From the Edge: Editorial

 by Megan Irwin
 published on Thursday, November 17, 2005

Editor in Chief

A month and a half ago I couldn't get any sleep at night and I couldn't wake up in the morning. Nothing felt important, but at the same time, my responsibilities were suffocating me. When I almost crashed my car on the freeway in the middle of a panic attack, I decided to get help.

The doctor I saw diagnosed me with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Then he offered me the solution: a pill. I can take it and balance my brain. I can take it and feel normal and get things done. All of a sudden the world doesn't threaten to overwhelm me and my body doesn't threaten to crash my car. And that's fantastic.

But there's something that nags at the back of my mind every day -- I don't want to take a pill forever. This is something anyone who takes medicine regularly worries about.

Jaclyn Trecokas, the subject of this week's cover story ("Pins and Needles," page 8), shares my worries. She was prescribed many pills, though for a different reason (lactose intolerance). But none of them helped, so she gave up on the allergy shots, the chemical prescriptions and endless doctors appointments and started seeing an acupuncturist.

Now, I'm no needle-phobe (my frequent visits to the plasma donation center a few years ago cured me of that) but the thought of lying on a table while a doctor fills my skin with thin needles in an effort to harness my "qi" kinda freaks me out.

Still, Trecokas says "acupuncture pretty much saved my life," and that's a pretty powerful statement. She's no longer a slave to her medication or her lactose intolerance, and as a fellow mandatory-pill-popper, I'm pretty jealous.

Megan Irwin is the Editor in Chief of SPM. Reach her at

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