When I was a student, I used to go for regular Vitamin B12 injections at the local pharmacy, and when a friend suggested I go for one as a “pick me up” the day before I had initially planned on going back to work, I thought it would be something good to wake up for and to get done, so I had a bit of an energy boost to face people at the office after my diagnosis.
I got up, felt ready to go do this, hell, I even managed to shower and get dressed without too much fuss. I got to the mall, and decided to try the first of two pharmacies. I knew I needed a backup in case I ran into any kinds of problems at one. Perhaps I preempted having problems with getting the shot, but after queuing patiently, I was met with a pharmacist who informed me that I needed a script to be able to get the shot. A vitamin shot, that – as far as I know – is not something that is necessarily addictive, but more just an energy boost for people who would like to prep themselves up a bit every six months or so.
Not to be too phased, I thought I’d try my luck at pharmacy number two, but still, no luck. Besides a swelling anger boiling up in me, I immediately thought of people out there who may be struggling with a low, creeping closer to a depression, who actually took the initiative to get help in a small way (like getting the shot) and being turned away, only to spiral into further darkness. Someone may have the courage to admit they need a pick me up, and then when they get turned away like this, could be further discouraged and believe the system really is working against them. If they are not in a place yet where they are ready to see a GP, then perhaps the system is failing them. Conversely, some may then actually go to a GP, but what are the chances that the GP will mention depression and talk about mental health? A vitamin B12 shot could simply be masked as “I need a boost, my energy levels are low”.
We need better systems in place, a better structure of support, especially if were going to tackle this worldwide disease. Let’s start having conversations and find new ways of making it easier for people to get access to the help they so desperately need, before things turn really dire.
Conrad was here.