Bold Beautiful Borderline

There is No Such Thing as a Happy Pill

March 14, 2021 Sara Amundson & Laurie Edmundson Season 1 Episode 16
Bold Beautiful Borderline
There is No Such Thing as a Happy Pill
Chapters
Bold Beautiful Borderline
There is No Such Thing as a Happy Pill
Mar 14, 2021 Season 1 Episode 16
Sara Amundson & Laurie Edmundson

Medication has a time and a place in mental health treatment and recovery but there is no way to numb all of these emotions. That is not the goal of medication.

There is no “anti-borderline pill” but medications can be really useful for treating symptoms associated with BPD like anxiety, depression, anger, racing thoughts, insomnia, etc. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, psychological treatment like counselling, and a lot of personal effort, medications can work wonders. At the end of the day the medication is really just taking the edge off so you CAN practice your skills .

You know your body better than your doctor, so stand up for yourself and make sure that you are continuing to find medications that actually work for you. Knowing what your goal is for the medication can really help you and your doctor find the right option for you. 

At the end of the day, let yourself feel joy - if your dopamine and serotonin are not working for you we shouldn’t feel shame for trying to fix that with science. 

There is no such thing as a happy pill - but there sure are helpful pills that support our journeys to recovery.

*Also this was recorded before the new election - so we’re a bit off with our presidential comments*


You can find Laurie and Sara on Instagram to follow their day to day lives even further @laurieanned and @saraswellnessway. You can also find the podcast on IG @boldbeautifulborderline

You can also find Sara's business as a Mental Health Clinician and mental health coach at thewellnesswayllc.com

If you like the show we would love if you could rate, subscribe and support us on Patreon.

You can find our Patreon channel at https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline?fan_landing=true

For mental health supports:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)

OR find a local warmline to you at https://screening.mhanational.org/content/need-talk-someone-warmlines

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline)

Show Notes Transcript

Medication has a time and a place in mental health treatment and recovery but there is no way to numb all of these emotions. That is not the goal of medication.

There is no “anti-borderline pill” but medications can be really useful for treating symptoms associated with BPD like anxiety, depression, anger, racing thoughts, insomnia, etc. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, psychological treatment like counselling, and a lot of personal effort, medications can work wonders. At the end of the day the medication is really just taking the edge off so you CAN practice your skills .

You know your body better than your doctor, so stand up for yourself and make sure that you are continuing to find medications that actually work for you. Knowing what your goal is for the medication can really help you and your doctor find the right option for you. 

At the end of the day, let yourself feel joy - if your dopamine and serotonin are not working for you we shouldn’t feel shame for trying to fix that with science. 

There is no such thing as a happy pill - but there sure are helpful pills that support our journeys to recovery.

*Also this was recorded before the new election - so we’re a bit off with our presidential comments*


You can find Laurie and Sara on Instagram to follow their day to day lives even further @laurieanned and @saraswellnessway. You can also find the podcast on IG @boldbeautifulborderline

You can also find Sara's business as a Mental Health Clinician and mental health coach at thewellnesswayllc.com

If you like the show we would love if you could rate, subscribe and support us on Patreon.

You can find our Patreon channel at https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline?fan_landing=true

For mental health supports:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)

OR find a local warmline to you at https://screening.mhanational.org/content/need-talk-someone-warmlines

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline)

Sara Amundson:

Hi, guys, welcome to the bold, beautiful borderline podcast. I'm your host Sarah and I have my co host, Laurie with me. And today we're going to talk about mental health medication.

Laurie Edmundson:

Woohoo.

Sara Amundson:

Dun dun dun.

Laurie Edmundson:

Everybody's favorite topic. Yeah. So

Sara Amundson:

let's get into it. Tell me what your thoughts are on being medicated? Because I have a ton to say about this topic.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, for sure. So do I, I'm sure we could go on for hours. So first of all, I would just like to put it out there that neither of us are doctors, we are not providing any sort of medical advice. nor are we telling anybody to take medications or not to take medications just need to put that out there. So personally, I think that medications have a time and a place in mental health treatment. But there's no such thing as a happy pill. And if you think it's a happy pill, then you're going to be very, very disappointed. And I think that that's a really common misconception.

Sara Amundson:

Totally. And, and, you know, on the I'm alive, because podcast that I host, I had someone on once who said like, you know, I just I don't want myself or anybody that I love to get on mental health medication, because it will make me What did they say? Like, it'll take away the they said that it would numb them. Right? From

Laurie Edmundson:

my also super common. Yeah, people really, really think that that's what it would be like?

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, let me just tell you that there's no way to numb all of this emotion.

Laurie Edmundson:

Straight up straight up,

Sara Amundson:

you hit me with 200 milligrams of Zoloft, and like an anti anxiety medication, and I'm still going to be riding these waves, it's just going to be easier to notice them before they crash and like start to get ahead of them. But so in my experience, there's no numbing this, there's just like, let's take it from. I don't know if you've heard of the acronym suds, but that's it stands for subsequent units of distress. And yes, basically, we go from like, zero to 100 in a millisecond. And so like when I'm medicated on the right mental health medication, which for me is Zoloft, I, my suds are noticeable, so I can observe myself becoming more and more distressed. And then I can start to use the skills. But I've never and will never be numb in my entire life.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, no, absolutely. And that's so true. But that's such a good thing to say. And, yeah, I've never really considered it in that sense. But I've taken plenty of mental health medications over my life, and I've never felt numb. I felt shitty. I like there are a lot of medications that I like, genuinely dislike. And I think that that's also really helpful for people to know is like, unfortunately, a, when it comes to borderline specifically, there is no anti borderline personality disorder pill, probably because you're never going to numb us. And we're always going to feel a lot. However, you can help treat symptoms with medication. So I'm sure like Sarah and I can both talk about maybe treating some depressive tendencies or some anxiety with medication. I personally have really struggle with racing thoughts, and kind of circular thoughts. And so I was having a really, really hard time falling asleep when I was probably 22. Just because my mind would not shut up. And so I take a really small dose of anti psychotics at night to help me fall asleep and help those thoughts stop. They are a godsend to me, and they do so much. But I've also taken like superlux selects Prozac, you name it Wellbutrin, like all of these things, and like none of them have worked well for me. So it's just really like knowing what is happening in your body and telling your doctor like I don't think this is right. I think that's important. You your doctor does not know what's happening in your body. So you need to be able to tell them that.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, and we were actually just talking before I hit record on the pod. Like in my experience, it's super essential to be a part of across systems team. So your therapist should be talking to your psychiatrist and vice versa. I don't think anyone should be taking an SSRI or an anti psychotic or any kind of mental health med if they're not actively engaged in their Or, unless they've like graduated some sort of treatment program and are like very, very stable. But I think if you're taking a mental health medication, that you should also be focusing on skills work, and then your therapist and your psychiatrists can kind of find the right treatment plan in combination with you. And that's kind of how it's worked out for me is that, like, my therapist is able to coach me through how to effectively communicate to my psychiatrist, and vice versa.

Laurie Edmundson:

And I think for me, that's exactly what it is, like when I was, I want to say like 12 or 13, I was so anxious that I just like could not leave the house, it was not going to happen. I was clearly mentally ill. And I had one parent who was very anti medication and one parent who was not necessarily like pro medication, but not anti medication. And so that parent called my physician and said, look like she can't leave the house to come see you. But like, there's clearly something wrong. So I was put on, like a low dose of an SSRI, that ss, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which is basically just like the most common antidepressant these helped me get to the therapist, it helped me get out of the house. And that is what it did. For me, I didn't necessarily like feel immediately not anxious or immediately happy. That's definitely not how it works. But that's what I tell people like sometimes we just need a little bit of a help to get to use the skills, remember the skills be less distressed, just enough to like function as a human being. Because, yeah, we can't do it ourselves all the time. But it's not a replacement for learning skills and practicing them in therapy.

Sara Amundson:

No, it just takes the edge off enough to be able to learn the skills and do them. And I can say for me, like, confidently, I can say I don't need to be medicated unless I'm engaged in an intimate relationship. Because and we've talked about this in past episodes, I generally at this stage in my life, I'm pretty regulated in my friendships. Like I don't have any in group or like within friendship, arguing or fighting or a ton I dysregulation and I can process my feelings of rejection and abandonment pretty well. But if I'm in like, a relationship with someone or like my marriage with torey for example, you better believe I'm taking 150 milligrams of Zoloft every day because like that's the place where I experienced the most dysregulation and so that's when I really need the the medication.

Laurie Edmundson:

So you find that Zoloft helps you with regulation or does it help you with like, sadness and anxiety?

Sara Amundson:

So for me, I find that it reduces the severity of my symptoms, like any of them, like my depression, my anxiety and my anger, especially so like I can really notice my body becoming angry. When I'm taking Zoloft. I also went through like, took Prozac. I took Wellbutrin Wellbutrin made me so angry all the time I couldn't even stand it. I took a trintellix x trintellix x was great, but I had some weird side effects and it's not approved by the FDA in the states yet so I was paying a couple $100 a month for it. I took selects that also and there was one more so I've definitely tried like six medications before we settled on Zoloft. But I find that so a lot to helps me stay regulated reduce depression, like only experienced Kind of day to day anxiety, but no panic attacks. It hasn't made me gain weight. It hasn't taken away my libido like just for me it like it just takes my day to day mood swings to a place where I can function.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, okay, the libido thing. Let's just talk about that talk. Yeah, but actually, first I want to talk about peeing which is gonna sound super weird. But I took so I started taking Prozac because I had been off antidepressants for a long time. I knew celexa and Sarah COVID sorry. celexa and cipralex did not work for me. And I knew Wellbutrin didn't work for me. So my doctor was like, Well, why don't you take Prozac? So weird. I was on Prozac for like, two weeks, and I had to pee constantly. I would have to pee three times in a one hour meeting at work. Like I was literally getting up constantly and so I don't know.

Sara Amundson:

Did you have a UTI?

Laurie Edmundson:

No. So I went to my doctor and I was like, hey, there's something wrong like I This is strange, like I drink a lot of water but like that's it like I'm like I always drink a lot of water. Everybody makes fun of me for drinking water. And so this is where You have to just like Be confident about what is happening in your body because I went to my doctor, and she's the greatest. And I said that this is there's something wrong. And it started when I took this medication and she was like, well, like, yeah, you might have a UTI, like bladder infection, diabetes, you might be pregnant. So we did every possible test, we could do STD tests, pregnancy tests, like checked for a UTI, like all of these things. And it turns out that there is like a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny percent of the population that Prozac makes them pee a lot. And my doctor was like, I have prescribed Prozac to like, hundreds of 1000s of patients, and not one of them has ever, ever, ever, like, bugged me enough for us to, for me to like actually go and go through all of the research studies to see if this is a rare side effect. And it turns out, it is so weird, like so weird.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, I have never in my life heard this

Laurie Edmundson:

No, and neither had my doctor, and who my doctor was incredible with mental health patients. Anyway. So again, just like, if you think there's something wrong, tell your doctor about it, because they don't know everything. And if you have a good one, they will help walk you through it. So that's how I ended up on Zoloft now, because like it was literally unmanageable. Like I couldn't go anywhere, because I had to pee all the time. It was crazy.

Sara Amundson:

Well, and so I'm only going to say this from the perspective of the states, because I know it's different there. But in Canada, as a mental health clinician, I would 100% of the time say it's unacceptable for anyone to be accepting a mental health medication from a primary care doctor, like we need to be receiving these from psychiatrists who can administer a full bio psychosocial assessment. Like, if you aren't seeing this clinician for at least 90 minutes do not take a prescription for from them.

Laurie Edmundson:

That is incredibly different in Canada, which is ironic, because like, I think pretty much undeniably Canada has a better health care system than the state's I don't think we're gonna argue about that. But when it comes to psychiatry services, they are really inaccessible unless you're willing to pay out of pocket here. So and I mean, like, fully out of pocket. So I've seen a psychiatrist, I've had mental health issues for like, over a decade, probably like closer to two. And I'm only 27. And I've seen a psychiatrist twice in my entire life. And I, yeah, twice. And I've been in the mental health system forever. So

Sara Amundson:

I've had five psychiatrists?

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, that's crazy. Anytime more than once.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, I've probably had in my lifetime, like 30 ish visits with a psych and I've seen my psychiatrist now. We just in the last six months went to quarterly. But I

Laurie Edmundson:

and you're seeing them for an hour or something?

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, I was seeing I'm seeing I see it for 45 minutes. And I was seeing her monthly for the first like, eight months of working with her.

Laurie Edmundson:

That is absolutely insane.

Sara Amundson:

and I'm only paying a copay.

Laurie Edmundson:

Oh my god. Okay, well, so apparently psychiatry is the thing that you want to be an American for. I'm not quite sure why that happened. So yeah. So when I was like, I want to say like 10 or no, I was 12. I saw a psychiatrist at BC Children's Hospital for the locals. Because we were trying to figure out if I had like bipolar or whatever, and I obviously didn't have bipolar. That was like, that was like a child psychiatrist. As an adult, the person who diagnosed me with borderline saw me for I want to say nine minutes. And I mean, I To be fair, like I obviously have borderline and Mike my therapist had recommended me to him. So he saw me for nine minutes he said, Hey, so I hear you probably have borderline he said, Do you feel this this this this and this? I said, Yep, yep, yep, yep. And Yep. He said, Okay, cool. Yeah, you have borderline he wrote it down. And then I and then he said,

Sara Amundson:

This is blowing my mind!

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, it's actually really weird that it's so much better in the states and then he said, so you're taking Seroquel? Do you? Like that medication? I said, Yeah, he said great. And then that was it.

Sara Amundson:

Okay, well, well Well, let's back up. I will never forget Dr. Jackson. He's like this like black man in Tacoma Washington. super great psychiatrist. And he's very like I'm trying to paint the picture for you. He's like, got this like Mr. Rogers kind of feel about him. You know, like I like the nice like baggy slacks and the nice like cozy office kind of deal and I mean, he did a solid like nine v minutes with me multiple times before he was like, so I think you have borderline personality disorder.

Laurie Edmundson:

So I will confidently say both as a person who works in healthcare is studying healthcare and has been a patient my whole life, you don't see doctors in Canada for more than like 1015 minutes, that is not a thing that happens. So I'm really lucky because I got a nurse practitioner, which is like what you want here because of the pay structure. And that's a whole other topic that nobody here cares about. But my nurse practitioner will sit with me for like 45 minutes. That is not how doctors are paid in Canada. And so they're paid for fee for service. So they want you in and out in like eight to 12 minutes. And that's it. And so you would never see a primary care physician for that long unless you were like probably like dying. And a psychiatrist you wouldn't. I don't think you would ever see for that long unless you were paying fully out of pocket for it. I guess To be fair, I should say I've, I've met with some other psychiatrists in like emergency room settings, but never enough to like actually have a conversation with me. It was like, is she going to be put in under the Mental Health Act? Or is she not? And that was it. Crazy.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, this is wild. Okay. So for anyone listening in the States, I do not recommend accepting a mental health medication for my primary care doctor, we really should be getting that from a psychiatrist, they should be working with a therapist, right? But if if, if your panic disorder is preventing you from leaving the home or whatever it mean, please accept the medication by your primary just to kind of get going but always follow up with mental health services from a therapist or an outpatient program intensive outpatient, what you know, whatever that looks like, but um, yeah. And then also, my advice is, if you are onboarding with a new medication, you should be communicating with that provider within the first, certainly month, but probably a few weeks,

Laurie Edmundson:

whole weeks. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that that's really important is I mean, I've been prescribed antidepressants at a walk in clinic multiple times. And they've never seen me again, or never called me to follow up. Definitely not ideal. I don't, I don't recommend that. But I mean, at least in BC, and I'm pretty sure the rest of Canada, like you're not necessarily going to have the ability to go get a psychiatrist that easily unless you're paying out of pocket. So my feedback is get on the waitlist, you can through anything, if you're a First Nations person in BC, look up NHS, virtual doctor of the day psychiatry program. But otherwise, like, you just can't call a psychiatrist and get an appointment that quickly. So just make sure you have a doctor that you trust and that you can communicate with regularly because antidepressants are so funny. Like, I know so many people that will start taking antidepressants, and they're like, Oh, yeah, so I've been on antidepressants for two days, and I feel great. Well, that is called a placebo. SSRIs are most likely what you've ever been prescribed. And they usually take like two weeks to even start working. And so you won't really know whether or not they're working for you within like a couple of days. And some mental health medication. If it's not working, it's not working and you need to go in immediately or you need to like call your doctor at least and help get some sort of plan for stopping to take them you don't necessarily want to hit stop taking them cold turkey but yeah, you definitely don't want to stay on them for like six months if you're only going to see your doctor in six months.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, okay. So do you guys. So we have like a lot most insurance plans, we'll have a telehealth, like application, they can see providers through them. They can see tele psychiatry as well. Do you guys have something like that?

Laurie Edmundson:

Well, because of the pandemic telehealth has become a lot more common. But I don't think that tele psychiatry is easily accessible through insurance companies here. Yes, like I'm just gonna look while we're talking. I'm pretty like I have both my insurance and my my partner's insurance and both of them are pretty good. And I'm like 99% confident I do not have any sort of psychiatry services.

Sara Amundson:

Okay, so I'm talking like even before the pandemic regions has always approved in the states Tella psych surfaces,

Laurie Edmundson:

which makes sense because you don't need a physical exam. But yeah, yeah, here is not that common, but I guess also, though, I'm sure the insurance companies in Canada are less futuristic in a way because we don't need to rely on our insurance companies as often right like here. I don't need an insurance provider to go to the doctor or to go to the hospital. The Lord to get most medications. So it's a little bit different, I guess.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, that's so wild. Okay, well, while you're googling, yeah, mental health medication, I mean, there's the one of the things that I feel like we couldn't get off of this episode without talking about is there's so much stigma associated with accepting a med for your mental health, but I just like to reframe it as in. Like, listen, if your body doesn't produce the right amount of dopamine and serotonin that is no different than like your kidney not working correctly, or you're like being diabetic. So I don't want anyone to go months or years of their life being miserable. If it's as easy as let's just fix your serotonin and dopamine that is never ever ever going to replace skills work. But in the you know, sense of having just depression or anxiety or something like that. Please, take some freakin meds, like let yourself feel joy, you were not born to not feel joy. And so if if all it takes is, you know, taking some Prozac, like, please just take the Prozac. And if you have to take the label off of the bottle and trick yourself into thinking it's a vitamin do that, like Do whatever you need to take the medication if it's going to make you experience the world in a way that feels better.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, and I think that, like we should have a really long discussion near the end of the episode about stigma specifically about taking mental health medication, I just found my benefits. So I get a combined $500 a year for social workers they call psychologists or clinical counselor. So no psychiatrist, and $500 a year for a psychiatrist would get you like two appointments, so it wouldn't even help. So yeah, I'm,

Sara Amundson:

I'm not even joking. I have seen my psychiatrist at least eight times this year. Monday will probably be like nine.

Laurie Edmundson:

And I also work at Health Authority, like a government type position, and I get $500 a year for not psychiatry. Anyways.

Sara Amundson:

So Canada, get your shit together

Laurie Edmundson:

Who would have thought? No, our mental health system is not great. I have to admit.

Sara Amundson:

well our president isn't great.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, true. Yeah. So anyhow, um, we didn't talk about libido, we never got there. But libido sucks. I like so that is a sign. That's a really common side effect for mental for SSRIs. So like, erectile dysfunction is really big. But also I feel like we don't talk about it enough. But like, female sex problems, is also a really common SSRI side effect. And I know so many people don't take it because of those side effects. And to be honest, sometimes I kind of get it. But they do seem to go away with long term use. So I can't remember the exact amount of time but I want to say like three to six months is like when you'll probably start to kind of not notice that anymore. And I it sucks. And like it's not necessarily fun for you or your partner, but it's still worth being healthy, to not be as interested in sex all the time. I don't know. Sorry. You were saying that doesn't happen to you, but I'm jealous.

Sara Amundson:

I was all laughed. I'm certainly with other medications. Yeah, I know, I resisted being medicated for a really long time. And I wish I would have just, you know, done it so much earlier in my life. Because I would have been far more adaptive and healthy in my relationships. But a big part of a big part of it, for me was thinking like borderline personality disorders already taken so much from my life, that I'll be damned if it takes my sex drive from me, when really like, That never happened for me. So I think it's just, you know, communicating effectively with the provider who's prescribing the medication and saying, like, if that's an issue for you, or if that's something you're worried about saying like, Look, I want to still be banging Monday, Wednesday, Friday like

Laurie Edmundson:

that. Yeah. And I think also like, just having having a conversation with your partner and being like, hey, FYI, like it's nothing against you. But I might just be a little bit like off my game for the next month, or whatever it is. I know that we've had that conversation before. Just like if I'm switching a medication, it's just one of those things where you're like, hey, like, FYI, these are the things that might happen. Also, like, if you see anything happening, that's super weird. Can you please let me know because sometimes you can't necessarily tell that there's changes happening and somebody else can so it's helpful to even have like a friend or a co worker that can be that person for you.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, I think that's super good advice. And I used to historically always tell Tory, if there was like a In my medication just to kind of keep her like in the loop, right, we were living together like we were, you know, obviously in a partnership, so she could notice if I was, you know, having some sort of weird side effect that I couldn't name. Mads, what else do we got?

Laurie Edmundson:

Well, let's talk about stigma. Because this is a really interesting one. I do a lot of wealth, pre COVID. Obviously, I do a lot of like speaking events, and q&a is and all this stuff. And I'm always asked about medication every single time I do a q&a. And I'm totally happy to have that conversation with people. I always say, it's exactly what I said earlier in this episode about, you know, it's sometimes helpful to like, get you out the door, get you to counseling, whatever. But it's not a replacement for that. So I try and take all the judgment away from it. Then, a couple of years ago, my friend and I were both at an event, we were both saying this about medication. And then after the event, we were just like having a cup of coffee. And we were like, Oh, my God, both of us were in a really bad place. And neither of us wanted to start taking antidepressants. Again, because of the self stigma and shame that we had gone to therapy, we were in a good place. How Why can we possibly need medication again, this is so stupid. And I had let myself get into this really deep hole, just because of the self stigma that I have, I have no issue with people taking medication, I would never tell anybody else in my life to not take medication, but I was treating myself completely differently than how I was treating others. And so again, like I got back on medication, and I was really happy about it. And I think part of that is ingrained in me from childhood and not to sound classic psych podcast, let's talk about our childhood all the time. But as I was saying earlier, like, um, let's please talk about our childhood all the time. There you go. One of my parents is like very anti medication, and one of them is not, and I literally had to hide my medication from one of my parents and my parents were divorced. My mom would hide my antidepressants in like little pad packages and put them in my like lunch box. And I think that that really messed with me to be perfectly honest. Um,

Sara Amundson:

yeah, that's, that's a lot.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah. And like, again, I'm not gonna say which parent is which. But I think that the parent that was really anti medication has realized now that like, it's my body, I can do what I want. But I was like, 12 at the time, so I can see where a parent might feel differently. But the stigmas all around us. And I think with, let's say, our generations, kids, it'll be a lot different, because this is kind of commonplace now. But just, yeah, don't just try and avoid shaming yourself or others about taking medication, because like Sarah said, if your kidneys didn't work, you would take medication for your kidneys, or, you know, if you had cancer, you'd go on chemo. Like, it's, there's no judgement about that your brain is part of your body.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, and nobody like wants you to, you know, muscle through it, or like, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, or whatever, like, nobody expects you to do that, if you need this thing, it's just a tool. It's another tool in our toolbox. You don't have to be on it forever. You can try it and then decide, this isn't for me. But you're just holding your back from the potential you're holding yourself back from the potential of living a higher quality of life by not being willing to try and I can say 110% my quality of life is much better when I'm medicated.

Laurie Edmundson:

So hypothetically, if you weren't in a relationship anymore, because you said that that's something that, like, you don't need medication, when you're not necessarily in an intimate relationship, would you stop taking the Zoloft? Or would you continue to take it just because it still kind of improves your quality of life?

Sara Amundson:

So okay, I'm not in the business of lying to people at all, or on this podcast, so obviously, I've been pretty open about like, Tori and I are currently separated. And when I was traveling on the road, I was living in my car, like, not seeing anyone that would trigger me. I didn't take medication the entire time.

Laurie Edmundson:

Really. So you had actually stopped and now you're back on it.

Sara Amundson:

I'm not even really taking it now. Because I'm still not triggered. I'm still not saying Tori. We're not really talking much. So

Laurie Edmundson:

You're l ving with your parents, girl. I ean, God, I would be double my medication.

Sara Amundson:

Um, yeah, I guess there's some boundaries around that. I mean, I'll be interested to see what my psychiatrist says on Monday when I'm like, Yeah, I haven't really been taking it much. But um, I don't have a good answer for that other than if I were living with my partner, and actively involved in a marriage or an interpersonal like relationship. That's intimate. That I would be taking it every day. But because I'm not and I feel really regulated independently right now, I'm not taking it. I'm also not experiencing any depression or anxiety right now. And I think it's okay to celebrate and let my body do what my body wants to do if I'm feeling safe, but if I start to notice myself becoming like, easily dysregulated or not being able to self soothe or use skills, then I'm just gonna get back on it. And it's still like Zoloft has a long shelf life. So there's plenty of that rolling around.

Laurie Edmundson:

That's kicking in there. Yeah, totally.

Sara Amundson:

And I take a pretty hefty dose of I don't know what what milligram you take, but I'm prescribed 150 milligrams daily.

Laurie Edmundson:

I think I'm 125.

Sara Amundson:

Okay.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, yeah,

Sara Amundson:

I don't know. I think generally, anything over 100 is a pretty, pretty good dose of Zoloft. But again, anybody listening, right, like we're not talking from I'm not even talking from the standpoint of being a clinician, I'm just talking to Sarah, like, yeah, this is currently what I'm doing. I'm not saying this is something other people should be doing and just saying, I feel really regulated right now. I'm not having any like suicidality, no self harm, no arguing with people no name calling, yes. Screaming No, you know, like,

Laurie Edmundson:

an even if we were going to tell you what to take, which we're not, don't sue us. It is so different for every single person, like when I was in DBT. I was in a group and we would you know, talk about medications and whatever and like I would let's say I was taking Wellbutrin and Seroquel. And my friend was taking Wellbutrin and Seroquel. And for him, that was the worst possible medication combination that has ever existed. For me, it was life changing, or whatever it is. It's crazy. Like it's not Wellbutrin.

Sara Amundson:

And Zoloft For me it was awful.

Laurie Edmundson:

Right, exactly. But it's interesting that we're both taking Zoloft right now. Because it's like, kind of funny, but I think that's just a coincidence. It's so personal. And we would never be able to even give any sort of advice on what to take. It's all between you and your doctor, if you're in Canada, you and your psychiatrist if you're in the States, and just being aware of your own body is so important.

Sara Amundson:

And again, just like communicating it, what do you What's the primary goal of the medication right? For me, the primary goal has always been manage my depression so that I'm not having suicidal ideation or planning or thoughts. And keeping me at a place where my subsequent units of distress are low enough that I can notice them. For other people, like the goal of being on medication might look completely different. So I just think we have to be clear about that. And then, like, you also have to practice your, you know, staying present and mindful as you're taking medication to figure out like, Is this working?

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, I think my goal of taking medication is the therapy goal is definitely to help me sleep. And if I don't sleep, then I I can't use my skills, and I'm a terrible human being. Um, nobody likes me when I'm tired, which is all the time. But my antidepressant I think, really is just to help me not be overwhelmed by trying to use the skills and going to counseling because there was a point like I have chronic neck pain. I was going to you know, rmts Cairo's, physios and counseling all the time, and it was so overwhelming that I would just like come home and cry, because I could not deal with it. And it was like, Okay, well, maybe I need a little bit of medication, to help me be able to deal with the things that I need to do to keep myself healthy and exercise and do all this stuff. So yeah, I think that's the goal for me.

Sara Amundson:

I might resonate with that so much. I was doing a two day, two day a week DBT program and seeing my therapist once a week and seeing my psychiatrist once a week and working full time. And I was like, I'm going to explode trying to get from, like, one part of downtown Portland to the other part of downtown Portland to get to DBT. And then to get to like, I was like, I can't do all of this.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, sometimes the appointments themselves are what is, like traumatic for me, like, honestly, it's so much and it's valuable, but like, sometimes I just can't do it.

Sara Amundson:

Wow. Anyways, meds

Laurie Edmundson:

Whoo. Yeah. So I think like in summary, a I love what Sarah's saying about know, you know, what your goal is for the medication, like it may even be useful to write that down. But before you go to a doctor, and just say, like, this is my goal, and then you can kind of assess that goal as you go. But also just if you're comfortable, tell one person in your life. Hey, look, I take antidepressants, because I mean, statistically speaking, they probably do too. And there isn't. There doesn't need to be shame in having to take a medication, temporarily long term, whatever it is, just If we can all be a little bit more open about it, I think we'll be in a much better place as a society.

Sara Amundson:

100% sister,

Laurie Edmundson:

I'm with you. Awesome. Well, yeah, maybe we'll try and get a doctor on here one time to talk about meds and like a more sophisticated way.

Sara Amundson:

My like, I'm sometimes I'm so pissed. My therapist is so good at boundary setting because I'm like, I want to have you on the podcast.

Laurie Edmundson:

Right? Well, I do have a doctor in mind. And I haven't messaged her yet. But I was driving today. And I was like, I wonder if she'd be into it? And she probably would. So yeah, definitely. If that's particularly interesting for you to hear a doctor's perspective, let us know. But if not, we might do it anyways, because

Sara Amundson:

well, I love you so much, everybody go take your meds if you're listening. Yes. And we'll talk to you guys soon. Hi, friends. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the bold, beautiful borderline podcast. orien. I are so grateful that you're here with us on this journey. And we can't wait to dive into more topics in the future with you all about borderline, and even have some more fun and exciting guests to join us on the podcast. If you really enjoyed this episode, we would love if you would rate review and subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen. We would also love to see you interact with us on social media and on our Patreon page, the links to that are included in the show notes. So check us out there. We would be incredibly honored to get to know you all as you get to know us and our recovery stories. We love you and we'll see you next time.