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Picking Up Prescription at the pharmacy

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I think that one of the 'good' signs to indicate progress in and acceptance of your situation dealing with depression and/or anxiety is going to the pharmacy, identifying yourself and openly saying that you've come to pick up a prescription. There's no sense in trying to hide what it is because the clerk can read as well as you and if they know how to do their job they'll treat you the same as any other customer.

Every time I pick up a prescription for depression or anxiety I feel better for not having it mailed to me in an unidentifiable packet. Oddly, or not, this action actually helps me to feel better.

How about you?

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hmm interesting, I never thought about it like that. Ive always picked mine up from a pharmacy and every pharmacist has always treated me like any other customer. Though when im in there I do worry someone I know will walk in and overhear the pharmacist talking about the meds, even though I shouldn't worry because mental health struggles and taking anti-depressants are more common than you think!

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I used to feel like that a lot when I went to the pharmacy, Mike.  But my feelings have changed over the years. 

I was first diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in the 1970's.  After years and years of reading scholarly articles and research publications on Depression, I am now of the opinion that it is a neurological disorder with psychiatric symptoms.  Perhaps as a result, I don't go through the same feelings in picking up my medications at the pharmacy as I used to. 

From what I have read, Depression is linked to many abnormalities in the brain:  thinning of the outer layer of the cerebral cortex; loss of mass, volume and density in the brain's hippocampi through atrophy;  loss of the brain's protective glial cells;  microscopic pathology in brain cell architecture including atrophy of brain dendrites;  abnormal reduction of regional cerebral blood flow and energy utilization [glucose metabolism] and many other forms of pathology not related to brain aging.

Of course all medical research is subject to limitations and caveats:  size of study, duration of study, objectivity of study, confounding factors, new discoveries and so on.  But it seems that each day there is a growing body of evidence linking Depression to brain pathology. 

So these days I see Depression as akin to Parkinson's Disease or Epilepsy or Cushing Syndrome -- a neurological disorder.

There have been a number of studies linking Depression to damage to the brain from chronic exposure to stress hormones in those genetically at risk for Depression. 

Stress, it seems,  activates the HPA to secret cortisol which is linked to damage to the hippocampi of the brain. 

Stress, it is thought can be both externally and internally generated.  Traumatic events can generate excessive stress hormone secretion.  But internal states of mind can be generators of stress; things like 'perfectionism' and so on.

I would suppose that this is why psychotherapy can be helpful to some since internal stressors like 'perfectionism' can be often be reduced by education.  Perhaps that is also why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is effective at reducing depression symptoms in some. 

Stressors, it is theorized,  can work against the beneficial effects of antidepressants so teaching someone with Depression how to reduce stress is thought be helpful.  Or at least it was in my case.

Of course, it is true that people not afflicted with the scourge of Depression can lack education and insight and continue to believe that it is not a mental illness but a character flaw or weakness in a person.  And I am sure there are some pharmacists and perhaps even doctors who still maintain this position.


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Hello (first name):

I've long been a believer that stress is the main culprit behind both physical and mental disorders. Unfortunately, for so many the lessons learned and awareness of depression comes late in life. Nevertheless, the importance for the matter is when it is recognized, brought to the attention of a therapist or other medical professional, and steps are taken to improve the quality of life.


Personally, I'm not a fan of talk therapy but would never shut the door or discredit use of it by another. I'm lucky, have a medical doctor I like and who allows me enough time to express my concerns without her too quickly saying I may be looking at things backward. I actually look forward to my visits.

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Understood: where I'm from everyone knows everyone. I'd like to say we go on the honor system but who knows what's said after I exit the store?

Truth is, I don't mind all that much because the way I see it I'm helping to diffuse my personal circumstance while at the same time possibly helping the clerk or pharmacist to do the same.

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15 hours ago, Epictetus said:

I am now of the opinion that it is a neurological disorder with psychiatric symptoms. 

I like how you've explained mental illness, you've posed some good ideas that im going to look into as well. This is an idea that actually makes sense, ive never thought of depression this way, it makes so much sense. 

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Possible . . . unfortunately, as with many psychological discoveries the answers are never as straight forward as we would assume or like them to be.

A lot of unproven theory goes into diagnosis, mostly because we think that if something seems to make sense then it must be true. A broken bone seen on an x-ray is easy enough to validate, a broken mind is altogether different. Everything about the human body and mind is neurological to some degree and because of the multitude of factors which make us who we are the sources of mental illness are too varied to assume one size fits all.

I wish it were so, sometimes when the answer is right under our noses we opt to look elsewhere, but for now I think that treating the individual with what is known instead of experimenting with possibilities is the best course of action. There are plenty of drugs in the lab which have been approved as 'one size fits all' . . . but we all know that isn't the case.


Neurological? Possibly, and let's hope that is so, yet I think the answers for the reasons to mental illness are as varied as there are individuals.

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