2 Months + Work

Today marks two months cut free. Notice though, I didn’t say two months self harm free. Am I two months self harm free? No, I’m not. So I don’t know if I should be proud of myself or not for going that two months.

I have used, should I say, lesser forms of self harm. Punching the wall, hitting and pinching myself…does that make it okay? No…but maybe it is a step down?

My previous school counsellor has suggested using the rubber band as an alternative, where you wear an elastic band around your wrist and when you have the urge to cut, you snap that against your wrist instead so you still cause yourself pain but you’re not making yourself bleed. My response to her? ‘It’s still self harm.’ Which it is…it’s still using pain as a coping mechanism. I was against it as an alternative and I never suggested it to people when I was trying to give them advice on the self harm recovery boards.

I still am against it as an alternative although now that I am trying to stop self harming, I can see both sides of the argument. I know how hard it can be to just reist cutting, let alone self harming. So the use of the elastic band can be that ‘step down’ from cutting.

That aside…

At work today (I work in a prison pharmacy) a drug rep came to talk to us. She was a representitive here to talk to us about the antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine HCl), an SNRI. It was interesting to me because my previous psyciatrist wanted to prescribe me an antidepressant so I want to know about things like what antidepressants do, how it works, side effects etc. Not so interesting to another pharmacist who works there though apparently, I overheard her saying afterwards, ‘It’s just like the other new antidepressants, so boring.’ It’s nice to know that health professionals care about the drug treatment or any other treatment for their patients, isn’t it?

We also each received a 14 page A4 booket solely on this antidepressat Cymbalta. Wouldn’t it be nice if we as consumers got this much information on what we were about to take so that we are fully informed? Instead the whole story only gets presented to the health professionals who evidently care so much about the medication that their patients are on. And all we get is what the health professionals choose to tell us, what the drug companies choose to tell us in their Consumer Medicine Information leaflets and maybe what we hear or read from other people.

No, but I do know that this pharmacist is not representitive of the whole health professional population, a lot of them are great and genuinely want to help their patients. And yes, there are reasons that not all of the information about a certain drug is given to the parient. As a pharmacy student I can see the point of view that if a patient reads about all these possible side effects they may not want to try a medication when really it may have little side effect on them and could benefit heaps. But, I am also a mental health consumer and as that mental health consumer, yes, I do want to know everything I can about this drug before I start to take it. You’re holding information from me when I’m the one taking this medication, not you. It’s my life here, not yours.

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