Category Archives: Mental Health

Posts regarding mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

MOOD DISORDER AND OTHER HAPPENINGS

Hey all. Just wanted to give you all a quick run down of what’s been going on with me lately. It’s been a few weeks since I posted here, but that’s not to say I haven’t been busy.

Asst-Medbottles-file1321340932141I can’t remember if I mentioned this already, but about two months ago my psychiatrist started me on Buspirone (Buspar) for anxiety. It was supposed to complement the Paroxetine (Paxil) I’m taking for depression.

It did NOT work. In fact, it made me feel worse within the first two weeks. I became overly anxious, restless, irritable, and feeling like I had critters crawling under my skin and scalp all the time. It was brutal. I’d be up for 24-30 hours at a time and then sleep for 12-15 hours straight, just from sheer exhaustion. Worse yet, I kept getting the urge to punch people in the face whenever they said or did something I construed as ignorant or stupid, which brings me to the next part of my post.

I’ve been trying to get my doctors letters together for the disability retirement application I put in earlier this year. Everything that needed from me was taken care of early. One doctor had already done his paperwork months ago. I was left with a pouting neurologist who says it’s not her responsibility to handle such; take it to my PMD. I did. They don’t do disability exams. This nonsense went back and forth for a couple of months. You can understand how I got to the point of wanting to punch people in the face, right?

Thank God I had an appointment with my psychiatrist the day before the deadline. After she told me I looked like shit, I told her I’d explain later if she could take care of the issue at hand. Long story short, it was my psychiatrist who came to the rescue. She did her own exam, filled out the paperwork, wrote her own narrative, faxed it and handed me the confirmation.

After breathing a huge sigh of relief, I explained EXACTLY what was going on with the Buspirone and how it was affecting my moods. I started to cry and asked her if there was going to ever be a possibility that I could ever act normal. I might have said something along the lines of ‘not act crazy’, because she said, “You’re not crazy, you’ve been under a lot of stress”.

We couldn’t discuss much more because of the time spent on my paperwork, but I’ll be seeing her again in a few weeks and we’ll be discussing more options then.

Just wanted you all to know that all is well and didn’t want anyone to worry! Hugs to all. Until next post…

 

HMO Hitmen: The Dehumanization of Human Services

I re-blogged this post a few hours ago from one of my favorite sites, takingthemaskoff . This gentleman works in the mental health field and is familiar with the consequences of addictions – first hand – and from both ends of the spectrum.

Being a chronic pain sufferer myself, I was on the Fentanyl patch for over two and a half years after coming out of stroke rehab. I was always afraid of addiction, so I was careful about changing my patch; in fact, I would change it LATER than I was supposed to thinking it would help. Then I noticed I would start getting irritable and moody around the third day. At first I thought it was just my depression kicking in again, but then I realized that my body was craving more of the Fentanyl.

I wasn’t having it, so I stopped – cold turkey over the Thanksgiving holiday. Being an EMT before my bleed, I knew what to expect, so I monitored myself and knew who to call if I couldn’t handle it. It was rough going to say the least. But I got through it, and when I went to my rehab doctor a few weeks later, I told him what I’d done. I expressed my desire to stop seeing my pain management doctor and find alternative methods of pain management. Although he wasn’t fond of how I chose to get off the patch, he understood why.

He then prescribed me a low dose of a patch called Butrans. It’s changed weekly, but unfortunately very expensive…even with insurance. The cost for me skyrocketed from December to January because of the new year and changes with my pharmacy policy. Whereas 4 patches of Butrans (a month supply) runs me $100, a month supply of Fentanyl (10 patches) cost me only $5.00!!

This is why I can so closely relate to this post. It shows how we are not considered living, breathing, and suffering individuals by these big corporations — we are just dollar signs. Now I know why it’s just easier to stay on prescription narcotics – they’re cheap and probably the only thing that many can afford. I’m doing everything in my power to find other alternative forms of pain management including meditation and increased exercise. I’m also going to see if seeing a chiropractor for my back and neck problems would help.

I value takingthemaskoff‘s opinions, his dedication, the time he puts into research, his care, compassion, and empathy for others. This post is a must read. Feel free to help spread the word, and I would encourage anyone with pain management, mental health, or addiction issues to visit and follow his blog.

Depression Hurts – And Gets Me Anxious Too…

Hey there my beloved blogger friends. I’m going to be honest here; I’m having a totally crappy day, and have been for the past few. Remember when I mentioned going to my neurologist (Dr. H) a couple of weeks ago?

Depression Hurts

Depression Hurts

In addition to telling her about my seizure, I also told her that the depression medication (Paxil) that her and my neuropsychologist, Dr. D put me on was not cutting it. Clearly knowing that I was going back to square one with the driving wish because of said seizure incident worsened it ten-fold.

After discussing the options, we decided that Dr. H would increase my dose to 30mg a day, since I’ve been on the lowest dose (20mg) since dropping the Zoloft. I was to finish the scrip that I had, breaking the pills until I had the equivalent of 30mg, and then call her office for refills if the increase helped. It did. Considering that I had a lot of things on my plate the last couple of weeks, I handled it fairly well.

A couple of days before I ran out (last Thursday), I called Dr. H’s office and advised her assistant that I was doing fine with the 30mg Paxil and was ready for a refill. Since I’m staying in CT for a little while, I asked them to call the scrip in to the local CVS here.

I gave the girl all the information and she told me Dr. H would take care of it. My friend dropped off a refill of my muscle relaxer Baclofen two days later (Saturday) and requested the pick up of my Paxil as well. The pharmacy had no idea what he was talking about.

He came back from the pharmacy with only the Baclofen and told me that Dr, H never called in the scrip. Her office was closed and I was going to have to wait until Monday to call her office. I was furious, although I should have been more angry at myself than anyone else because I didn’t follow up that Thursday like I should have. I suppose I’d gotten too comfortable with Dr. H because she is normally great and has it all together, so I rarely had to worry. I have to stop doing that.

My last available dose was Sunday; I didn’t fall asleep until almost 4:30am Monday because I had a lot of pain during the night. I woke up a little after noon. I had my mandatory cup of coffee and called the office, leaving a voicemail with my dilemma. I got caught up in making other appointments and taking care of other issues before I realized it was after six o’clock and I had received no call back and the office closed at four. Shame on me again. Damn if I didn’t start getting cranky now.

I don’t know if it’s because the Paxil was leaving my system or because of my lapse in memory and focus, but here went another day lost when I could’ve had my necessary meds. My friends were telling me I was becoming distant, not wanting to talk much. I figured two days wouldn’t be enough time for me to start reacting the way I was, but friends and family are better judges than I am I guess.

I finally reached Dr. H’s assistant Tuesday afternoon after having to call the office twice. She apologized profusely and promised that Dr. H was going to call in the scrip ASAP and I could call the pharmacy in a half hour to confirm that they received it. I knew Dr. H was going to make me start over since it had been three days now without depression meds. Start with 15mg a day for four days and then take my 30mg. I told her that’s what I would do anyway.

One day I want to stop having to do this...

One day I want to stop having to do this…

I realized this third day I was really becoming distant, moody, apathetic, and increasingly anxious. My appetite was practically nil. I need to become more aware of subtle changes in my moods and in the way I handle life’s daily ‘hits’. I don’t want to be on medication forever. As with my seizure meds, at some point, I want to wean off depression meds so I won’t need them anymore.

I didn’t mean to go off on a rant, but if you suffer from depression as I do, try helping yourself. If it takes the help of close family and friends to make you more aware of behavioral changes, listen. They only have your best interests at heart; sometimes even the strongest survivors need intervention.

I’m lucky enough to even have a blogger friend or two that know when something is not right by the pieces I post, how long I go without blogging, and topics I blog about. When all is said and done, I really am a very lucky lady. Thank you to those who follow me and to those who visit and like. You are truly appreciated. Have a great evening everyone.