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Anyone else embarassed to take this class of meds? 

Do you avoid or even "forget" to tell other medical professionals that you are on them?

I am so embarassed about taking clozaril, that I have been avoiding getting help with another pressing medical condition because I will have to tell another Dr what meds I am on.............

I asked my pdoc if I could try life without it for awhile.......but she pointed out (rightly so), that I didn't do well the last time I tried that.........although I did that without her knowledge, so I think the fear of being labled "non-compliant" factored into my problems at that time.......

Why do I second guess myself?  Why do I care what other medical people think about this med, and not think twice about telling them of the levoxyl I take for my  thyroid...or even the ADs I take?????

Anyone else feel like this?  My pdoc said that I should not feel embarassed to tell another dr!  But I have dealt with the stigma of having a MI for sooooo long, with the medical profession being one of the biggest problems...... 

Thanks again for giving me a place to vent!!!!

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Try not to worry about what other people, especially healthcare providers, think. Trust me... they've heard/seen everything!! I've been on some kind of psychiatric meds (including an antipsychotic)  most of the last 10 years and I really can't think of a single time where I felt like I was being judged or anything.

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My take:

You and your pdoc have decided you need the anti-psychotic. You know it works for you. But it is very important for all of your docs to know about every single medication you are taking. And you owe it to yourself to go to any doc you need to, and can afford to see, to take care of any of your health matters. Docs need to know what meds you are taking to check for any possible interactions or potential side effects with other meds. So, my reasoning, which may indeed be faulty, is that docs write down the meds you take but if they hear a psych med don't all the sudden think -- Oh my! This person is crazy.

OK, maybe some docs do think this but if they do they are shitheads in my book. I know that some docs do nothing to help fight the stigma of mental illness. But you can fight it by saying I take an anti-psychotic and I am proud because it keeps me stable and it helps a medical condition which I have, and one that I am taking care off myself.

I don't know if that made sense. I don't mean to come off as offensive or that I don't understand the stigma and stupid docs. I guess I am just in a mood tonight. Shove it in there faces! We take our pills like Rx'd because they help us with a legitmate medical condition, and dammit MI should be viewed like any other medical condition. I know, I know, it isn't by alot of people. Forget about what other docs think, you are being responsible and taking care of all your health needs!

Erika

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Does it ever get any better???????

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have found that educating myself about my diagnoses and medications has made me a lot more confident when it comes to dealing with my regular doctors (and my pdoc, too).  I think both the confidence and the ability to talk intelligently about my conditions and treatment makes me more credible to them. So yeah... I think it does get better! Or maybe I just care less.  ;)

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at this point i have no pride or shame to be hurt by telling people about my meds or MI. i will tell anyone who asks, but i don't bring it up in conversation.

grouse.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree.........

I can speak confidently about my depression and the medications available to treat it, when the time is appropriate....

I can jump in and hopefully educate people who refer to ADs as "happy pills" (that one does make me really MAD),

but I still have problems with those damn medical providers....the ones who don't even know what "clozaril" is or what it is used to treat........until of course they look it up.........maybe I am just paranoid......::shrug::

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I don't have a problem telling doctors what I'm taking -- it's when they ask me why I'm taking them that bothers me. Sometimes I've been a bit sarcastic, what do they think I'm taking an anti-depressant for? Entertainment value?

I usually have to deal with a student RN or LPN when I go to the clinic where my family doctor and endocrinologist are, and they often look at me very strangely when I tell them what I'm on.

That said, you absolutely should go get whatever health care you need. If your doctor isn't able to handle the idea of the meds you're on -- then you should get a new doctor (unless this one is some expert that can't be replaced).

Fiona

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I don't have a problem telling doctors what I'm taking -- it's when they ask me why I'm taking them that bothers me. Sometimes I've been a bit sarcastic, what do they think I'm taking an anti-depressant for? Entertainment value?

I usually have to deal with a student RN or LPN when I go to the clinic where my family doctor and endocrinologist are, and they often look at me very strangely when I tell them what I'm on.

That said, you absolutely should go get whatever health care you need. If your doctor isn't able to handle the idea of the meds you're on -- then you should get a new doctor (unless this one is some expert that can't be replaced).

Fiona

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It is funny.....well sad, I guess........

I know that I need the meds I take!

I KNOW, that without the medication (along with therapy), that my children would not have their mother here today!!!

But I still can't get over the stigma that "I" associate with taking a AAP. 

But I am working on it!!!!!!! 

Thanks for listening!

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Oddly enough, I got less of a 'good lord you must be nuts.' response off APs than I did off Lithium.

Heck if I know why. Maybe no one knew what the APs actually were.

Then again GPs here are so old fashioned (Read ignorant) I'm usually shocked when they don't cup or leech me. =P

'Well...your problem seems to be a humour imbalance...'

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The stigma is real, unfortunately, but fortunately it is getting better as SSRI are given for all types of dxs.

But...I worked for the Mental Health Association, which was a MI advocacy organization in Texas, and is still in existence, working to beat the stigma of MI. T

The history of how MI folks were treated in years past, have helped contribute to this stigma. Women were locked away, by their husband, for just being non-compliant, PMS, etc. When you read the history of mental health hospitals-and their treatment of patients, it is truly terrifying.  I also  worked for a federal-court appointed panel to oversee a class-action lawsuit against the Texas mental health system in the 80's- even after deinstitutionalization. Much overdrugging, no therapy, patients with

untreated dyskinesia, violations of civl rights, etc.

Its people, like us, who need to educate others. Many homeless folks have  untreated MI (worked in tht field as well.) After the govt proposed deinstitutionalization, they promised to create mental health clinics to treat these folks without family ties, I remember cases where they would take the patients from the hospitals, via buses, and just drop them off at the bus depots. I am sorry for this rant, uh...it just pisses me off how MI patients were treated in the past.

S.

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I'm not embarrassed about my meds or about being bipolar.  I don't run around announcing it, but I'm not afraid to tell people about it.  If someone is going to have something against me for it, then they're not worth my time and don't need to be in my life.

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At first I was a little scared and embarressed, but now im not at all.  Seroquel has not only saved my life but drastically improved my quality of life. 

These drugs are prescribed now a days for a range of conditions including anxiety disorders such as OCD, panic and GAD, insomnia and depression as well as the typical schizophrenia, psychotic and bipolar disorders.

Not just at small doses either.  I have OCD a psychotic depression (and panic disorder) and I am prescribed 900mg of seroquel a day on top of my 60mg paxil.  It works well and that is what is important.

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I don't have a problem telling doctors what I'm taking -- it's when they ask me why I'm taking them that bothers me. Sometimes I've been a bit sarcastic, what do they think I'm taking an anti-depressant for? Entertainment value?

.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've had the same thing happen.. Docs/ nurses asking what I am taking the lithium for? Well, shit, it is well known it is for bipolar and yeah..do they think we just take it for the fun of it.?? Now that does make me angry.

Most of my docs have been very cool about my MI but my cardiologist just laughs and says, "Oh you aren't bipolar!"..I don't know what his thing is or when the last time he practiced psychiatry was, but I find that kinda funny and strange at the same time.

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I couldn't care less about doctors - shit, they can read my medical notes if they want to. But I do wonder about the pharmacist, as I use the same one all the time. It was OK when I was just taking lamotrigine - I could have been epileptic (which I think of as stigma free), but add olanzapine and I'm clearly wacko.

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Yes, I agree, lithium scares them all to death.  "They" remember all the horror stories of old.

When I was taking it, my internist absolutely hated that I was taking it.  Sort of like doesn't your pdoc know there are more up-to-date things he might use for you.

I think he was annoyed because he had to be more careful about drug interactions.

But you also have the medical techs/nurses/receptionists who immediately think of One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest when they see your list of meds.

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Hehe...I work at Walmart, and that's where I get all my prescriptions filled for Abilify, Lexapro, and Depakote.  It must just scream schizophrenia.  So, at least my coworkers in the pharmacy know I'm crazy.  Plus, when I take in the prescription it says right across the top "Blah Blah Center for Mental Health". 

I guess it's a good sign that I haven't considered the fact that they might think less of me for being on those drugs.  In fact, they're always really nice to me.  And if they weren't nice, I'd just think, "fuck 'em, I'm a stud who is doing great".  Okay, I'm not a stud by any means, but still. ;)

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