Journal

Medication Phobia

I used to have a medication phobia.

I thought medications were for ‘crazy’ people, and well, I was not ‘that’ crazy.

Sure I’ve had my ups and downs and inbetweens. Actually there were no inbetweens. Either I was more up or more down. I found it very difficult to be in a happy medium. If I wasnt feeling low, I was feeling irritable. Low to me was being disengaged and withdrawn; I thought my low mood was purely boredom. Not wanting to leave the house, or talk to my friends and family, or deciding to put off going to the gym until tomorrow. It was always going to be tomorrow. I became so used to doing nothing, that I convinced myself that I was going to be nothing. The only thing I was going to be was a Nurse. Nothing more, nothing less. At work, I was my happiness. Outside of work, I was a girl that barely wanted to leave the house. I was never quite satisfied. I’d get these brilliant ideas to try something new, only to quit before it ever really began. I started to feel like a failure. I went through 4 years of nursing school, and yet I couldn’t seem to accomplish anything now, no matter how small. Very frustrating to say the least.

I had been well educated with depression, but for some reason, when it came to myself, I was in complete denial.

Anyways… I got a bit side tracked.

Medication Phobia, right!

I finally went to my doctor for something unrelated to depression (or so I thought). I was experiencing very high levels of anxiety, and I was getting to the point where I couldn’t cope well. I was coping, but not to the best of my abilities. I started to show avoidant behaviours.

While I was at the doctors, she made me fill out these questionaires, one of which I score d high on depression. I walked out of her office with not only one diagnosis BUT TWO. Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Before I walked out though, my doctor kindly provided me with all my options to managing my conditions, and we both agreed that the pharmacological route would be the best option for now.

Boy was I scared.

I had grown up believing that medications were ‘taboo’, and that they were the reason that my Nana turned nutso. Sorry Nana.(God bless her soul – Love you Nana). But it is the truth. It was something that became rooted in my family beliefs. I also thought I was going to become addicted or be on them for life. I probably will be on them for life, and I am okay with that. The fact is, we (and I do mean my specific people in my family), were uneducated, and simply learning about it helped erased that stigma.

Going on medication was the best thing for me. I’m not afraid to admit it. Yes I am a Registered Nurse and take psych meds. NO I’m not crazy. And yes I can save your life. My conditions never affected my ability to practice safety and competently as a nurse. It affected my feelings and emotions but not the knowledge and skills I gained over the years. I am a great damn nurse. I’m really not sure why I felt the need to justify any of that.

Side tracked again.

What have medications done for me?

  • They brought me back to the light
  • The fog has been lifted
  • I can concentrate and focus
  • I can go out with my friends again
  • I can say hello to a stranger
  • I can go to events and parties
  • I can get out of my own head
  • My thoughts don’t race
  • I feel calm and content
  • I have more motivation
  • I am back at the gym
  • I’m wanting to be outside in the warmth
  • I am wanting to discover more hobbies
  • I am blogging again
  • I know I am enough
  • I am doing me, for me
  • Laughing feels great

And the list goes on.

The bottom line is I truly feel like myself again.

And that is what matters the most.

You only have one life to live.

This is it.

Do what you need to do to feel your best.

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Control your thoughts, Control your mood.

Moods.

We seem to have so many of them.

At any given moment, our mood can be so easily manipulated by our thoughts.

Happy one moment, raging with anger the next. All because that guy cut us off on the highway. That single moment in time can drastically change our mood, from positive to negative. Cyclic negative thoughts devour our conscious mind. It can be like an endless battle for those that have difficulty getting a grip on their thoughts. Remember, your thoughts impact your mood.

How can we gain back our control?

The truth is, you were always in control.

Relfecting on your thoughts will help you to become more aware of how your thoughts influence your mood. By implementing some techniques [that I will discuss in a moment], you can learn to have better control, which will help you become ‘less’ reactive to your negative thoughts.

Acknowledge your thoughts for exactly what they are… just thoughts. They are thoughts with no action. You create the action, or perhaps you choose to take no action. Nevertheless, the choice is yours.

A few techniques that have been helpful for me:

1) Thought record

Keeping a thought record helps you to identify a trend in negative thoughts and feelings. It helps you to become more self-aware, which in turn allows you more control over how you respond to your thoughts. Ultimately you have the power. You can choose to hold on to a thought or you can disregard it. If it is causing you distress, it may be better to let it go, for now. If it is something that is worth a second look, you can always revisit it at later when your mind is more calm and clear. But before you do, ask yourself, is it really worth it?

2) Thought Challenging

Challenging your thoughts allow you to see things in more than one perspective. Ask yourself:

Is it really worth it? Will it matter tomorrow, a week, a month or a year from now? Could the opposite be true? What evidence do I have to support this thought or assumption? What level of importance does it really hold? Is it something that is needed or wanted? What advice would I give to a friend in a similar situation? Does a decision need to be made right this second, or can I give it a few days?

Take a step back and re-evaluate your situation from a different perspective. Chances are nothing is really as urgent or significant as what our minds make us believe.

3) Distraction

Sometimes all we want to do is completely forget about whatever is probing at our brains. Although at times it seems impossible, we do have the option to let it go (even if for only the time being). If it’s a feeling you just can’t shake, or if it’s causing you a lot of distress, let it go for now and distract yourself with something else. Find pleasure in activities that bring you joy. For me, hiking along the Bruce Trails, Manicures, painting, cuddling with my furbabies, journaling, going to the gym, and reading go a long way. During the process of distracting yourself, you may even come to realize that it wasn’t as big of a deal as you first thought it was. Distraction allows you to take a step back, and revisit it when you are more calm, and your thinking is more logical and rational.

4) Support

There are multiple ways to access support. Whether it be from a friend or family member, or a professional, there is always help available.

Take advantage of the World Wide Web, the internet. This valuable tool has made access to Mental Health Support easier to access. We have education and support at our fingertips. A quick google search will reveal support services available on the internet (for example, E-couselling), or services close to you in your area.

You can also checkout the list of Helplines, and Mental Health Services under the Mental Health Resources Tab. I will continue to locate and add more resources as they become known and available.

5) Self-Help Books

Self-help books make my world go round. What works for some people may not work for all. Some people prefer a more traditional one-on-one counseling approach as opposed to self-guided lessons. Find out what works for you and do that.

A few of my favorites are Mind Over Mood, Retrain Your Brain (CBT in 7 weeks), Feeling Good (The new mood therapy), You are Badass, Unf*ck yourself, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and The Secret (Law of Attraction).

6) Apps

The world seems to be going fully digital in this Era, so I encourage everyone to utilize the online resources we have available to us. Cellphone Applications are numerous, and can be of great value. Think of it as 24/7 support, available 7 days a week, including holidays.

A few of my favorites are Dailyo, eMoods, Pacifica, Talk Life, Feartools, Moodtools, What’s up, BetterHelp, Calm and HeadSpace.

For more of my favorite applications, check under the Mental Health Resources Tab.

Are there any additional techniques that work for you? Any that you have tried and didnt work? I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment.

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Blog: divineminds.ca
FB Page: /divineminds1
IG: @_divineminds
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Stop Comparisons

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Don’t do it.

You don’t know what their reality consists of. You have no idea what their struggles are.

The worst thing anyone could ever do is make the assumption that someone else is living a ‘perfect, cozy’ life. If you gathered this observation from social media, reality check, people only post the positive moments of their life, or post pictures that are not a true representation of their life.

Don’t be fooled.

Panic Attacks | Herbal Remedies

Safety Disclaimer: please consult
your doctor before incorporating
herbal remedies into daily regimen.

Due to a number of potentially serious drug to drug interactions, it is advised that you consult your physician or psychiatrist before adding herbal medication into your daily regimen.

Some interaction may significantly increase drowiness or result in Serotonin Syndrome when combined with your own psych-medication(s). Please use with extra caution.

You CAN; You WILL

The moment you limit yourself to your true potential, you lose out on all those opportunities that were possible.

There may be obstacles standing in your way, but it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed or achieve what your heart desires.

People do the impossible everyday. What separates them from the rest is the power of their minds. They believe they can so they do. Can’t, should, would, try, could, or I’m going to are not in their vocabulary. I WILL is what circulates in their consciousness. They plan and they do.

You Can and You Will.

Emergency Night

Another night in Emergency.

Come to think about it, I dont think I have ever blogged about my experiences in the ER.

I feel my absolute best when I am at work. I feel energized, motivated and accomplished.

The reward of being a nurse is beyond anything I have ever experienced. It is an incredible feeling knowing that you are touching the lives of another human being, with as much as a genuine smile.

I have worked in Emergency for just over a year now, and it is like my second home. I feel like this is where I am suppose to be. My calling.

I will share some of my personal experiences (eventually) but the identify of my patients or the people involved will be kept confidential.

This is just my introduction to my life in the ER.

It is as ‘crazy’ as people claim it to be.

Thinking Catastrophe

I just have to post this quote again.

I am in the process of embedding this into my brain.

The over analytical brain that always seems to conjour up the worse possible outcome.

It’s like the brain is attacking itself. Thinking up the most idiotic assumptions.

Why? Because it has nothing better to do than to antagonize you. It’s probably because we all suffer from an overactive imagination. We have hundreds of thousands of thoughts enter our conscious mind, and we allow the positive, pleasant thoughts to easily pass us by and then become hyperfocus on the negative. Ugh! So annoying.

Stop catastrophizing thinking and.. Challange them!

Seriously! Ask your negative thought… “But WHAT IF the opposite (positive) is true?” You managed to start assuming the worst, but WHAT IF we started to assume the best?

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