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Seeking perspective of conservative Christian women with a complementarian view of marriage


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I agree with you. Years ago, I needed to make a decision about medical treatment. Dh would have gone either way but supported me in my decision. It is still my body. I would support him in whatever decision he makes.

Now, your dh has a point about being careful because it may affect your family, however, if you gradually reduce dosage and if he can monitor effects together with you and you discuss any observations together, it should be fine. Is he concerned you want to stop at all cost regardless if your OCD flares up?

Also, have you tried CBT or other techniques to manage symptoms?

Edited by Liz CA
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I would speak to his fear. What effects did your unmedicated symptoms have on your family?  Are you willing or able to increase your meds again if those symptoms reappear?  (These are rhetorical questions but ones that it might help to discuss with your dh). 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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I feel like this is something I would have discussed with my dh before changing my medication.  Your husband may be aware of how the medication affects you (both positively and negatively) better than you do.

Also, with everything else going on in the world, this would not be a time that I would choose to change medication that I had been taking that long.

Yes, I think that ultimately you should control what you put in your body, but I also think that your dh needs to be at least part of the discussion (even if he is not part of the decision).

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11 minutes ago, MercyA said:

@Ausmumof3, I have had conversations with my doctor (not this week) about the side effects of my med, and I know he would support me trying what I am in the way I am (slow reduction). 

I think if you have the support of a doctor for what you’re doing you get to choose what medication goes into your body.  I would probably consider trying to speak to them though. fwiw I grew up in a more submission model religion although my foo dynamics didn’t look like that.  Even in that context I don’t believe there would be support for someone being forced to take medication against their will unless it was strongly professionally indicated.  While the model was a head of the household model the expectation was the head of the household would put his families needs before his own.  I do think keeping both your DH and doctor in the loop going forward would be best though.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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I do feel you should have complete control of what you take. However, honestly, I was within a hair's breadth of marital separation (with the intent that it would be forever) over ADHD meds needing to change (not mine). The thing that stopped it was an emergency (death in larger family), not the situation resolving itself (which it did, eventually). 

There are also an unfortunate number of times I've dug in on other non-medical issues too because my QOL was suffering too much to leave things as is.

So, yes, you have control, but if those doesn't go well, are you okay with the fallout? Is there a plan? Perhaps your DH needs a planned agreement about what parameters he can live with and what you're willing to do if those parameters are not met. 

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Mercy, I logged in for the first time in forever to respond to this for you. I am not religious and I don't share your views about marriage so my perspective may not be useful to you, but I would just ask how your husband's headship extends to other decisions about your personal healthcare or what you put in your body? If you felt like you should see a doctor for say a lump in your breast and the doctor said it's cancer, here are the treatment options from conservative to aggressive, would you expect your husband to have a stronger voice than you in choosing the course of treatment?  If you decided to start drinking coffee, would you expect to need to consult him about that?

Sometimes it is helpful to separate the aspects of the issue and see if you would feel and think the same way in other similar situations.

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my first thought was of the women on this board who have bipolar husbands, and the very real negative issues it causes for their entire family life and well-being when the husbands refused to take medication. - because they didn't like how the medication made them feel.  (even though they were more functional.).

I think you need to be open with your husband - and your dr.

 

Edited by gardenmom5
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My thoughts are more around, why didn't you tell him? Did you spend a long time deciding (so he might think you purposely hid it) or was it spur of the moment (he might worry that you hadn't given it due consideration first)? Were you trying to circumnavigate a response you didn't want? Why this week? Is this unusual behaviour for you?

I'm assuming here that your husband is basically a decent sort who loves you and your family, so with that in mind - what was he specifically unhappy about? Does he generally want to have a deciding vote about things with your body (haircut? Clothing type?)

I think my dh would want to know this sort of thing upfront, as a) it could effect the family, b) he'd want to support me and c) would want to have a conversation about good timing for a & b. He might feel I had manipulated the situation, and that I was excluding him from important family business.

I don't know, I would be very upset if he expected me to run every ibuprofen by him first, but SSRIs are serious business. Is he afraid of a return to some previous difficulties?

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I absolutely agree with the notion that you have control over everything you put in your body.  In general you have complete autonomy.

But I'm wondering why now, and why didn't you discuss it with him first.  If you are hiding it there may be other mental health and marriage aspects at play.  Generally (not specific to you) with many mental health issues people think they are doing okay, they go off of their meds, it becomes increasingly clear they are NOT okay (to everyone but them first), and they tend to make awful decisions like ending good marriages.  Having control over your medications is one thing.  Being secretive or deceptive about changing them is another.

I also question the timing.  A pandemic is a time when even otherwise healthy people often act like they have OCD.  It is likely to flare up right now due to external stresses.  And it isn't like you have unlimited abilities to see a physician right now and tweak your doses.  So while I see your point, if I were your DH I'd be annoyed at not discussing it with him too.  At the very least so he can tell you when your symptoms have returned and make you aware of it.  Because you are likely to be the last one to notice.

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I feel that a spouse (assuming a normal, healthy relationship) should have significant input on any decision that affects family life.

Based on my own experience, having been both the spouse living with the effects of a spouse with similar untreated issues *and* (at a different time) the spouse who needed treatment, I would say that the opinion of the spouse without mental health issues should be given more weight in the decision-making process. (Again assuming healthy relationship.)

I am saying this type of decision is a joint decision, but the more mentally healthy spouse's opinion should carry more weight.

So, for example, when I was the one needing to medicate, although I wasn't completely sold on it initially, I gave more than the usual consideration to his opinion. (and he was right) He lives with the consequences of the decision too, and with mental health issues there is a good chance the person with the issues is unable to have a truly accurate picture of how things are.

I have had a number of friends with various mental health issues over the years. Although I have seen several of them make decisions about medication and treatment based on their own feelings about it, those decisions have never had good results. I'm not saying their opinions shouldn't matter at all, but mental health issues skew perceptions and they are always the last ones to realize when things are off.

When I was in the position of your husband, and my spouse made unilateral decisions about medicating/treating or not, it was extremely difficult to handle. Yes, it was his body. But he was making decisions that *greatly* affected the entire family, not to mention our relationship itself, and doing so when things were *finally* improving. It was beyond hurtful, and I despaired of our relationship ever recovering. Your dh may feel differently, this was just how I felt.

It's worth pondering why you didn't discuss it beforehand. It's not like adjusting your multivitamin, kwim? And why now? Adjusting these kinds of meds can be hard at the best of times. 

Assuming all else is good, I would think that he might react better to an approach that involved your doctor and input from him. Perhaps an agreement to closely monitor and an agreed upon threshold that, if crossed, results in upping the dosage again? I don't know the particular med and effects, so this would vary. It might also be better approached at a time that is not in the middle of a pandemic, when medical care may be less available and stress is not so high.

Also, (((hugs))). These things are so difficult to work through, for both spouses.

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So I think your could say our marriage was started and generally runs under (possibly pushing the limits on) a complementarian viewpoint. I also have my own issues I keep in check usually (not at all as well now) with supplements, so I appreciate that part of what you're dealing with too. And I'll say that my dh has never tried to *force* me to take meds, even though he has been very frustrated with some things. See I think part of the challenge there is that *I* haven't understood what was going on and seen the pattern or needs. However you HAVE. And what I think is interesting is that he didn't FORCE you on meds, but he's just very politely saying hey, you're really unwise to try to go off them right now. And so that friendly, helpful, insider observation is getting skewed by all these feelings of he isn't me, it's my body, headship, blah blah. But WHAT IF he's literally just being helpful? 

So instead of viewing it as controlling, I would first honestly examine what if he's RIGHT?

Next, I STRONGLY agree with the others who are saying that it's highly unlikely that this is a good time to go off your mental health meds. In fact, I will very politely suggest it's the opposite, that you may need MORE meds.

I get that you don't like the side effects of the meds, but I have to question why a doctor would take you OFF them if they were life altering (which it sounds like they were) and if you are UNABLE TO GET OTHER SUPPORTS. You could say well I'm going to start telehealth counseling, meeting weekly with a psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in mental health and we're going to use CBT and other strategies. Fine. Then you'd have a PLAN. But right now your plan is that your chemistry will be better because your theology is better. And if that worked, you wouldn't have needed the meds in the first place.

I'm much more concerned that your meds are giving you side effects. I BELIEVE IN THE PATIENTS BILL OF RIGHTS. You have the right to self-advocate, to say no to medication. But you should START by talking with your doctors and getting better care. If this is a GP, then it sounds like it's time to move to a pdoc. And *odds are* you can get a pdoc right now, even with the shut downs. Seriously. So if your GP is the one who never got your plan to where you can feel well and have your symptoms under control, then GET A NEW PDOC. There are also really expensive doctors who work kind of holistically, doing lots of labs. It might be you'd have some options, like a special form of magnesium or some 5HTP. This stuff is out there. If you want alternatives, maybe a doctor who can speak to both the genetics and supplements *and* the medications could find you a blend. I absolutely agree that you have the right to want to feel better.

So when we were newly married (and REALLY STRONGLY of that complementarian viewpoint), my dh thought it was crazy I spent so much money at the dentist. He was like I never go, I never have cavities, it's all a crock. And I said well you know what, you do you and I'll do me. Because *I* have to live with the consequences of that decision, so it's *my* decision to make. And I still feel that way. That would be completely inappropriate for a man to override a woman and say don't go to the dentist when she wants to. It's her body and her consequences, so it's her choice. But on mental health, is it only your body, your consequences, your choice? No.

So you want the most positive construction on it you can, not the anxiety ridden, meds are not right during a PANDEMIC, interpretation, kwim? That would be a really anxiety driven interpretation to say he just doesn't want you to feel well and be slim and energetic. There's no way that's what he means. If you put on the table options that will be a SOLID PLAN to keep your mental health stable AND let you feel well, he'll be all for it. He's not omniscient and he doesn't know all the options. You have to find the options. I'm with you on wanting options, and I would not be happy with those side effects too. 

So maybe this is the time to say you know it's expensive, but it's time to see a pdoc. It's time to have weekly sessions with a psychiatric nurse practitioner till you get this under control and are completely happy with your care. 

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These are your RIGHTS and they're especially important in the mental health field. And it's not about a balance, like oh well he's allowed to run over my rights or the pdoc is allowed to run over my rights. No, the bill of rights HELP YOU SELF ADVOCATE. You have the right to say you don't like your health care plan, that you don't like the side effects. 

https://www.verywellhealth.com/patient-bill-of-rights-2317484

So there's the link. Read them. 

Look, I have a loved one who takes a significant amount of psychiatric meds. This personally occasionally goes off the rail, often when stressed about something, and just decides to DROP things. Almost always it's in conjunction with stress (which you're under) and almost always it's UNWISE. In fact, it usually lands this person in the hospital for a few weeks. You want to be in a ward right now getting your mental health straightened out? What happens if you go off the meds and are WORSE? What is your family supposed to do with you if you have not only the usual withdrawal but worse challenges because of the extremely high stress right now??? Why are you willing to rock the boat and make THEIR stress higher??? How is that loving???

It's not loving. It's anxiety. If you want better medical care, ask for it. Tell your dh that you want better access to medical care. You have the right in marriage to ask for that and he would need to, as a complementarian, say sure I'll make the money happen. THAT is his responsibility. That's what complementarian really means, that it's his job to make that happen. So if you haven't been asking for better care because of money, now is the time. You should have access to a better practitioner and weekly mental health sessions till you get it under control AND are comfortable with the plan. 

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3 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

my first thought was of the women on this board who have bipolar husbands, and the very real negative issues it causes for their entire family life and well-being when the husbands refused to take medication. - because they didn't like how the medication made them feel.  (even though they were more functional.).

I think you need to be open with your husband - and your dr.

 

As the spouse of someone who is significantly impacted by mental illness, this is my opinion:

Mental illness can be absolutely devastating to relationships; while I wholeheartedly agree that in general an individual should be able to control what goes into their body, I also believe that it is my responsibility to not permit a person with a malfunctioning brain to make decisions that will negatively impact my entire family. The only way for my marriage to survive is for my husband to allow me significant input into his medication and other mental health care decisions because when his brain is malfunctioning he is simply not aware enough of his behavior and its impacts on the family to make those decisions on his own.

Ultimately, of course, he could refuse treatment.

His mental illness, left untreated, would have completely destroyed our family. I would have had to make whatever decisions were necessary to protect myself and our children. If the only thing I could control were whether I stayed with him or not I would have had to leave him.

Fortunately, he has allowed me to have significant influence in his treatment decisions. Eighteen years into this journey his mental health is the best it has ever been. Our marriage is the best it has ever been. He is a better dad than he has ever been.

 

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My husband often (almost always) has a better handle on the status of my mental health than I do. I can "self check" and *feel* very aware of where I'm at emotionally, but his objective and loving and supportive analysis is almost always more accurate. He would not try to force me to take or stop taking any medication, but if his opinion of my current mental state differed significantly from mine, that would give me pause.

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6 hours ago, Liz CA said:

Also, have you tried CBT or other techniques to manage symptoms?

Yes.

6 hours ago, Junie said:

I feel like this is something I would have discussed with my dh before changing my medication. 

We have discussed it so many times. I thought a (temporary) "blind trial" would result in less biased feedback.  

5 hours ago, moonflower said:

Hey Mercy I tried to send you a message but it says you're not receiving them. I don't want to be pushy but if you are open to one please let me know.

Definitely! I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much. My mailbox was full; you should be able to send a message now.

Everyone else: if you asked questions, I'm not ignoring you! There are more posts that I want to respond to, but it will have to be later today. Thanks so much, all. 

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Fwiw, I don't think a blind trial during a pandemic with the entire country shut down and everyone at high stress is probably going to give you the data you need. I can see why you want that. I once tried something (for an issue that needed some treatment) without telling people. I will tell you that the outcome of that trying was very negative. A lot of hurt feelings. A trial like that can be fine if it works out WELL. But what happens if it doesn't and you're destabilized and they're trying to cope with it when they're already stressed??? That's a worst case scenario. And some people don't respond well to things. 

So it seems to me if you've tried CBT and it wasn't enough, then you've got a chemistry problem. And chemistry problems need chemistry solutions. Now you can want a DIFFERENT chemistry solution, sure! I'm all for that. But chemistry problems get chemistry solutions.

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Ok, this is totally bugging me that I can't remember what that type of doctor was called. If you want other options, it was this other kind of doc. They take you comprehensively, so you'll go in and spend like $1600 in one day (that's what it was in our area, several thousand, maybe it was $3k) and they run labs, genetics, EVERYTHING. And they're MDs, not a chiro or something. And they'll pull from EVERYTHING and put options on the table. 

And I cannot remember what the type of doctor was called, lol. People on the boards here told me about it in one of my threads. 

See, the mental health issues show up on genetics. It's not mysterious. So if you want other kinds of treatment or just a better ability to predict which meds would work with less side effects, there are ways.

I think I may have found it! It's called a functional medicine doctor. Look it up. Maybe there's one in your state and you could get on the waiting list. It's kind of a whole different approach to care, might get you some different answers if you're wanting different care rather than dropped care. And meanwhile, if that wait is long, I'd get my butt into a psychiatric nurse practitioner for med adjustment and telehealth weekly counseling. Just saying. The weekly to get the feedback so they get your meds stabilized. Or whatever they say obviously. But someone who only does psychiatry who has time to talk with you and listen to your concerns and work this out. And that might buy you some time to get in with the functional medicine doctor and get a different set of answers.

Edited by PeterPan
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7 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Functional medicine doc. Some are more useful than others.

Yes, thank you!!! I just found it in my search history, lol. 

And yeah, isn't that the story of life? I gave up on doctors for a long time (like 15 years), so I'm pretty skeptical on them. But, you know, pray over the pile, take a stabs. Or nuts, run genetics yourself and see how far you get. Maybe op can figure out why she's having the reactions and pick a better med for herself. That's what my dd has been doing. She even figured out why Zyrtec was making me not feel good. The answers are sometimes right there if you snoop enough.

Costs $69 on 23andme to get the genetics run.

Edited by PeterPan
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8 hours ago, Junie said:

I feel like this is something I would have discussed with my dh before changing my medication.  Your husband may be aware of how the medication affects you (both positively and negatively) better than you do.

Also, with everything else going on in the world, this would not be a time that I would choose to change medication that I had been taking that long.

Yes, I think that ultimately you should control what you put in your body, but I also think that your dh needs to be at least part of the discussion (even if he is not part of the decision).

This. 

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I am not sure where I fall on that complementation viewpoint, as I have always been fiercely independent, and it was a struggle to have someone else "in my space" for a long time.

My husband does have some input into my health and meds.  He really doesn't like me taking anything other than OTC for allergies or my inhaler.  He doesn't take anything else either.  However, I have some lines I have drawn in the sand.  I told him in no uncertain terms that when I give birth it is MY way as I am the one giving birth.  There will be drugs, and I will not have a natural birth.  I may or may not have added that when he gives birth, he can do it however he would like. 😁

So, I guess in your case, I would sit down and discuss and maybe let him know how you feel, why you want to do things the way you want to do them, and ask him to just support and give feedback (aka: this isn't working as you had hoped and I am hoping you will go back to the higher dose, or, this is working well, keep it up)

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Quote

 

I really do think that your husband should get a vote in your decision. I think the final decision is in your hands, at the very least there needs to be  a discussion. After all, your mental health affects everyone who is around you. I think this falls under "and the two shall become one." 

If it matters, I take anti-depressants as well. I was in pretty bad shape before I started them-even my pastor told me to go ahead and take the meds- and that really surprised me. I would not decrease my medicine with an eye toward going off of it without my husband's approval.

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Honestly, that you went to this being a complimentarian issue kind of flags for me that you may be in defensive mode. As the *wife* in a complimentarian marriage, I would be upset if dh adjusted mental health meds without bringing me into the decision. For a marriage to survive, let alone thrive, through mental illness there needs to be partnership in managing the illness. 
I see a lot of flags here- your choice to do this now, your choice to leave dh out of the decision, your choice to focus on this being a marriage authority issue rather than a legit concern from a husband who wants the best for your family (btw, when I started reading this, I thought you were going to say that he wanted you to go off the meds because of the sexual side effects and I was prepared to riot)...

As someone who doesn’t know you at all, I am concerned. I implore you to trust your dh. This isn’t about a man trying to “control your body.” This is about knowing that you have to trust those who love you to have input on mental health issues because you can’t rely on only your perspective. 
 

Lastly, I highly doubt your doctor would have signed off on you starting this right now. It’s one thing to be in agreement with the idea a month ago. A month ago we weren’t living with the stress we are today. 
 

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Mercy, you might look into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation; it is an FDA approved treatment for OCD.

My husband did TMS last fall for depression; it has been absolutely life-altering for us. 

Don't know if right now with all the social distancing is the right time for treatment as it requires many visits but do some research--and maybe get the process started for insurance approval as that can take some time.

Side effects are rare and minor compared to medication.

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Just clicked to figure out what the term complementarian view of marriage means...  read the rest of your post.  This has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity or your views on marriage rolls.  This is a mental health issue and you are trying to make it about a power struggle between you and your husband.  I'm not saying that to make you feel bad, but I think you need to take a step back and look at it from a mental health perspective instead of from a Biblical Marriage Worldview perspective.   If your husband loves you and is an otherwise supportive person, then he should have z say.  It affects his life and the lives of your kids.  Changing up meds without support would be a deal breaker for a lot of people.   It makes me wonder if you are experiencing extra symptoms,  possibly anxiety,  a loss of control over your world (which is totally understandable), and have decided to change meds bc you can control that. If so, you need to see your Dr to change meds or possibly counseling sessions.  

Right now is probably the most anxious any of us have ever felt.  Please take care of yourself.   Your husband and kids need you to be as fully functional as possible.   There is no shame in needing medication or therapy!  

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 I take an antidepressant for PMDD and clinical depression and I know that I need it. It does have negative side effects such as the ones you have mentioned. However, I am aware of what happens when I do not have the drug to help me. It's not good, and I would not be able to interact with my family in a healthy way without it.

My struggle in answering your question is not knowing how severe your OCD is.  Here is an example from my own life:  My mom has severe OCD and as of yet they have not found a medication that helps.  She is largely unaware of just how hard her OCD makes life for my dad.  And often she is actually defensive when we bring up how her "routines" are hard for us. Her OCD affects other health areas. For example, she gets a rash when she has bladder leakage because she wipes and wipes and wipes. She denies that she does this but the gynecologist told her that is why she gets the rash.  So because of this, she gets bladder botox to help the leakage. It's a temporary fix.  

I guess what I am saying is that in *some* cases, like my mom's, the person is not aware of how all their OCD behaviors are affecting others.  In the case of my mom, it is absolutely imperative that we get her OCD under control.  She has said things like "this is just the way I am now," etc. but that discounts the emotional toll on my dad of having to work around all her new routines, her new cleaning demands, etc.

In my mom's situation, absolutely I think my dad has the right to ask my mom to seek medication and continue it. 

I really can't answer for your situation. If I were in your shoes, I would personally want to know if your husband has fears about certain behaviors returning. I would make sure I listened well, didn't get defensive, and considered his feelings.  I would want to have a plan about what happens if I reduced meds and the behaviors returned/worsened. I would want to have a frank discussion about what OCD behaviors are persisting (if any) even on the medication right now. And I would consider if the cons of being on the medication exceed the pros of being on it.  

Edited by cintinative
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I don’t really fit the complementation view of marriage but am a Christian. But I agree, this isn’t really about that. 

I’m answering as someone who has a family member who suffers from a mental illness. I say this gently.....I firmly believe that in this kind of scenario that the partner and possibly even the children (if adults or teens) have the right to an opinion on meds for a family member when that person’s illness impacts their lives. I think that’s even more true now when people are isolating and staying home together. 

My Mom is bipolar and has from time to time stopped her meds because she doesn’t like the side effects or decides they aren’t helping or doesn’t want to take them. The result is always bad. Always. Always. She has very poor insight into her illness (which I do realize is part of her illness). She does not believe us when we tell her that it’s a bad decision based on previous times. And yes, she has the right to make her own decisions about what she puts into her body. But for these kind of meds it very much impacts others and I think we also have the right to tell her that we don’t agree with her decisions or even are upset by them. I’d say the same thing is true for your husband. 

I would agree with contacting your doctor and/or therapist. A lot of docs are doing televisits now so you could be seen without having to go in to an office. 

ETA: I agree with the poster above that I’m not commenting on whether or not you should stop your meds. I don’t know how severe your symptoms are or how much they impact your family. And it may be that it’s ok to do in coordination with a doctor. But I don’t think that it is unreasonable for your husband to want to have some input in this decision as it seems it has affected the family in the past. 

Edited by Alice
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I am your target audience. I don't think this is a complementarian, male headship issue. What is setting off alarm bells for me is that you want to do this without consulting with anyone. You are rationalizing doing this without a doctor's plan or your husband's input. That combo seems dangerous.

Meds or not are ultimately an individual's decision. However, in my marriage, I would not go on or off meds without at least speaking to my husband about it. And I wouldn't consider tapering without asking my doctor first.

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Not conservative, but I just figured I'd offer a perspective on stopping OCD meds. I developed OCD at age 5, but was not medicated for it until 2007 when I realized my life was completely out of control and a therapist told me that therapy wasn't the answer - medication to address my issue was necessary. I tried to go off that medication about 5 years later. It was a disaster. Within a week or two I was at the doctor's office convinced that I had cancer. I was planning my funeral as I drove to the doctor's office. I went back on the meds and within a week or two I was back to 'normal.' Yes, the meds have side effects. Yes, I wish I didn't have to take them. But my family needs me to be healthy, and having OCD symptoms, for me, is basically hell on earth.  If you do go off them, expect that your OCD will return. It's not something that just goes away. 

I'm sorry you're going through this. I've been there. 

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2 hours ago, maize said:

Mercy, you might look into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation; it is an FDA approved treatment for OCD.

My husband did TMS last fall for depression; it has been absolutely life-altering for us. 

Don't know if right now with all the social distancing is the right time for treatment as it requires many visits but do some research--and maybe get the process started for insurance approval as that can take some time.

Side effects are rare and minor compared to medication.

 

I knew it had been tried with good results for depression but didn't know it was now also used for OCD. Always good to know.

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In my marriage, I let DH know what the doctor recommended and why and then what I am planning to do unless he has an objection.  So far he hasn't, but if he did we would talk it out and come to a mutual decision, and he would leave the bulk of the decision to me.  I would never reduce or go off my anti-depressant without clear understanding between myself, my doctor, and my DH.  I did that once, and it went very badly.  I didn't realize how bad it was until I was back on it again.

I have known way too many people that have thought they were doing fine and they could decrease or come off their meds on their own, and it didn't go well.  The person coming off doesn't often notice the changes in their behaviors because it seems normal to them.

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On 3/29/2020 at 3:13 AM, moonflower said:

Mercy, I logged in for the first time in forever to respond to this for you. I am not religious and I don't share your views about marriage so my perspective may not be useful to you, but I would just ask how your husband's headship extends to other decisions about your personal healthcare or what you put in your body? If you felt like you should see a doctor for say a lump in your breast and the doctor said it's cancer, here are the treatment options from conservative to aggressive, would you expect your husband to have a stronger voice than you in choosing the course of treatment?  If you decided to start drinking coffee, would you expect to need to consult him about that?

Sometimes it is helpful to separate the aspects of the issue and see if you would feel and think the same way in other similar situations.

Thank you, this is helpful. In answer to the question about cancer, I would have the final say. Same about coffee. 

[Edited to remove personal story]

Edited by MercyA
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8 hours ago, LMD said:

My thoughts are more around, why didn't you tell him? Did you spend a long time deciding (so he might think you purposely hid it) or was it spur of the moment (he might worry that you hadn't given it due consideration first)? Were you trying to circumnavigate a response you didn't want? Why this week? Is this unusual behaviour for you?

I'm assuming here that your husband is basically a decent sort who loves you and your family, so with that in mind - what was he specifically unhappy about? Does he generally want to have a deciding vote about things with your body (haircut? Clothing type?)

I think my dh would want to know this sort of thing upfront, as a) it could effect the family, b) he'd want to support me and c) would want to have a conversation about good timing for a & b. He might feel I had manipulated the situation, and that I was excluding him from important family business.

I don't know, I would be very upset if he expected me to run every ibuprofen by him first, but SSRIs are serious business. Is he afraid of a return to some previous difficulties?

I didn't tell him because I was afraid it wouldn't be a fair trial if I did. In hindsight, I should have gone at least a month without mentioning it to him. I am still on the lower dose, now, though.

It wasn't spur of the moment. I've been considering it for a long, long time.

I know what his response would have been. He would have reluctantly allowed it and then worried about it and watched me like a hawk. 

It was unusual behavior in the sense that I generally take my medication religiously--but it was a deliberate decision on my part, not an impulsive thing.

Everyone keeps saying this is bad timing due to the pandamic, and I get that. However, you all have to trust me when I say *for me* it's very good timing, and that is one of the reasons I chose to do it now. No outside activities. Few social interactions. Few commitments. Plenty of time for good rest and relaxation. We have everything we need. I do not feel stressed.

Yes, he is always afraid of a return to previous difficulties.

I think some of these same questions were asked by others down thread. Hope this will serve as an adequate answer. I truly appreciate the concern and gentle input from all of you.

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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

But right now your plan is that your chemistry will be better because your theology is better. And if that worked, you wouldn't have needed the meds in the first place.

No, I'm sorry if you misunderstood. I don't believe my theology has any effect on the symptoms of this biological disorder. The research done by Jeffrey Schwartz has shown that CBT can have the same physical effect on the brain as meds--changing thought patterns can very literally change the brain. My thought patterns HAVE been changed, with the help of meds. I'm hoping that I can use a lower dose and still maintain healthy thought patterns and actions. 

Edited by MercyA
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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I'm much more concerned that your meds are giving you side effects. I BELIEVE IN THE PATIENTS BILL OF RIGHTS. You have the right to self-advocate, to say no to medication. But you should START by talking with your doctors and getting better care. If this is a GP, then it sounds like it's time to move to a pdoc. And *odds are* you can get a pdoc right now, even with the shut downs. Seriously. So if your GP is the one who never got your plan to where you can feel well and have your symptoms under control, then GET A NEW PDOC. There are also really expensive doctors who work kind of holistically, doing lots of labs. It might be you'd have some options, like a special form of magnesium or some 5HTP. This stuff is out there. If you want alternatives, maybe a doctor who can speak to both the genetics and supplements *and* the medications could find you a blend. I absolutely agree that you have the right to want to feel better.

I have a very good doctor who himself has family members with severe OCD. He has offered me all kinds of treatment options, from different meds to referrals for psychiatric treatment. I haven't had much success with supplements in the past, but I've never had extensive labs done, either.

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

See, the mental health issues show up on genetics. It's not mysterious. So if you want other kinds of treatment or just a better ability to predict which meds would work with less side effects, there are ways.

Oh, for sure. OCD not only runs in my family, it gallops. 😉 

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3 hours ago, maize said:

Mercy, you might look into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation; it is an FDA approved treatment for OCD.

My husband did TMS last fall for depression; it has been absolutely life-altering for us. 

Don't know if right now with all the social distancing is the right time for treatment as it requires many visits but do some research--and maybe get the process started for insurance approval as that can take some time.

Side effects are rare and minor compared to medication.

Thank you; I am reading about this at the iocdf.org site now. Unfortunately we do not have good insurance.

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40 minutes ago, MercyA said:

The research done by Jeffrey Schwartz has shown that CBT can have the same physical effect on the brain as meds--changing thought patterns can very literally change the brain.

I've read some of Schwartz's books...  He's done some pretty amazing research on OCD.  Has your dh read any of his material?  Schwartz does talk about changing the brain for people with OCD.  He believes in a "mind" that's separate of the "brain" that can exert will power over the brain and physically change it through therapy.

I don't know what to advise...  Your dh seems thoughtful and wise (according to posts of yours).  I'm sure he's concerned about past struggles returning.   At the same time, I get your wanting to try it on your own without biased observations.   Well now that it's all out in the open, I'd discuss and make a plan with your dh.  Perhaps you can both agree on a short-term trial period.  You can make separate charts and each record daily observations or something.  

I do know that for some people anyway, it can be very difficult to see how things like that might be affecting your perception and those close to you, so even though you seem very self-aware to me, I'd keep that in mind.   We feel pretty strongly that one of our children has OCD and it is wreaking havoc and heartache in our lives, although he doesn't see it at all.  So, that's of course in the back of my mind.  

And speaking of that, I'm sure my own dh has mild OCD (it's definitely hereditary), but over time, he gained the ability to step outside of it to see if it "made sense."  He says he still struggles with it inside, but he keeps it inside because he knows it's out of balance.  So just saying, you can definitely improve over the years!  (And my dh was a kid who in elementary school used to ask to go to the restroom mid-morning so that he could wash his socks in the bathroom sink...  they "felt" dirty even though they were clean just a few hours earlier.)

Maybe your dh needs to hear more about the people who improve!

Edited by J-rap
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