Being a bloke means you can’t take medication

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Why don’t men take medications?

I would consider myself to be a ‘blokey bloke’ and as a result taking medication for me, was the equivalent of admitting there was a problem. My policy was not take drugs unless it was a life or death situation.

When I saw how medicine solved problems, I considered that;

  1. It was a sales ploy by the medicines manufacturers.
  2. They (the patient) should not have got themselves into that position in the first place.
  3. There must be other alternatives to medicines.
  4. The miracles of medications are often offset by side effects.
  5. Taking medication could be seen as a failure.
  6. You’re not as strong as the people around you
  7. You will be judged.
  8. There is a stigma to taking medication (especially headmeds).

But when the choice was either dealing with the discomfort or taking medicine, I would always choose the discomfort. After all, it usually sorted itself out after a while anyway.

What’s the difference between taking medications for mental conditions over physical?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Being a bloke means you can't take medication

I am aware that depression has played a major feature of my life and has, to a degree, shaped my personality. I don’t begrudge this as I am (today that is) reasonably happy with the way I’ve turned out. Of course, we all have our faults but I am happy to accept mine.

Mental Health verses Physical Health

As a paramedic, I often came across patients suffering some kind of physical trauma. It was both reasonable and morally right to administer some kind of pain relief, or a mixture of medications to maintain life. Yet, when it came to mental health it was somewhat different. This was partly due to the failures of the NHS to treat mental health on the same level as physical conditions. But it was also my male pride refusing to accept that I had a problem that could not cure itself.

My relationship with my headmeds

As you recall from my previous blog – My relationship with Sertraline. Is it ok to consider medication? . I was more than happy to welcome the idea of medication into my daily routine. After all, things were bad and I knew it. As stated, I was given a fairly low dose initially. I accept that it was possibly down to the fact to see how they agreed with me, but also to develop a build up into my system.

My dosage was increased after four weeks to double the original amount. Again, I was happy to give this a go.

Male Pride Can Be Our Downfall

I am so pleased that I did not allow my male pride to get in the way. I feel a lot better and I am aware that the medication has played a major role in this. If we consider, for example, that if I was diabetic, it would be acceptable to take insulin. This approach is sensible, correct and supported my recovery.

How do I feel now?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Being a bloke means you can't take medication

I have had the time to ponder and consider things around me. Firstly, my job was everything to me – it was my identity and it was my purpose in life. Yet, I now see that it was a means to pay the bills. My work often left me exhausted and removed me from thinking about my problems and not facing them head on. I now see that there are other ways of earning a living without the cost of my health.

Secondly, not seeing my daughter has been really difficult. However, I am aware that she is still young (2 years old) and I will be able to build a better relationship with her once this is all over. I won’t have the stress of my ex being present when I’m with her and all of the associated problems that she gave me. I am free of that relationship and I am happy to find out who I am – and I actually like me at the moment.

Listen up – hear what I am saying!!!!

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Being a bloke means you can't take medication

I want you to consider this – don’t be an idiot. Stop being a ‘blokey bloke’. Take the medications. Take the offers of help. You will start to feel better. Don’t get me wrong, I am of the firm belief that you (and I) will never be cured of depression, but it becomes manageable. It wont be a quick fix but if you want to be a ‘blokey bloke’ then you have to stick at it.