Ok so I feel I need to explain the reason I frequently consider discontinuing my meds. It is not because I am feeling so good now that I don't think I need them (which is a common reason that psych patients go off their meds, deteriorate, end up in crisis, and have to be re-stabalized). This is what my psychiatrist suspected was going on and I had to set him straight on that. I also don't feel weak or look down on myself for taking medication. Dood, if you need medication, you need it, be it psych, heart, allergy, pain, whatever. I don't judge myself or anybody else on that.
Ok, so here is MY deal. I have been taking psych meds since I was around fourteen years old. I have taken ALOT of psych meds. Imipramine, anafranil, prozac, paxil, zoloft, luvox, remeron, serzone, trazodone, celexa, lexapro, effexor, pristiq, cymbalta, wellbutrin, topamax, lamictal, lithium, methylphenidate (yes, Dr. Sean put me on SPEED for my depression). Thats just for depression. For anxiety I have been on risperdal, seroquel, haldol, thorazine, neurontin, buspar (worthless), clonopin, ativan, valium, and Xanax (holla!). So with all of these different meds through the years, I should have been doing great, right?
Not quite the case. Since I was 14 I have been hospitalized in a psych ward 21 times. I was committed 3 times to a long term care facility/group home for adults with mental illness. Spent like a bazillion hours in various partial/day hopsital programs and iop's. I have even had electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatments) to try to lift the depression. I have been on mental health disability for the last 11 years.
So what I am trying to say is that, despite medications, I have been struggling with depression and anxiety that has been bad enough to disrupt my life and impair my functioning.
To be fair, there are some meds that have been beneficial. But it always seems to be a mixed bag. Seroquel works great at knocking out my anxiety, especially anxious and obsessive thoughts. Unfortunately, it also knocks out other thoughts that are harmless and generally leaves me zombified, which is not really compatible with parenting, working, proccessing in therapy, or playing cardgames *ahemNERTZahem*. Oh, and the antipsychotics make me gain a crapton of weight.
Lexapro is my best antidepressant and once started, it has a dramatic effect on my mood. The problem is that my body acclamates to the dose rather quickly, so that every few months or so it needs to be increased. Eventually I will top out. I think the highest FDA approved dose is 20mgs, and I am on 30 right now (but this is common). When I lived in Salt Lake I was on 40mgs for quite awhile, and when I was in Utah Neuropsychiatric Institiute the doctor there bumped me up to 60mgs, at which point I started to twitch. So then I have to get off it for awhile before I can start on it back on a lower dose again and that is frustrating.
Ok, I need to get back to my point, because I need to go to bed here soon. The point is, I have kind of a jaded view about psych meds, not in general, but in regards to the amount of relief I can expect from them. To put it another way: what's the freaking point? What is the point of taking these meds when I continue to feel like crap on the bottom of someone's shoe? Why should I take my freakin Buspar? I have been on it for like 2 years, and in that time there has only been a handful of days that I haven't freaked out, or had a panic attack, or had one of "those days" where I couldn't leave the house, or had to take frequent "mommy time outs" to keep from dissolving into hysterical tears every time my kids hugged me. Do you get what I am saying?
Not that I am one to gamble with my mental health, but I am betting that it couldn't be any worse off of meds than it has been for the past 19 years. And I AM still hopeful that they will come out with a new med that will be great for me (which is why I scrambled for the prisiq when it first came out, but it turned out to be a snoozer).
I DO like my trazodone, since I cant sleep without it. But the flipside of that is, I think the reason I can't sleep without it is because I have taken it to sleep since I was 16 and I don't think my body knows how to sleep on its own. So there is that.
Speaking of sleep, I have to get to sleep because I have to get up at a quarter to five in the effing morning. Why the H would I do that to myself? Well some of you already know this, but I HAS A JOB! I am employed! More about that later.
Oh, and I also have to blog about a stupid med mistake I had at the beginning of the week which resulted in a rather borring 1 day hospital stay (and a new Mary Greeley Medical Center insulated mug). SO I will try to blog more because I have alot to say and alot is going on.
Anyways, thanks for listening and congrats if you made it through this huge long post. Oh, and I am always up for advice on medications, alternative treatments (except yoga) and stuff like that. Sometimes I think that people who have lived it know more about what they are talking about than the professionals
5 weeks ago