Wednesday, February 11, 2009


CF is an emotional roller coaster! It has its ups and downs. When a cfer gets to be a teenager, and especially a young adult...CF just makes life even more challenging...and it messes with our minds and emotions. Almost all CFers get frustrated and/or depressed at some point. I'll be the first to admit it...I have on several occasions. HOWEVER...I have a very different view on taking anti-depressant meds. And I'm sure I will get some comments on this post that disagree....which is fine. This is just to express my opinion. I admit that I have had times of feeling down during pre-transplant and post-transplant. Transplant even sends you on another emotional roller coaster, depending on how sick you are and other challenges it brings. In summer of 2006, my transplant doctor and coordinator decided that I was depressed and should start taking an anti-depressant. Of course, I denied it and wasn't thrilled with the whole idea. However, my coordinator assured me it would be temporary and there was nothing wrong with being depressed....that it's normal and tons of people take anti-depressants. And it wasn't my fault. So I agreed and proceeded taking a very low dose of an anti-depressant. I took it for a little over 1year, then decided to stop it on my own. I was in a very happy and active place in my life, and over the course of taking this med, I really and truly could not tell any difference in the way I felt or acted. When I told my coordinator I stopped taking the med, she had a little fit. But then was fine with the idea, but made me promise that I would start it back if life got too crazy and I starting getting "depressed" again. I agreed, of course, deep down not promising to restart the med by any means. Several months later, I ended up getting pneumonia 3 times in 3months, each time being hospitalized. My coordinator wanted me to start back on the med. I told her I would, but then I really didn't. Yes...I lied about it...I admit it. And to this day, she and the transplant team, still believe that I am taking it.

I'm a very spiritual person, and put all my faith and trust in my Lord! So when I go through emotional times, I turn to God to help me through it. I pray, read the bible, books, talk about it, etc. I feel that if I am in a time of depression, frustration, etc. that the only thing that can bring me out of that state, is Jesus. Therefore, I do things to help with that, which does not include taking anti-depressants. I believe that by taking anti-depressants, you are in a way ignoring this emotional state and are relying on the wrong thing to fix it (being medicines). I find myself more frustrated and angry with life more than actually depressed. And this is not denial. This is just how I feel about things. The reason I don't feel "depressed" is because I know I have God to turn to, and can find joy and peace within HIM, and he will get me through anything. I'm happy knowing that I have Jesus in my heart, and my sole purpose on the this earth is to glorify him...not matter what we are going through, whether it be CF or not. So I feel taking anti-depressants goes against what God would want me to do. And this goes for any one that has any type of depression or illness that causes depression. I feel that if you pray about it and pursue other "natural" means, God will help you get through that emotional time. It's an emotional state that I want to resolve without medications.

Now...if I told my coordinator and transplant team that I don't take this med currently, they would probably have a fit. That's why I haven't told them. And my Mom knows and has agreed that's probably the best thing to do. I know some of you may think otherwise!

Anyway...I just wanted to share my viewpoint on this! I welcome any comments....positive or negative!


Sarah said...

My doctor (my main one) always asks about my mood but hasn't pushed anti-depressents on me, sometimes I just think it's because I'm on so many meds she doesn't want to put me on something else. I am taking something to help me sleep that is also used as an anti-depressant. I have to say it's helping mostly for sleep but I guess it could be helping with my mood too but I really can't say for sure. I have nothing against anti-depressants personally but I wouldn't want to be on them long term. It's the first med I want to wean off of post-op. I think the medical community is getting a little pill happy.

Cara said...

Oh my goodness, Katey! I am so glad you wrote this blog!

As you know, I have a deep rooted faith in the Lord. BUT, last year, I was engaged, married, and moved across the country in the span of ONE MONTH! That is crazy! Needless to say, I was sad. Unbelievably sad! My Dr started me on Celexa b/c I completely broke down in his office one day, but I chose God over depression. I love my husband more than anything in this world, (besides, MY God, of course!) so I felt guilty feeling sad about this! I am so blessed!!! I think anyone going through that situation would feel a little sad, CF or not! But, my life is SO above depression! My blessings are SO above being sad! I have SO been give an amazing life, by Him!

I love that you feel this way too! I am so blessed to know you! Sending lots of love and praise your way,, cyster!

Katelyn said...

That is interesting that you posted that! I actually just went to the doctor and they asked if I was still taking Lexapro that was I prescribed when I was first hospitalized back in 2005. I told them "no" and they were like, "You don't need it?" I replied with, "Nope, I'm fine."

I am open to taken medication and will be the first one to admit that I will pop a pill if I think it will make me better; however, I do think that medication can only go so far and that is where faith comes into play. I think it is possible for medication and God to intermingle and to do wonderful things, because I believe medicine was created to help us and if that weren't the case, well, then why do we have it?

I feel like that was a big pile of verbal vomit. Did I make any sense at all?

The Liberto Family said...

Thanks for posting this. Even though Melissa way to young, it helps me to understand what her life might be like when she gets older. I can't even begain to imagine what it is like for you. I think it's always good to try to heal on your own and yes ask God to help heal your body. Sometimes we do need help and I thinks it's ok to get that help if you really need it. Glad to hear you and your mom talk about this so she can see the signs and help you out.

Alicia said...

Oh, such a controversial post-I love it!

Lately I've been realizing that there are so many things I use to medicate (tv, food, etc) Every time I use one of those things to take the edge off the pain, I miss the opportunity to let my precious, intimate Savior comfort me.