You probably know one or two of those women. You know, the moms who just can’t seem to hack it. They need *shifty eyes* Help. Those people see a shrink occasionally. They take *whispers* Medication. *gasp* I don’t know about you but I’d much rather actually enjoy my children with all my feeling and relax after they go to bed with a nice glass of wine. I don’t want to live through their childhood a zombie! I want them to remember an alert, happy mom. And sure, they may see me get a little frazzled, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Those poor women. there must be something wrong with them.
Bitch, you know wine does the same thing, right?
So put your wine glass down and let’s break it down.
Wine contains ethanol.
Ethanol (according to WebMD) temporarily blocks various nerve pathways to your brain. That’s why you can’t always physically feel things after a couple glasses of wine. Like your teeth. (That’s my first to go, and that’s weird. But whatever.) You don’t have access to all your nerve endings, then you don’t feel everything. So your give a damn is broken. Kind of literally.
SSRIs (Select Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) block the nerve pathways and their intensity.
Serotonin are the nerve pathways, essentially. They’re called “neurotransmitters” and, like the name suggests, they transmit signals between nerve cells. So the more serotonin you have in your body, the more intensely you feel things. SSRIs block some of the transmitters from firing off. So you feel things; but you feel them less intensely. And they do it so you can still legally drive and your kids don’t see your “Girls gone Wild” binger after they’ve colored on your freshly painted walls.
Both have scary side effects.
Yeah, SSRIs can make you want sex less. (Will you really be the first woman to just lay there mentally composing a grocery list, though? C’mon, You’d probably be too tired from stressed parenting to do anything else anyways.) But that’s not to say there aren’t legit nasty side effects to the meds. Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia and restlessness are all possibilities when taking an SSRI. (As is standard with basically any medication, so you’re probably not phased by those possibilities.) Some have bigger side effects like blood pressure issues and clotting issues, though. And those certainly aren’t to be taken lightly. It is not addictive.
Worthy of note here, though: If you do feel like a zombie, your dosage is messed up. Or you’re on the wrong drug. That is not how you should feel. You shouldn’t feel like you’re living your life looking through saran wrap. You shouldn’t notice anything except fewer panic attacks, screaming matches and outbursts at your kids. That’s what the meds are supposed to do. If they’re not doing that and only that, talk to your doctor until you get where you need to be.
But please don’t forget the side effects of alcohol. Not the least of which is this: Yo drunk ass is embarrassin’. Your kids probably shouldn’t see you coping with your stress like this. Because mommy may drool. And you actually can’t be drinking when you’re the most stressed. Like at a dance recital that you have to go to the same night of a big presentation at work and your other kid has baseball 15 minutes after it. Across town. Plus, remember when you drink the boozey on a regular basis your liver will not thank you. In fact, it may kill you for it. It is addictive.
How long do the effects really last?
SSRI works for extended periods of time. It’s in your system for long after you take it. And it takes an actual plan to wean yourself off, should you chose to do so. But a SSRI’s side effects, for the most part, are remedied by stopping it’s use. Your sex drive comes back. Your Blood pressure improves. Clotting gets better. (Most of the time. Not all, but most.)
Wine only stops the nerve feeling while you’re actively drinking it. So you can say “I don’t have a chemical in my body constantly modifying how I feel.” Bully for you. But remember, alcohol’s long term side effects don’t just go away if you stop drinking. (Except the Girls gone wild parts. Probably.)
So to completely over generalize it: SSRIs are ever present in your body and their side effects go away when they’re not. Booze only work when you’re using it and the side effects are for.ev.er.
Both have “natural alternatives.”
I feel obligated to tell you there are alternatives to just shutting down your brain pathways. You can always shove lavender up your vajayjay. Snort some ground up rose petals. Burn your house down with frankincense . (These are all terrible ideas… But actually those are the essential oils that are supposed to calm you. In case you want to spend an absolute fortune on not-medicine medicine. Hey, I’ve done it. I’m still undecided on actual effectiveness. Maybe that’s all you need.)
Most of the serotonin is produced in your stomach. That means there are foods you can eat to help balance you out. If you want to reduce your serotonin through diet: it’s high protein and low carbs for you. And didn’t we all know that it was going to be carbs? Because nothing makes you feel more than a fresh donut. But if you’re way stressed with your kids, you’re probably feeling too much anyways. So stop the donuts. And cry yourself to sleep with a protein shake.
The Dystopia Aspect.
I hear it occasionally: that “We’re medicating away the feelings!” line. That society is over-medicated and it’s all just to make a buck. (But anytime anyone says the phrase “Big Pharma” I start tuning them out and start picturing them trying to incense away the measles.) These people are convinced it won’t be long before we’re putting meds into the air to keep us all calm and complacent. I’m pretty sure this theory comes from people who’ve watched Serenity too much.
And I would certainly never hold that against a person. That shit is terrifying. But it’s still a choice. Your life is not a science fiction story, You get to choose how best to help you and your family. And unless they’re turning into a Reaver, you don’t get to judge how another person decides to handle it.
This isn’t a recommendation for pill popping.
My point isn’t that you should stop drinking wine and start popping pills. Although it probably sounds like it, huh? The point is that you have to understand that the other options are equally valid and justified. You don’t get to judge a person based on what makes their life better. Your life is not their life. And there is logic in each choice. Just do something if you need help de-stressing. No shame in it.
Because if you’re one of those people who don’t need wine or a medication, I’m sorry but I just can’t understand you. I got nothing for you. Being a parent is hard. If you don’t feel pressure doing it, you don’t understand the weight of it. If you don’t feel over-whelmed, then what? You could add more to your plate? I live at max capacity. For the sake of my family and for my own happiness. I cannot put anymore on my plate. Because I am doing as much for them as I can. Everyday. So when someone gets a cold, I am incredibly grateful I have a choice to help my family and make my “max” stretch a little more; Wine, Zoloft, Lavender Vajayjay. My call.
And, hey, if all else fails, we can always do them all.