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Posts Tagged ‘antidepressants’

Dip your hand in, swirl it around, claim your prize – an appointment with a strange psychiatrist.

Not sure if this was as a result of some nagging and complaining from professionals at young-people-place (clearly I need a snazzy abbreviation), but the appointment that I’d made with the consultant psych I’d been seeing morphed into an appointment with a registrar. What can I say? He was nice, asked questions… and couldn’t even get my name right.

In fact, on checking my appointment card afterwards, it seems that the receptionist couldn’t get my name right either – it’s in my mother’s name(!)

Anyway, apparently this psychiatrist doesn’t do labels – he suggested cyclothermia as a possibility and said that other colleagues who were “more interested in labels” might say I was somewhere on the bipolar spectrum, but he “didn’t want to do that to me”.

So… I’m happy with that because I don’t particularly want a Big Diagnosis, especially if it wouldn’t affect my meds, and happy to be left with a woolly warning that anti-ds might make me high, which, to be honest, I think we’ve all known for quite a long time…

Buut… there’s a massive contradiction going on here.

The support(?) that’s available is explicitly governed by what Label you have, not your needs.

But, in my case, and I suspect others, being Labelled is deemed Bad.

Hmmmpf. What does “possibly a bit bipolar” allow me?

Finally, to confirm my idea that he was either naive, clueless or had just started a new job, he offered to write a letter to the psychology department to ask if my (currently at 14 months) wait could be expedited a little. Suffice to say that he’s not the first doctor to suggest this, and suffice to say that I’ve previously been explicitly told that “unfortunately it doesn’t work like that”.

Now all I need to panic about is seeing my parents over the bank holiday, and an occupational therapy assessment next week that I’m not feeling optimistic about as I was only referred for it under the pressure of a threat of a formal complaint.

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The Morning After the Night Before

Yesterday, when talking to the bloke from the Crisis Team, I came up with quite a good analogy for how I felt…

It’s like the morning after the night before… I wake up, and suddenly I’m seeing the Crisis Team, my life is even more of a mess than before, and it’s like… y’know… what the hell happened?

Well, I still feel that way, but now I’ve got a mental hangover to boot. My energy seems to have disappeared when the suicidal urges did, leaving me feeling flat, leaden and unmotivated. As I’m sitting here typing, waves of sadness come rolling along over me, throwing my concentration off. Time sometimes speeds and sometimes crawls, according to no discernable pattern. All I want to do is go back to bed.

I’d forgotten what this was like, how physically wrenching the pain is, how exhausting it is just to go places – never mind doing anything once you’re there.

I should have expected it really – I’ve been through a fairly stressful experience, and one that it would be unrealistic to bounce straight back from. My body and (probably moreso) my mind need time off to destress, relax and repair.

Yet I feel bad about taking that time, and it’s not even really possible at uni – this is an artificial world of deadlines and continous assessment. I haven’t even found the energy to explain to my tutor why I’m encountering difficulties again, why I’m still not better, why I’m still riding this mood rollercoaster a year after I was originally diagnosed.

Perhaps that’s because I don’t know the answer myself. Thought I was doing just fine on 10mg Tally until the rug was swept from under my feet, and I fell down so fast that I had no time to recognise the fall or repell the influx of false beliefs and imperatives.

Come on duloxetine, it’s only you fighting my corner now… better give it your best effort!

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Next Step on the Meddy-Go-Round(?)

She was late, but came in the end, and dragged me up to the hospital to sit in an awful waiting room with green chairs and fake plants. The trick cyclist asked me a few questions and sung the praises of duloxetine, so I told him what he wanted to hear and agreed to the new AD. We wandered over through the maze to the hospital pharmacy, where I coughed up the money for the drugs I didn’t want, and sat in silence with her, crying, waiting for it to be filled. I ran off in the end, before it was, and stood bawling in the corridor outside, before wandering off to find a slightly less public place to break down in (especially since people kept slowing down as they walked past, wearing that “Should I poke my nose in?” look). I returned in the end, to find she’d picked the pills up for me. We drove home, with my silence and her prodding.

Crisis are coming again on Friday, I’m not sure if I want them to, not sure if I’ll still be here or not. But I agreed to it, like I always do.

She tried to get me to promise to ring them if I “needed them” before then. I’m not sure why I would, but I know I wouldn’t even if I did, so I didn’t promise, just thanked her for taking me up to my appointment and walked off, away from the call of Chouette…?

Crisis are, frankly, not much use.

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Goodbye Meds, Goodbye Chocolate Teapot

So, I’ve just got off the phone with the PCMHT, and it’s sorted – no more choc teapot (hurrah!), and no more PCMHT for Chouette.

I also saw my GP this afternoon, who’s happy for me to go off my meds, though she did emphasise that “her door was always open”, presumably in case I change my mind. She was a bit more surprised that I wanted to stop seeing the choc teapot, but was happy with that after I explained why (that I’d simply finally given up hope of ever actually getting along with the chap).

Incidentally (and somewhat amusingly), I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear that he failed to follow through on his promise to contact my GP to pass on the venlafaxine recommendation.

I can’t quite believe that this has been so easy – the only person who’s concerned about this change of direction is my worker at the young people’s place, who managed to talk me into carrying on seeing her.

Personally, I’m happy, and at peace with my decisions. I’m doing something I was supposed to do a long time ago – I disobeyed then, but I’m determined to bloody well get it right this time.

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I’ve Been Thinking…

I know night-time thoughts are not the most reliable, but I still feel the same in the cold white light of morning.

I’m not ill, I don’t have any problems other than ones I’ve made myself. I’ve been deluding myself that I can blame them on anything other than my own unwillingness to face up to things.

I should be in uni in about five minutes. Instead I’ve been sitting here immobile for about half an hour, in my pyjamas.

I wish I hadn’t wasted so many people’s time, I wish there was something I could do to change things. I tried antidepressants and they failed, ergo this isn’t a “chemical imbalance”, it’s just bad thoughts, incompetence, unsuitability. If this has all beeen a test, I flunked. Impressively.

I’m not sure what my next step is from here, I don’t want to waste any more people’s time – but if I suddenly disappear off the radar and stop attending appointments, they’ll just get “concerned” and I’ll waste even more of their time. And things will be harder for me if I stop going to the young people’s place, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Time to wake up and smell the “coffee”.

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Change is in the Air

(Side note: This is my 100th post)

…well, a change of med may be coming my way.

I duely delivered my “I hate citalopram” speech to my GP, who seemed to listen, and then commented that I’d been on so many antidepressants (er… three?) that we were running out of first-line options, and maybe it was time I tried “one of the newer ones, like venlaflaxine” – but that that would likely require seeing a psychiatrist first.

Instead, she’s going to speak to the chocolate teapot before she decides what to do, so that they can “form a coherent plan”, and then she’ll let me know.

So, I’ve really no idea what’s coming next, I just hope something does!

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The Prozac Bunny… Still Going

I’m still on a bit of a Prozac high… plus slightly ADD and rather irritable. The two people sat next to me in the computer cluster are discussing their latest problem sheet at very high volume. Is it really necessary to shout at someone sitting right next to you? I certainly don’t think it makes the maths any easier. Unless someone gives you the answer just to get you to shut up… (must… resist… urge…)

Diazepam is not having a lot of effect on my sleep, unfortunately. I got about 7 hours last night, but only because I accidentally took twice the dose. It’s definately helping the agitation and hyperactivity though, as are some walks when I get the itch to do something active. Rain or shine, coat or no coat, umbrella or no umbrella, I’ll be out there taking the chance to work my excess energy off for ten minutes or so. It’s quite amusing really, as I’m such a lazy person at heart.

I’ve made another appointment to see my personal tutor… hopefully it won’t be too awkward. I’m not sure if there’s much she or the university can do, but I may as well keep her updated with what’s been going on – I learnt the importance of leaving trails of documentation about my problems behind me last year. Part of me feels like I should just shut up and get on with it, that I can pull it all off with no help, but I know that’s unrealistic. At the same time, I’m not sure if I really am going through anything more than other students are coping with.

I’m supposed to start the citalopram tomorrow, but I think I might leave it till Monday. Does anyone know when you’re supposed to take it? Is it a morning one like Prozac?

Oh, and (being realistic again) next week the shit hits the fan. I’ll be seeing the chocolate teapot, my worker, my dissertation supervisor, and I’ve got an insane amount of work to do.

I think Larry Norman puts it very well…

People stop to watch me,
Wonder what I’m doing,
What direction I’m pursuing.
I pretend I’m free,
But actually I’m..

Walking backwards down the stairs,
Trying to get higher.
How can I get anywhere,
Walking backwards down the stairs?

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