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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Life Lesson Regarding YOUR Medication and Medical/Mental Health History


21 Tevet, 5777

I've been busy preparing feature stories for a mental health website (I'm certified in counseling skills and as a spiritual chaplain plus quite experienced at coaching ill people 1:1 as I intereact with mental health professionals professionally and socially). Now I have a bit of mental health information to share with YOU!

An acquaintance shared the following account of a frightening story that need not have happened. Heed the life lesson no matter your medical or mental state:

Now that it is all over, I have been asked to share a scary story, in the hopes that others will learn from it, and not suffer as this family suffered.

My connection to the story is that I volunteer for an organization that helps women who are suffering from post-partum depression.

This story is about a woman who suffered in her youth from anxiety and depression - fairly mild , but she continued to take antidepressants for many years.  

Thank Gd, she never had setbacks after giving birth.

At menopause, her ob-gyn felt that her physical symptoms were severe enough to warrant taking hormone replacement therapy.

Unfortunately, this ob-gyn did not ask her about her mental health history, and was unaware that she had suffered in the past from anxiety and depression.

Like most laypeople, she did not realize that there might be an issue.

It started very gradually. Her mood changes were blamed on her gradually emptying nest. She would feel antsy, couldn't concentrate on anything.

Then the panic attacks began. She quit her job, feeling that she was unable to do even simple tasks.

As time went on, she found it hard to be alone. She would call her husband to come home from work. But she was too depressed to enjoy his company. She would lose her temper over nothing.

And then there were rages. She would scream, and throw things. She seemed to have completely lost control.

She stayed in bed most of the day, which kept her calmer.  And then, a few good days went by, as she stayed in bed, her mood improved. She talked calmly, the rages and the panic attacks were gone.

In her calmer state, she noticed that she had missed a week of her hormones. She took a pill, and by the next morning, was completely out of control again. This sequence repeated itself one more time, until her 

husband decided to look up the potential side effects of the hormones.

Seems that mood swings and depression are both potential side effects, and much more likely when one has a history of mood issues.

Now that this very difficult time is over, the woman is back on her feet, and her family is breathing easier, they want to share the lessons - hormones affect moods. And other medications can also affect moods. Any doctor who prescribes medication must be told your complete medical history, including mood issues. Even if it was a long time ago, and even if they don't ask.

As you'll learn in the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge, YOU are your own best medical advocate. Read every page to learn how to take proactive steps to protect your inner and outer health.

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.

Fill your time with proactive behavior!

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