The more you worry about having to take medicine, the more you need to take them

Yes, and that’s all the point I want to make in this post.

Recently I spoke to a woman in her late 50s who has problem sleeping. She has been a patient since 15 years ago, but was never regular with medicination.

She has used all possible means to make herself sleep, taking wine, using chinese herbs, exercise etc. She just doesn’t want to depend on medicines. But she always comes back to see doctor and collect medicine when all other methods fail and she really needs some sleep.

So yes, she came back again last week. And since that visit she has called up the clinic several times. Every time asking about

  • When can I stop taking these medicine?
  • Can I start to reduce them now?
  • Will they harm my body?
  • What are the side effects and possible side effects?
  • What’s going to happen in long-term taking these tablets?

These are just some examples, under one topic/question she can ask in so many different ways and for so many times. (Eh? OCD?!)

At the end everyone couldn’t stand answering her questions repeatedly. So I’ve got the job. I told her that through our experience with many patients with either anxiety-related problems or with insomnia, the more she worries about needing to take medicine, the more she has to take it, it’s always like that. I asked her what has the focus of life becomes now?

All kind of worries about taking medicine.

The medicine is not likely to help her much if she continues to worry this way. So she won’t get well, so she’ll have to continue taking them. So she will continue to worry about taking them… … See the vicious cycle here?

So I asked her back why not continue with medicine, but shift her focus of life in something more meaningful, to how to live more healthily and happily? How about developing new interests, learning yoga, going swimming, forming new social relationships, improving familial relationship etc etc.

When she’s able to shift the focus and live more meaningfully and healthily, she may not even need the medicine without herself realising that.


越是担心吃药, 越是需要吃药?

当这过去十几年来一向难入眠的女士, 用尽方法却还是不能好好睡一觉, 她就会回来看医生, 通常每一两年至少来一次. 而这次拿了药回去后, 就开始不断地”电话轰炸”诊所, 问什么时候可以停药? 现在就停可以吗? 停了马上复发吗? 这些药有什么副作用? 对身体有什么害处? 一定要吃这些要吗? 等等等等. 每两到三天就来一通电话.

详细解释许多次后, 她却不见得可以明白. 下次打来, 还是问回这些问题.

所以我告诉她, 经验告诉我们, “越是担心吃药的人, 越是需要吃药, 往往也得吃得越久” 想想这么个担心忧虑法, 你的生活中心全是什么? 生活还剩下些什么?

本来吃药可能很快有效, 但是你这么一直担心, 东想西想, 日想夜想, 人可能反而更不舒服更忧虑, 结果要吃更多药, 然后又更担心忧虑, …恶性循环, 对吗?

何不就相信医生, 继续吃药, 同时好好地, 健康地生活, 培养新的兴趣, 做些运动, 建立社交生活, 改善与家人的关系等等, 在这情况些, 也许不知不觉中已经不需要再依赖药物了.

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