Monday, February 11, 2008

A patient came in today wondering if an inexpensive test would tell her the state of her coronary arteries. When asked why she wondered about her heart, she replied that she experienced an unpleasant pounding sensation in her chest for hours each day and worried that she would soon have a heart attack. In fact, she'd recently been exploring some difficult past experiences with her therapist who had suggested she consider medication for her depression and anxiety. She was afraid, as so many people are, to try antidepressants.

I told her it was possible that she might not even know what it's like to live without anxiety as she'd apparently not been free of it for her adult life. I wished I'd had a copy of this poem with me to share with her. Here's an excerpt; it's written by a man who is undepressed for the first time in his life after starting Paxil:

I feel more like myself,
a feeling that can hardly be true
after 60 years of prowling
outside the fence, with the gates
locked, or scarier still, open,
swinging and I would stand there
paralyzed, afraid to step in
my feet starved for affection
and serotonin shooting itself
in the foot each time a foot perked up
and started to dance. But that can
hardly be true, the way I feel today,
so vividly myself, so grounded
you might say the first draft is done.
I'm in the process of revision.

1 comment:

Mauigirl said...

What a lovely poem in praise of Paxil! It is amazing how these drugs can help people who may have never felt normal for their whole lives.