Category Archives: psych meds

FUNNY FRIDAYS

 

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30 Day Mental Health Challenge – Day 2

Day 2: How do you feel about your diagnosis?

I have accepted my diagnosis for the most part.  I get upset that I have to take medicine everyday.  I get annoyed that I am going to have to deal with it for the rest of my life.  I know that for my BPD I can get much better through therapy and even my PTSD can improve a lot with therapy.  My bipolar is going to follow me all my life though.  I have tried going off my meds and every single time I ended up in the hospital – repeatedly – 15 times – until I got committed to a state hospital.

I have accepted that I have to stay on my meds now.  I have accepted that I need medications and I need therapy and I will battle these for the rest of my life.

I will be honest though, I am treated unfairly many times because of my borderline personality diagnosis.  People think I am manipulative because of it.  I personally, am not.  I have doctors tell me that I tell them whatever I want to get the medications I want.  The medications I have been on work perfectly for me – since I got out of the state hospital, my meds have kept me stable.  The only med that hasn’t is my anxiety med – and I asked the state hospital to take me off of it because in the controlled environment in there, I thought I was better.  I wish I hadn’t gone off of it.  Now, everyone here thinks I am just manipulating them because of my BPD.  There is more than just that instance though – I have heard it multiple times.  I wish that my BPD diagnosis would just be taken off my chart.

But, it is what it is.  I have what I have.  I just need to continue to learn how to cope with it all and live with it all and focus my life on living better and coping better.

Not – “Why Did This Happen”, But “What Can I do Now, Where Can I Go From Here?

This blog has been a great release for me.  I have also said I still struggle.  At the moment, that last sentence is something that has been a problem for me.

It is a struggle that I am dealing with in a way I am not very much used to.  In fact, anything that is misspelled or looks weird in this I am sorry.

I have been dealing with trauma therapy.  It has been going well, I have an amazing therapist and am so grateful that I her.  She has stuck by me even when I could be open right away.  It is getting hardest though and I can’t stay present much.  Im awake then Im interacting with someone.  If I sit at home, going off, I dream, I imagine, I cry, its in my face, its happening to me.  Im fighting on the floor.  The thoughts are being yelled in my years

I took ambien cause I just feel myself leaving.  I talked to a friend from  my NAMI group.  I told her that my meds have made me better.  I am not severely depressed like how I was.  I do find joy at times.  I still have this underlying ever day depression though.  I still have this need to die though.  It is this bizarre need, like I have always felt like I wasn’t supposed to be alive.

Is it because of the childhood abuse?  Is it because of my genes?  It is because of both?  Nature, nurture, both?

I am not I will ever know what has cause my brain to hurt the way it hurts or have such hard feelings.

Anyway, I am on ambien and am completely falling asleep.  So as I said there maybe a completely a million mistakes and this may make no sense.  But I felt the need to write this.

Thinking our thoughts is hard.  Ruminating on why things happen can consume our lives.  From here, we really should just be asking, not why? but what now?

Not why did this happen. When did it happen?

But — What can I do now, from  this point forward, what can I do?Where Can I go From Here

Anyway, I am posted this ahead of time, so it should be posted in a few days, but I am totally tired from the medication now… so if it appears as if I should have been awake when it is up and posted, this is why 🙂  Best wishes everyone ! For some reason this was on my mind and I felt like writing it, perhaps I will re-write it or a follow up later though.

Please add your thoughts as well!

Looking Back at Life (1/22/2011) – Chemical Imbalances

I look back at how bad my depression was over the last few years … in a previous online journal I had a post from January 22, 2011 at 6:28pm that simply stated:

The first two weeks of school have gone pretty good.

I need to die though.

Two sentences.  Nothing else.

My depression was so bad, that even though my first two weeks of college (actually the last semester of my senior year) had been fine, I still felt the need to die.  This was the year that my mental illness became extremely severe.  This entry was posted a week after my first psychiatric hospitalization. Prior to my second hospitalization, which would result in me abruptly dropping out of school (on the semester I should have graduated) and deciding I wanted nothing to do with graduating as I had no reason to believe I would live any longer.  And if I did indeed live, I did not need school.  I wanted no degree from the college I was going to, I hated my college at the time, and I wanted nothing from them at all.  I was much to amazing to have a college degree (woohoo bipolar delusions and suicidal ideations and reckless decisions).  I did go back and get my degree though, although I am not using it at all thanks to my wonderful hospitalizations and instability.

It is amazing how set I was on death though.  I had been depressed so much of my life, but this was the breaking point for me.  How can we see that things are good, but still want death so much?   The chemical imbalances in our brain and how they work are so –weird!

People ask me all the time why I am depressed.  Which I hate by the way.  I don’t know.  Things can be going fine in my life, and I am just depressed.  Which obviously this entry from 3.5 years ago shows — it seemed like things were fine, but I still was determined that I needed to die.  The chemical imbalance in my brain was just completely off!  That is how bipolar works, that is how major depressive disorder works, and schizoaffective, schizophrenia, and a whole host of other mental illnesses.  It isn’t a simple switch that I can turn on and off.

Yes, I can change my thought process, that does help.  But that alone does not fix me.  As I have mentioned before, I need my medication.  I am not someone who can go without my meds – because my diagnosis definitely is based on a huge chemical imbalance.  Working on CBT helps a lot, but only when my medication is also working.  Then I am stable enough to focus on using those technique to change my thought process too.

But — I guess, looking at this post from 2011… I also just think about how much it hurts to feel that way.  To know that you can see your life going ok but to know that you still feel the need to get out of it.  To have this deep desire to just escape.  I haven’t felt that deep desire since January 2013 luckily, my meds have been working well since then, but I still have the thoughts and desires here and there.  Not constantly though.  It was a hard.  It still is hard., but I’m learning to manage and it’s getting easier.

I Think I’ve Hit a Road Block – And I Need to Find the Detour

I saw my psychiatrist today.  I wasn’t really the greatest appointment.  I actually left feeling very discouraged and I’m not in the greatest mood.  I think I’ve hit a road block.

I’ve really been struggling with my anxiety.  I’ve always had bad anxiety.  It was pretty well managed the last few years, although I was pretty overloaded on my last anxiety medication.  When I was in the state hospital, the environment was very controlled and I thought I had gotten over it, so I transitioned off of my medicine (the valium).  Upon moving though, I knew no one, was in a brand new state, and also began working on trauma therapy — my anxiety has been at an all time high once again.  I deeply regret ever getting off anxiety medication.  I cannot get my psychiatrist to give me medication other than vistaril, which has done nothing, and buspar which simply made it 100x worse.  I understand that other medications are addictive, but I only want something to help me when I go into a panic attack just while I go through this trauma therapy, even if it just a few pills a month to get me through the worst of times.  I am getting exhausted living like this – it has made me depression horrible.

He told me that he went through my medications I have tried in the past – not specifically anxiety, but everything.  I have gone through a lot – and he said that medications don’t work for me.  I was pissed, because the regimen I am on now has done a pretty good job for the last 1.5 years.  I have been more stable than I have been in like 4 years.  He has only seen me twice now (I go to a medical school, so they switch residents every two years when they graduate).  He doesn’t even know me! Yes, he has my records, but I highly doubt he has read them! Does he really want to see me off my medication – because I am really considering just stopping it since he claims that they don’t even matter, despite the fact that I have seen how much they have changed my life.  But if he says that, why would I waste my money?

He wants me to compliment my trauma therapy with DBT.  Which would be fine, except the only place around me that does it, is 1 hour away (ok still doable), but they also don’t take insurance, or any insurance for that matter (not doable).  I am already paying out of pocket to see him (supposed to be $124 dollars-what I was told….but I keep getting billed over $200 and while they tell me they will fix it, it never gets done).  I live on disability right now, I cannot afford to pay out of pocket for more therapy that my insurance wont pay for. 

I guess I am just frustrated though because he basically told me that if my anxiety is that bad – I need to go to the hospital.  What is the hospital going to do?  Why can he not just help me?  If he can’t help outpatient, why would the hospital be able to do anything different?  Would they be able to prescribe me a medication?  If they do–would he actually keep me on it?  I’m not going to go spend a ton of money on a hospital stay when I feel like this should be able to be taken care of on an outpatient basis.  I thought psychiatrists were supposed to try to keep you out of the hospital. 

I have grown so much since 2011 when I first started having serious problems with my mental health.  And I believe that each day I grow stronger.  I know I also fall back though.  I just feel like this is a set back for me.  Or I shouldn’t say set back – its like a road block.  A wall in my way.  Another challenge.  I don’t have help this time though. I don’t have a psychiatrist to help me get through it.  And it sucks – it just sucks.  I’m facing my pain and anxiety and depression on my own. I mean, I guess he cares in that he suggested the DBT, but he also knows I cant pay for it and he clearly doesn’t want to help me with medication – so I don’t feel like I have support.  Now, I have to find the detour, the way around it – get past this road block.

I’m going to get through it.  I just am going to have to work a hell of a lot harder and figure something out.  I don’t know what yet though.  I feel like I have tried a million coping skills. 

So, I’m going to try to write some still, but I may be a little less frequent.  I have some posts that I wrote ahead of time that are scheduled to be posted though, and those should show up.  I am still going to try to get on here though, cause it does help.  Ill just have to see how it goes I guess. 

My Story

I had no idea what was going on with me.  I was 10 and sad.  But I wasn’t just sad.  I was really sad.

I was 11 and I wanted to die.  I planned on how to die.  Our school was taking a trip to Six Flags and I wrote out my suicide note, and I put it in my backpack and I was going to kill myself at the park.  My mom found it though, she asked me if she needed to keep me home.  I said I was fine and went to catch my bus.  It was never talked about again.

I was 13 and still really sad.  Suicide still ran rampant in my head.  My art teacher found out.  He found out about my home life.  I trusted him. I thought he would help me.  He said he was going to.  But he took advantage of me.  He made me do things to him.  He did things to me.  He verbally abused me.  He sexually abused me.  He hurt me.  I believed all his lies. He molested me and hurt me and fucked me up so bad.  I wanted to die more than ever before.

I was 14 and moved to a new city. Life was worse than ever before.  A new school and no friends. My school counselor found out about what my teacher did.  Chaos broke out.  I didn’t want to deal with it.  I began cutting. I did not tell the police everything. He was never charged. My depression became more severe. I became sick from stress. I missed more than half the school year and stayed home because I was “sick.”

I was 15 and 16 and 17 and high school happened. My depression trapped me.  I faked my smiles and I wore my mask.  I immersed myself in school work.  I tried to pretend like I was happy and make myself believe I was. Deep down I was choking, I could barely breathe. Every day I planned my death. I didn’t even believe I would make it to graduation. Surely I would do something before then.

Graduation came and went. I was 18. College was a new start. Surely life could start over now. I was raped. My mental health went down hill. For the first time in my life I was put into counseling. I couldn’t talk though. I didn’t know how to express myself. I isolated more than ever. I cried more than ever.

Therapy continued and I made no progress, but I just kept going.  I kept my emotions in for so long that I just avoided everything. I turned 21 and my life went upside down. My arm was paralyzed. I lost control. Again. The molestation. The rape. My arm.  I had lost control again. I needed to die now. My depression consumed me.  The year was 2009.

Trigger Warning –  the next paragraph mentions a suicide attempt


 

I had many suicide attempts.  My worst was in May 2012 though.  I had strategically overdosed on Tylenol.  After being given the antidote (Mucomyst) and Reglan, both of which I had reactions to, I was transported to the ICU where I spent 4 days before being sent to the psychiatric hospital.  This was not my first time in the ICU but it was the worst attempt I had.  And it was also somewhat of a wake up call. It was my last attempt, but not my last visit to the psych hospital.

Between January 2011, my first psychiatric hospitalization, and October 2012 – I had 15 psychiatric hospitalizations and ended up with three diagnosis (bipolar, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder). On that last hospitalization I was committed for 6 months to the state hospital.  I was terrified, but at the same time, I was so frustrated and sick of life, I really didn’t care what happened to me.  I was so sure that I would kill myself no matter what anyone did and that I had no future, that it didn’t matter to me.  The state hospital was the best thing that happened to me though.

On Halloween of October 2012 I went to the state hospital via the backseat of a Sherriff’s car. It was a two hour drive and it took me to a life changing experience.  I had the best psychiatrist, psychologist, nurses, rec therapist, music therapist, group therapists, psych techs, dietician, and other support staff possible.  They were all determined to get me and others back on the right track. I left the hospital in April 2013 more stable than I had been in a long time.  On the correct combo of meds and with coping skills that I actually felt comfortable using.

Today, in 2014, I still struggle.  I have been hospitalized since being out of the state hospital.  But in no way am I in and out like I was two years ago.  I take my medication and I acknowledge that I need it.  I accept that I have a mental illness and I try to educate myself about them.  I attend therapy and participate in it actively.  I am working through my PTSD which has been a huge factor in my hatred of myself and life.  I am always working on improving and finding new coping skills.  I continue to attend my support groups.

I know I can continue to fight.  I know I don’t have to let it consume me anymore.  I don’t have to let it win. It still knocks me down sometimes.  I just have to make sure I keep getting back up.

Psych Hospitals – The Not So Scary Truth

Don’t take me!  I don’t want to go.  I’m not going!!!

Going to a psychiatric hospital can be incredibly scary.  There are a lot of horror stories about them.  And for the most part, in today’s society, the horror stories are not true.  I say “for the most part” because I know that for some people, they have had bad things happen to them.  But, in general, most facilities are safe places, where people can go and get the care they needed.  They are not strapped down for hours and hours, stabbed with needles, and/or drugged up and drooling on a couch.

As I have mentioned a few times on here before, I have a little bit of experience with psychiatric hospitalizations. 17 different hospitalizations to be exact – at 7 different facilities. 

  • 1 in Texas
  • 4 in Indiana
  • 2 in Florida

Out of all of these facilities, I would say I had bad experiences at 2 of them, and out of those 2, only one of those was a really horrible experience, and I would say I would absolutely never want to be admitted to that hospital again.  Despite that, I know people that have been admitted to that hospital, and have had completely different experiences than me – so I don’t know, perception of how I compared it to the other hospitals I went to maybe?

All of these hospitalizations ranged in time differences – from as short as 3 days to one as long as 6 months at a state hospital (that hospital was probably the best hospital I was ever at). 

The reason why I really am writing this, is because far to often people talk about their bad experiences at the psych hospital.  No one really talks about how much it might have helped them. This tends to scare people off from actually going and getting help when they need it.  They are scared they might lose their kids, or they will never get out, they will be restrained and tied to a bed, they will be treated bad. 

This isn’t true though.  I can’t promise every hospital is going to be amazing.  It isn’t a 5 star hotel, and some hospitals are newer and better than others.  But it is a safe place if you are in danger of hurting yourself or others.  It is a place for you to get help.  Unless there is abuse or neglect of your kids where they are in immediate danger, they wont take away your kids if you have someone to watch them while you are there – you will get them back (per every situation I have ever encountered with people that have had kids).  You might be there 1 day (unless you are under a 72 hour hold), or you might be there a month – but that is between you and the doctor and how you feel you are doing.  If you are not a danger to yourself or others though, they cannot keep you in there against your will. 

I know it might not seem like the hospitals helped me at all, considering I was in and out of them so much.  But they did!  They saved my life.  If it wasn’t for them, I would be dead.  I would go on and off my medication, I was non compliant.  I didn’t think I needed help.  I didn’t know how to accept the help.  Every time I went in I hated life and wanted to die – or had actually attempted suicide.  They would bring me back to reality, get me back on my meds.  Get me into the group therapy there, the techs would talk to me, the psychiatrist would talk to me.  I relearned how to use my coping skills.  I got stabilized.  For the time being anyway.  For me, it took more than an acute care hospital – it took the state hospital.  For most, it doesn’t take that though.  But for me, that state hospital literally saved me from destruction. 

I spent 6 months there and I was scared to go.  When they told me I was being committed I was scared.  Yet, I didn’t even think much of it at the same time.  I was so over hospitals and assumed I would kill myself no matter what it didn’t phase me.  In the end, after 6 months, I was a new person.  Yes, I still struggle, but I think about how much time and effort everyone put into teaching me how to live again, not just survive in life but actually live.  The psychiatrist, nurse, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, techs, recreational therapists – it was amazing how much everyone cared. 

People at psych hospitals do care.  It is a not a gloomy place where patients are catatonic and drugged up, tied to chairs and beds.  Groups take place, patients make friends, support is given. I still have friends from some of my hospitalizations in the acute care hospitals and friends from the state hospital.  And we keep in touch more often than other friends because they understand me much better.

If you need help, reach out.  Take it.  It is there.  Don’t be scared.

I took a big step, I called a Crisis Line

Yesterday I broke down.  My anxiety consumed me.  I tried to use my copings skills – I went out, went to Michaels – bought some more canvas and paint to come home and paint. I couldn’t handle it though.  “Hurt yourself.” “Cut yourself” “Hit yourself” “Break a bone” My brain kept wanting to find a way out of this feeling of extreme dread and torture that was going on. 

The minute I got home I knew I couldn’t do what my brain was saying. I had done that before. I did that for two years and all it did was get me put in the hospital, in the ICU, the ER, and the psych hospital.  I couldn’t go back to that.  I cant go back to that.  I am trying to stay in recovery.  I am trying to get my life back and stay on track.

I called 211.  It connected me to the local crisis line.  It is easier than dialing the suicide hotline, all I have to remember is 211 rather than a bunch of numbers, plus the suicide crisis line would connect me to 211 anyway, since it just connects you to your local crisis line.  For those of you who don’t know what 211 is – it is a free and confidential informational and referral line available in most cities/counties in the United States.  They can connect you with resources to find help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more – and in my area also provide the crisis/suicide line. 

Anyway, I spent 33 minutes talking to a wonderful volunteer.  Probably 15 minutes crying my eyes out.  Eventually we came up with a plan, had some laughs, and I am feeling better.  Thank goodness I got my mind set straight because I do not want to end up back in the hospital!

I was assured I could call back as many times as I needed, 24 hours a day, and they could help me. 

Today was a rough day, and I suspect it is going to be a rough week.  Honestly, I think it is going to be a rough few months.  I don’t think my meds are working right, or not well enough anyway – perhaps a dosage adjustment.  I don’t think my doctor is getting my anxiety under control at all – at least not quick enough.  I know that I can’t give up though.  I know not to go back to my old habit – which was just not thinking and just doing.  I know I cant be impulsive anymore.  Not that it is that easy, impulse is impulse, but I can still keep working on it.

 

If you are in a crisis reach out for help:

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Lifeline Crisis Chat

IMAlive Crisis Chat

Veteran Crisis Online Chat

Call: 211

In the UK? Call the Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90

In Australia? Call Lifeline: 13 11 14  or chat with them

In New Zealand? Call Lifeline’s Warmline: 0508 927 654 or Suicide Crisis Line: 0508 828 865

Anxiety Wins Again

Since my therapy session on Friday morning my anxiety has been absolutely ridiculous.  Normally I have somewhat of an on and off low grade general anxiety and a very high social anxiety.  Then there is the panic attacks associated with my PTSD when I have a flashback or nightmare or something of that sort.  Since Thursday night/Friday morning though, I have had intense anxiety. My heart has stayed at a high rate, I cannot seem to sit still, I actually feel incredibly exhausted from it all, and I am feeling somewhat depressed and have cried off and on.

My therapist told me to go walking as I used to do this quite a bit for my anxiety to get the energy out.  I tried to do this on Friday and Saturday.  Friday I just broke out into tears about 30 minutes into it.  I wasn’t just slowly walking either, I was going in intervals of walking/jogging.  But the energy and anxiety just wasn’t leaving me.

I recently changed anxiety medications.  But my previous one wasn’t doing anything at all.  I am not sure if this new one is making things worse or therapy is just bring up new emotions.  I also just came back from the family reunion which was quite difficult for me and I think brought up a lot of memories too.

Getting through this weekend has been incredibly hard.  I cannot wait until tomorrow morning when I can call my psychiatrist and beg him to raise this dosage or give me something to get through until the next appointment, or make the appointment earlier.  This anxiety is really getting to me!  It doesn’t even seem like my coping skills are helping me anymore.

If anyone has any insights into how they deal with anxiety when their meds aren’t working or if they don’t use meds at all, please let me know because I could really use the help.

Denial and Learning Acceptance

Last night at my NAMI support group meeting we started talking about how many of us were in denial when we were first diagnosed.  It made me think about when I was first diagnosed.

In one way, I was very relieved.  My whole life I had been suffering with immense emotional pain.  I had been severely depressed and had suicidal thoughts since I was about 10 years old.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what and I didn’t want to be different, especially as a kid and teenager.  So when I finally got my diagnosis, it was a huge relief – it was a medical issue, there was a name for it, I could take medicine!

But then – it hit me.  There WAS something wrong with me, I had to take medicine for it, people thought that “people like me” were not normal and that we could just snap out of it – not that it was a medical problem. I didn’t want people to judge me.  I was already judging me.  What would others think of me?  I didn’t want to take medications for the rest of me life.

Denial caused me a lot of harm.  I would start the medication and I would stop the medication.  I would start it and then just not want to take it.  I hate taking meds, so that would be one reason.  Then I would just end up back in the hospital.  Or, I would start the medication and it would actually make me feel better!!! And so I would quit taking it, because of course, I thought I didn’t need it anymore – I was fine, why was I on meds in the first place?  Then, the downhill spiral would occur once I was off and I was back in the hospital.  For me, meds are needed.  As I have mentioned in some posts before, not everyone needs them and some can function fine without them.  But for me, I need them, so when I was in denial, and felt I didn’t need the meds, it just caused my mental illness to get completely out of control.

It wasn’t until I hit completely rock bottom.  It wasn’t after my first suicide attempt, my second suicide attempt, or even my 7th or 8th suicide attempt.  It was after I was finally admitted to the state hospital, and 3 months into that admission when they decided to get the court order to extend the commitment another 3 months because I was not progressing, that I realized I did have a problem.  I realized I NEEDED to accept that I had mental illness.  I needed to learn about my bipolar, my PTSD, my borderline personality disorder.  I am still learning about all of them.  I needed to learn to cope with them.  I needed to learn to take my medications as prescribed and not be more own doctor.

When we are first diagnosed, it can be a relief but it can also be scary.  Education and a good support system is the best thing we can do and have.  It is hard to accept our illnesses at first, especially when there is a stigma attached to it.  I have learned to open up to those around me, even if they are not willing to accept the diagnosis.  I will continue to educate those around me as much or as little as they are open and willing to learn.  Just as I slowly had to open up my own mind to learning, those around us will do the same.  Attending the NAMI support groups and the MHA support groups really helped me to gain the acceptance, support, understanding, and education about my illness.  With the help of others with mental illness as well as my long term hospitalization, I have really come to terms with what I will, most likely, be dealing with the rest of my life.  But, I know I will be able to face it head on, and I am ready for it now!