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Friday, October 7, 2011

My Gratitude Journal: Medicine

Okay, it's confession time. Like Stephanie Burnett, I sometimes suffer from chemically-induced depression. It's a black hole, sucking me in, making me think the world is hopeless, my life is hopeless, everything is hopeless. It's nasty.

Over time my doctors have helped me to discover that this illness is based on my body's inability to produce and/or manage serotonin, an important chemical in our brains that controls all kinds of things. The serotonin imbalance, inherited from my father's family, is also the primary source of the migraines that have flattened me now and then over the years.

It's been a relief to realize that medicine can help, that the onus for "getting better" is not all on me, that it's not just a matter of trudging on.

Today I am grateful for medicine. A century ago, people with undiagnosed serotonin imbalances were considered moody or lazy or just plain nuts. Today I am functional and productive because of good medical care and pharmaceutical advances that can help my body do what it should do naturally. With my brain chemistry properly in balance, I can even overcome the primitive fears that give me resistance to writing.

I'm grateful for medicine. I'm grateful for help. I'm grateful for hope.

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