and dosage to see if there is a point I can safely get off the pills and still maintain mental health”?
After you get your prescription, visit the pharmacist and ask similar questions. You don’t even need an appointment for this. “I want to take this medication to get relief, but I want to make sure that I take it properly, could you please take a moment to discuss possible interactions and side effects?” “Typically how long do patients have to take this medication”? “Are there any side effects”? “When will I know to stop medication”? “If medication is stopped, are there any side effects”? “Is there a proper way to stop; cold turkey vs. a slow weaning”?
Allow the pharmacist and doctor to answer the question before going on to the next one. I highly suggest you have questions written down with space for answers when you meet with these two individuals. Hopefully they will not read this blog before you meet with them.
I personally feel you should take the medication based on how you wrote your blog, but I also wanted you to at least ask right questions of the right people first. This way your physical health will be considered in aiding your mental health.