You know how things get a little loose with your daily routine during the summer? Happened to me. Forgot to pick up my medication from the pharmacy. I got sidetracked. School is out so my schedule is freer without having to think about my son’s schedule. I’m taking a few days off to rest, hang with the fam, and chill at my neighbors’ swimming pool.
Now I have a pretty stressful job, and I can get my fair share of shpilkes (Yiddish for anxiety and agitation) when the you-know-what hits the fan. Typically, I take things in stride. But I’ve been a bit off the rails with anxiety of late. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I’m resting, right? I’m doing what my own shrink told me to do, take a mental break! But I couldn’t. My mind was racing. My heart rate was way too high. I was rude to my wife and son and avoided social opportunities. Why are there squirrels in my brain?
I’ve been taking my psychiatric medication all along (never skip that) and my pill box looked about right, didn’t it? Nope. Sure enough, one pill was missing, and it was missing for days apparently. I’ve always known that all medications have some side-effects, but we typically only think about the NEGATIVE ones. I have a positive side-effect of reduced anxiety on one of mine. I got complacent and the result was my mental health hit a patch of black ice. There is nothing worse than your brain spinning like an out-of-control car with bald tires. I’m grateful all I had to do was hit the pharmacy drive through and get back on track. But for 48 hours or so, I was a complete wreck and my family was really worried about me.
My lesson, and one I’m sharing with you, is don’t play fast and loose with your medications – any of them! They all have a role to play in your body, and when you find a cocktail that’s really doing right you have to stick with it. If you’re starting to feel not quite yourself, consider checking your pill box or your pharmacy app to see if you’re due for a refill. No joke, it could save your life.
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C, LICSW, CEDS, Founder, Executive Director at The Body Image Therapy Center. For help call 877-674-2843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.