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Physician's Fact #9: Your Daily Medicine

I am a radiologist and I cannot tell you how many times I have stared at a CAT scan on my reading monitor that gives me chills. Time and time again I see the CAT scan of the brain of a patient who comes to the emergency room with a horrible headache and symptoms of a stroke.

catscanAnd there, before me on the imaging screen is a blob of white in the midst of the patient’s gray matter. What is it? It is a hemorrhage; a bleeding into the very substance of the brain. And, inevitably this bleeding occurred because the patient decided not to take their high blood pressure medicine.

You see, when you take your medicine every day and keep your high blood pressure under control (I know because I’ve had hypertension since age 17!) you feel good. You feel normal. And, the fallacy many patients fall into is this kind of thinking: “Since I feel better I must not need my medicine anymore so I will stop taking it.” And before you know it, you are lying on a stretcher being placed in a CAT scan gantry to look for a bleeding in the brain.

By now, you may feel so much better about your depression. Mark and I hope sincerely that this website and our book have helped you in your conquest of depression. But, what you must realize is that from now on, your struggle with depression will be a daily endeavor. Do not relax your daily plan. Do not stop using your LifeFilters. Do not stop asking that all important question, “What is the lie?” Because the lie is that you have conquered depression and now you can go back to the way things were.

My friend, the way things were is WHY you got depressed! You CANNOT go back to that lifestyle. You must move forward and this means keeping a daily routine from now on to keep your depression at bay. This is why the subtitle of our book is “conquering” depression. It is an ongoing battle and you cannot give in to complacency and go back into that darkness. Read this week’s Q&A for more information on this idea that depression can return. But for now, take your daily medicine! Keep your daily plan so that you can continue to conquer depression every day!

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