Posts tagged psychiatric
Posts tagged psychiatric
I am officially tapering off of the Lexapro (which I’ve been on for over a year) and onto Cymbalta, which I have never tried before. Cymbalta really worked well for my sister, until she started experiencing severe side effects. So, we’ll see.
Today, BTW, I did a PHQ-9 and a Beck Depression Inventory. My depression is “severe,” but not the highest it could be. So, umm, yay. But - I recommend filling one of these out and bringing it to your doctor periodically, even if (maybe even especially if) they don’t suggest you do it.
In other news, I am so not feeling 100% lately. If you couldn’t guess. But today I am bothering to tag my post, so there’s that.
You have a right not to feel like crap.
If you still feel really sad, really hopeless, really miserable, really unstable, and it’s been more than about a month and a half since you started on your current dose of meds, or you’re just doing therapy once a month, or something, ask for more help.
If your meds are causing really wacky side effects that scare you, or make it so you have to do things like use the toilet every hour, or leave you twitching involuntarily, or make you sleep 16 hours a day, ask for a change from your doctor.
If you spend every therapy session crying your eyes out and can’t focus for six hours after, and meanwhile nothing in your regular life is actually improving, speak up or find a new therapist.
Again: you have a right not to feel like crap. Depression, bipolar disorder, BPD, schizophrenia - these are diseases, not prison sentences. There are lots of treatment options, there are a lot of different approaches to try, and you do not have to settle for something that makes you feel horrible or diminishes the quality of life in the name of “we found one that isn’t completely awful.”
(This message brought to you by someone who’s going to see her psychiatrist tomorrow for a change in medication dosage. Seriously. I have a right not to feel like crap, and so do you.)
Because the naps are just absolutely driving me batty. The one I just woke up from was almost two hours long. I had the “fun” playlist going at a very slightly reduced volume, hoping that it would interfere a bit because I knew I was more tired than usual at this time of day. Part of me is hoping that this didn’t work because if it did work, that probably means I’d have slept till 8pm.
Okay, I need a cheerful song. Hang on.
And then I’m through with the subject. Science is only kind of about explanations, but it is always, always about evidence. And the evidence for a combination of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy in the treatment of bipolar disorders simply isn’t in dispute.
Are there outliers? Duh, yes. Do some things not work out perfectly? Of course. But the reality is, best guesses and clinical trials put folks with bipolar disorder, as a group, in a much better place than they were on their own.
Does it bother me that my psychiatrist can’t explain exactly why Lexapro is working when Celexa didn’t? Of course, but only in the exact same sense that my inability to grasp the finer points of aeronautical engineering bothers me when I’m wanting to travel a distance of thousands of miles.
Planes just work. Medications just work. I’m more OK with that than I am with six-day car trips and ruined lives. The end.
The legal kind, you know? The stuff that really responsible, intelligent, knowledgeable people have prescribed to me - given me exact directions on how and when and how much to take - after consulting actual science first.
They are the reason I have a job and a car and the computer I’m using to write this post. They’re why I can keep my medical insurance and go to therapy. They are the reason I have any shot at all with coping with what my brain does. They get me to within the normal range for a person - without them I’d be flying high like a bird (and I’m NOT A BIRD so that’s a BAD FREAKING IDEA) and then crashing in a horrific destructive mess about ten times a year. And then I’d sleep the rest of the time. Twenty, thirty, forty hours at a stretch. I don’t want to do that! That’s what my brain and body do when they’re not on the safe, responsible medications given to me by my doctors. Who went to medical school and everything.
Drugs keep me in the world, really alive, far more than I can be without them. When someone comes up with something else that can get through the clinical trials OK - you know, actually demonstrate that it’s safe and effective - I will be one of the first to sign up. But until then, go drugs. Drugs drugs drugs.
They are not poison. They are life preservers. There’s a difference.
Today it was a little less hard to go, and I was feeling a little less anxious when I got there. I definitely still had to do the self-talk stuff (both to help myself feel better and to remember not to drive to work - I almost turned the wrong way once, but caught it just in time.) I was able to help a new person get a little bit acclimated, which was really scary (because oh my gosh stranger talking to me, and I am too new to do this, and I am still really nervous right now ack) but felt pretty nice.
Seriously? Me too. I think sometimes Dr. E and I are living on different planets. I worry that I’m somehow misrepresenting what I’m going through, because it never seems like we interpret it the same way. And yeah, there is an issue here of “Demeter always thinks she’s the one who screwed up,” but also, let’s face it: I’m paying her to help me because I can’t quite think straight.
About that partial hospitalization thing. I know, intellectually, that it’s pretty much nothing at all like actual hospitalization - they know you’re not dangerous, they don’t take away your shoelaces, you can stop whenever you want to, etc. - but it’s like ACK. Am I really that sick?!?
This is going to be really quick. Dr. E is what I can only describe as very concerned. She’s talking partial hospitalization and is seeing me again on the 31st (13 days, versus the last interval of 24 days, and she wanted me in 7 days if at all possible.)
I have a piece of cast iron sitting on my stove with water in it to ensure that I’ll make this quick (this kind of hostage-taking is necessary to keep me on schedule.) I’m doing the longitudinal study! It lasts 10 years, not 5, and I’ll pretty much break even or be slightly on the side of “spending money” rather than “making money,” but whatever. I’m scheduled to be in Ann Arbor on the 9th. First time I’ll have been there since I was about 11 years old. There’s going to be a blood draw (boo) but I warned them I’m a hard stick and tend to pass out, so they should be ready.
They also, by the way, let me call them instead of the other way around, which is good for my social anxiety issues since I never answer the phone. And there’s free parking, which is sweet given that I’m going to have to get a hotel room. ^_^ Anyway, off to making dinner with me.
(Is anyone else curious to see whether somebody has used the tag “trypanophobia” on Tumblr before?)