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The dangers of self medicating

8 May, 2013

I’d love to say I was finally off the pain meds but I think I still take at least two Nurofen a day for tooth/jaw ache.

This morning as I lay in bed waking up, eyes still closed, my head pounded! Seriously severe pain ranging from 2-10 up and down in waves.

Thankfully a coffee, two Nurofen and getting up seemed to dissipate it somewhat. But this isn’t the self medicating I was talking about…

Over the last couple of weeks I’d noticed hubby getting more ratty and cranky. Last night he spat the dummy though and ended up slamming the woodstove door and smashed the thickened glass.

I spat it with him. There was lots of yelling and it ended with me telling him it was over. I’d put up with his progressively shitty behaviour over the last two weeks.

I told him in no uncertain terms to book in and see his psychologist. I was so disappointed that his character seemed to be defaulting to unpredictable outbursts of rage again, even on meds.

Imagine my frustration when he sent me a text while I was out saying he’d dropped his Pristiq from 150mg to 100mg!! And he’d done it in the last three weeks! Lightbulb!!

He said he did it because they’re so expensive to be on. The scripts cost us $72 each per month. A sizeable chunk in our budget but also necessary to maintain our lives and lifestyle. Without our meds we’d be stuffed.

When I got home after an evening out playing mahjong with my kids I went up to him and butt punched him as he was in bed. Silly man! He later said our GP had said he could try reducing his Pristiq but failed to tell me. Gah!!

Maybe it was good he didn’t tell me so I wasn’t hyper aware of his mood changes and pick on him unfairly but at least we’ve seen the meds making a real difference.

From my point of view the meds make him more even tempered. He’s more approachable and less fractious. I didn’t necessarily think he was “depressed” as being emotionally “unstable”, given to outbursts of anger at the slightest thing.

I often say he was an alcoholic without the alcohol. You could never predict what might set him off on a rant and it was often over the pettiest of things at inopportune times.

Now the meds give him time to think before reacting above what’s normal or reasonable. He’s more approachable and when our communication is good he listens if he’s upset the status quo.

So let this be a warning to me! Find the triggers to the mood and don’t underestimate how good the meds help!!

The cost is a pain. Especially as he will have to stay on his meds long term judging from this drop. I also think I may be on my meds long term as they have stabilised my lows which were a danger to me and those around me.

I understand why people go off their meds for financial reasons and because they feel better and think they can fly solo. But sometimes it’s just not worth losing the quality of life you get while on them.

I’m fortunate in that I haven’t noted any ongoing side effects. Hubby has to put up with profuse sweating on a near daily basis which he finds inconvenient and sometimes embarrassing.

I’m also lucky he decided to reduce his meds while I’ve been doing so much better on this level of Pristiq and I haven’t felt it was my fault that he was rage-y.

Meds replenished. Moving on.


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