It seems as though more times than not, I will leave a pharmacy feeling a little irritated. It probably stems from my own self-consciousness in getting psychiatric medication dispensed. Having social anxiety, I fear being judged, and I can’t help worrying that the pharmacist or pharmacy assistant is judging me for taking an SSRI. Then there’s the fact that I was a pharmacy student and still work as a pharmacy assistant, so I get rather impatient when they treat me like an idiot.
My intention today, and every other day I attend a pharmacy, was to hand over my prescription, receive my box of medication, provide payment in return, and leave. Minimal conversation preferred. But no. The pharmacy was relatively quiet while I was being served, and thus the pharmacist decided he had time to ask some additional questions. “You been on these long?” he enquired. “Umm, not that long…a couple of months,” I said. “How are they going for you?” he proceeded to ask. “Umm. Okay,” I replied a little abruptly. I appreciate that he was just making some conversation, and he was a nice enough guy, if not a bit weird. But I also can’t help thinking, It’s none of your business! Just give me my pills without the unnecessary questions please! Being asked how my medication is going is awkward at the best of times, asking while my mum was there accentuates the degree of awkwardness by ten. My mum and I never discuss my mental health issues, unless it’s to do with such practicalities as appointment times and fees.
Then there’s the assumption that I’m an idiot. Okay, there’s no way they’d know I’m a pharmacy assistant and an ex-pharmacy student, I’m aware of that. But I know the generic brand of sertraline you gave me is the equivalent of Zoloft. There is no need to add on with a pen to the printed dispensing label, Z-O-L-O-F-T. It’s just frustrating to be treated in such a patronizing manner when I deal with generic medicines every day while I’m at work, packing at least eighty of those damn Webster-paks per eight hour work day.