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Should I go on Meds?
There are many medications for anxiety and depression. Yet anxiety and depression are not caused by a lack of these medications.
There are some important things to consider regarding these medications. Here is what I tell my clients when they ask me if they should go on meds:
“If your anxiety or depression feels so unmanageable that you are not able to do the inner work you need to do to heal, then meds might help you stabilize enough to give you an opportunity to heal. However, be aware that all drugs have some side effects and that long-term use might cause problems. The drug may help you, but unless there is an inherited chemical imbalance, the drug does not heal the underlying stress causing the anxiety or depression, or the stress that may be causing the chemical imbalance.”
Whether or not the person decides to go on meds, he or she still needs to address the underlying cause of most anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and Self-Judgment
Imagine for a moment that you have a young child and that you are constantly saying to the child things like:
“If that person doesn’t like you, then you are unlovable and unworthy, so you better act right and say the right things.”
“If you fail at this, then you are an unworthy failure, and you will probably end up on the streets.”
“You are such a jerk. You always say the wrong thing. That person must think you are a real loser.”
“If you lose your friend, then you are a failure, a loser.”
“Don’t make a mistake. You don’t want anyone to know how stupid you are.”
The child would likely be a very anxious, nervous and stressed child, always trying to do things right and always being afraid of rejection.
If you start to notice the things you tell yourself, you might discover that you are often telling yourself some version of the above statements. You might also want to notice that anytime you judge yourself, you immediately feel anxious and stressed. While meds can calm some of this anxiety, they don’t heal the underlying self-judgment that is often the cause of inner stress. In fact, meds may even mask the anxiety to the point where you can continue to abuse yourself without knowing it. This is definitely not in your highest good!
Depression and Self-Neglect
Now imagine that your young child whom you have been judging and scaring is acting out with anger and some form of destructiveness toward self or others. Imagine that instead of attending to this child and finding out what the problem is, you put the child on meds or just ignore him or her. Now what happens is that the child gets depressed. He or she shuts down to avoid the pain of the judgment and the pain of being ignored and neglected.
Again, this is what happens on the inner level. If you beat yourself up with self-judgments and then ignore the stress that results from beating yourself up, your inner child will eventually feel depressed. In some cases, the depression can become so severe that you cannot function, in which case you need meds to help you move out of the depression.
I work with many clients who come to me on meds. After diligently working with the Inner Bonding healing process that I teach, many of them find that, not only do they no longer need the meds, but that the meds are now getting in the way by dulling their feelings. They find that they want to know if they are feeling anxious or depressed because these feelings are informing them that they are judging or ignoring themselves.
Once you decide to use your feelings of anxiety and depression to inform you regarding your behavior toward yourself, rather than just try to avoid or repress these feelings, you can discover what you are doing that is harming you. When you learn to treat yourself in kind and caring ways, it is likely that your anxiety and depression will gradually disappear.
About the Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" and “Healing Your Aloneness.” She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone sessions available.