Friday, July 21, 2017

Brian Schnitzler is an Asshole

I came across this tweet today and it infuriates me. There are far too many people in this world who think like Brian Schnitzler. How can we possibly end the stigma that surrounds mental illness when there will always be a Brian to get in the way?

The answer is this. We have to keep trying. We have to push forward. We cannot give into the Brians of the world. Mental illness is real. We're not making up the symptoms. We certainly don't want to pump our bodies full of prescription drugs for the fun of it. 

Whichever mental illness you're suffering from, I believe you. If you're so close to the edge that the wind could blow you off, get some help. Please. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Powering Through

I walked into his bedroom this morning to see if he wanted breakfast. He was curled up on his right side and only his small eight year old face was sticking out. I didn't have the heart to wake him. Instead I stood there watching him sleep. His long, dark eyelashes lay against his upper cheek and his breathing was steady.

This is how I start each of my days before I take off for work. I like the sense of quiet that blankets my apartment at the start of the day. All of that changes as soon as I hop in my car and head to the work.

My office is a rather quiet place too. Most of the time. On occasion, multiple coworkers come in and each thinks it's good etiquette to use speaker phone for every call. The noise rustles something within me and the panic and anxiety are set free. Deep breaths, getting up from my chair and pacing, going to the bathroom, and finally, swallowing an anti-anxiety pill are some things I do to get through it.

Dealing with panic and anxiety often leads to a headache and exhaustion. I feel like I've just run a few miles and I'm coming down from that high and just want to pass out. The rest of the day still lies before me and so I do the thing I'm best at. Faking my mood until I can call it a day.

I've become quite lazy for probably the last six months. I get no exercise and while I know that would help, I can't bring myself to get it done. The medication I take is sedating and doesn't help the situation. Shame on me.

I get into these phases where I don't want to cook even though the house is stocked with ingredients to make delicious dinners. Instead I take the family out, they'll eat cereal or I ask my husband to pick up sandwiches. I'm that exhausted.

My doctor wants to switch me to a lower dose of medication for 10 days, which to me is just stupid. I'll just be back to this level anyway and I've already been on it for a week. Honestly, it's the money. It doesn't matter how many pills are dispensed, it will always cost $50 a pop. I can't justify that.

He knows that I'm at my end. I don't want to keep trying new medications. I know that out there lies the perfect drug combination. I've been trying for 8 years to find it. It gets old, you know?

So here I am...powering through.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Medication Resistant Bipolar Depression

Lori Calabrese, MD

I was reminded this week by a friend on social media that continuing to share your story helps others. I've been hiding from all walks of life (mostly). I'm not sure if it's because I'm ashamed at where I'm at in this journey or if it's because I don't know why I would continue to share such negativity. 

I've been on a heaping handful of drugs since my last post back in December. In April, I started to feel the depression lifting and it was a nice turn of events, let me tell you. Then mid-April rolled on through and I had to get my gallbladder removed. The depression returned almost immediately after and that's where I've been since. 

I've been on this (new to me) drug for 10 days and I want nothing more than to flush it all down the toilet. Why was I chosen to be so sensitive to medication? I could handle being drowsy, but no. I'm drifting off to sleep while driving to work (I was startled awake when my car's tired rubbed against the curb) in the morning after I slept like a rock for a solid 8-9 hours. Last weekend, I slept overnight for twelve hours then went on to have a three hour nap. My point is, I could sleep 24 hours a day and still feel exhausted. 

My psychiatrist thinks I need to see a Psychopharmacologist. That's great and all but they don't accept insurance, and even if I could scrape the money together for the office visit, there would be visits to follow and medication to purchase (that could be at the high end of my insurance bracket). 

Do you deal with medication resistant Bipolar depression or are the medications you've been on too strong, even at the lowest of doses? I'd like to hear your experiences.