Ont this week’s episode Grace asks to be put on medication, and her therapist and family agree to try it. Jackie sits with her daughter as the first pediatric (low) dose of Xanax kicks in, and asks how she feels.
Grace talks about how she can feel her heart slowing down, and how she is starting to feel that she can say “No!” to the many ideas that are all demanding her attention. The ideas are still there, she says, but she now knows she has the power to ignore them if she chooses to.
I imagine that, for Ben, this is what his medication does for him. I know he is far from “cured”, but when he is stable on his medication he seems to have the power to turn the volume down on all that goes on in his head, and turn his attention to the outside world. Wothout the meds, the struggle is evident – and he usually loses the fight.
For nurse Jackie, who is addicted to narcotics, these pills are drugs. For Grace, they are medications, meant to balance what is off-kilter in her brain.
If I hear anyone – ever - say that we are “drugging” our children, I hope they know the difference. These purists have never spent hours in the Emergency Room admitting an ill relative, I’ll bet. I don’t wish it on them, either…but while medication isn’t the only component in a good treatment plan, it often is the cornerstone of it. It’s about getting closer to the balance that should exist in the brain. (I was going to stay “restore the balance” – but the medication has yet to be developed that can get that far, at least with schizophrenia).
So – no judgment, please. And kudos to the Nurse Jackie team for addressing this issue with sensitivity and balance.