Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Stigma of Invisible Disability

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

Oh, my kingdom for the clarity and focus expressed in this post. Unfortunately, a chaotic mind seems to be my cross to bear and people don’t have time to weed out the coherent thoughts. I will let Kit do it for me and a big thanks to her for writing this.

Kitt O'Malley

Stigma & Invisible Disability Those of us living with invisible disabilities face stigma not only from others but sometimes from ourselves.

Recently read Work Ethic, a post by bpnurse, in which she discusses her life since she stopped working and went on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

People judge those of us with invisible disabilities. We even judge ourselves.

Someone once asked me if I questioned the ethics of receiving disability. I explained that my disability wasn’t visible. I ran down my history of hypomanic workaholism and subsequent crashing into depression, rapid cycling and mixed states which lead to my hospitalization.

Although I appear fine, traditional work and I do not mix well. My bipolar type II is well-controlled with medication and my careful avoidance of triggers to mood cycling.

Because my brain disorder is invisible and because my husband provides for our family, someone believe that I take advantage of a…

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Stalled Antidepressants:Fact or Fiction?

Posted in depression, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 2, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

Lately I have been on some sort of soul searching ‘am I truly ill or am I just neurotic? ‘ kick. Self awareness is a beautiful double edged sword. It’s awesome to know yourself and your skills as well as detriments. Sometimes,though,heightened self awareness leads to a level of insecurity and self doubt that is a crippling disorder.

Still,I constantly question myself,my motives,whether I am guilty of self sabotage,et al.

This war with myself is extremely harsh when it comes to my 25 year history with antidepressants. The longest I’ve ever stayed on a single one is 16 months and usually not because it was still working. I just didn’t want to feel like I failed again.

I had a shrink who kept me on Zoloft nine months and my depression was worsened,I had suicidal thoughts,and he said,’Maybe the Zoloft isn’t working because you don’t want it to work.’

Suffice it to say,I didn’t much like his smarmy ass so frankly if it had meant not having to see him very often,I’d have snorted sea monkeys and shot up Zoloft if it worked at all.

He was by far the worst in a long line of shrinks (except the anti benzo chick who put me on Seroquel for panic attacks thus turning me into a shut in)…but he was hardly the first to note how often I requested my antidepressant be changed. I get tired of that tone they take,’you’ve tried this and this and that and nothing seems to work very long…’ As if it’s more hassle for them. Try living it.

Until I started blogging on the wordpress mental health forum,I was fairly sure I was alone in my medi-go-round. I have learned just how many of us are treatment resistant when it comes to antidepressants.

For it to all be in our heads cos we bore of a med and ‘don’t want it to work’ would be a pretty diverse and vast conspiracy of people from different states,countries,genetics,backgrounds to self sabotage.

Fact is,the scientists aren’t entirely sure how or why antidepressants work (it is thought that…you see that a lot in the literature). So if they don’t know how they work for sure,they can’t know how or why at some point the medication ‘stalls’ and quits working for us.

All I know is that I hate changing meds so if I am telling a doctor ‘this isn’t working’,I am telling the truth. No affectation,no expectation of happiness in a pill failed. It worked for awhile,then it stalled out.

It is maddening. Frustrating. But it’s the real deal many of us live with every day. Always hopeful our current cocktail sticks,fearing the day it stalls…tightrope act without a net is a hellish way to live.

None of us chose that.

And as for my former Zoloft ‘you just don’t want it to work’ pushing doctor…

Cracker Jack University put a recall on your degree. Even they think you suck at your job.

Yeah,yeah,it was 8 years ago. I hold grudges. Sue me.

The Medi-Go-Round and Whack-A-Quack

Posted in depression, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 1, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

My mental healthcare has devolved into little more than a carnival side show. I’ve ridden the medi-go-round for so long,it’s just another ride on the carousel that never stops turning.

Finding a psychiatrist is like playing Whack A Mole.

Dr. H informed me she is leaving in July and while they are allegedly working on their short staffing…

I am going to be bounced back to doc nurse. I am unamused and worse,also sympathetic to doc nurse cos with the mass dr. exodus the last few months…she is inheriting ALL patients til they can find a new staff doc.

So if I found her apathetic,dismissive,and was irritated by how little time I get with the shrink…I will be lucky to get 5 minutes every six months.

You gotta appreciate the irony (morony?) of the entire principle of mental healthcare being stability and consistency…yet I am being tossed to another doc for a third time in under a year. It’s like if I am not unstable to begin with, the carnival of my treatment center is going to make me that way and keep me off kilter.

So,not surprisingly,the nurse had no memory of talking to me about my Effexor side effects,no recall that she said insurance wouldn’t pay to change meds til maxed on the other one.

The doctor was rushed,asked if I’d tried gabapentin for anxiety…WTF? Three appointments,a dozen calls to the staff about that toxic crap,and she didn’t remember? I know docs have a lot of patients but Geesh,can they not even take 90 seconds to glance over your chart before seeing you?

I got pretty assertive because I tried to talk to her,she cut me off,I tried to stress that I am doing everything to help myself and I don’t expect meds to be magical pills,just want to feel more like myself.

She said,’I understand’ a dozen times and it was without sincerity. Felt like a hurried brush off and I wasn’t having it.

So rather than wait for her to bring up med changes,I told her I wanna try Cymbalta again and I think the dual antidepressants might be why my anxiety is so high. Not to mention 18 months on Wellbutrin didn’t make me even want to stop smoking so there were no benefits left to it.

She agreed (and to be rid of me,I think she’d have agreed with me that pegacorns are real) so we’re starting 20 mg Cymbalta,then up to 40, while tapering to 150 mg Wellbutrin for 7 days. She is hoping this does the trick so doc nurse will only need to check in and refill my meds.i

When told I’d have to go back to nurse doc,I actually asked in dismay,’She’s my only option?’ So I bet I came off as an ass but I explained,I like Carrie fine,she’s very sweet,but she has little experience with the ink barely dry on her master’s degree,I think my treatment resistant disorder needs big guns with experience.

I was glad to be done with it. Glad to get my kid’s dentist appt over(no cavities,yay!),glad to run errands and come home.

Only to have to go back to town today and pay rent and power. I think living in Armpit is worsening my panic coping skills cos now every trip to town sets me into a tailspin of anger,fear,paranoia…like I needed that amplified.

Now the day is mine to loll about and that’s what I am doing. I took my first Cymbalta today and immediately was stricken with gastric issues and even a bit of grogginess. Which is odd cos Cymbalta used to make me pep up at first. Idk,hopefully it will pass.

Now back to my rides on the bipolar coaster,medi-go-round and playing whack a quack with a Z whacker. Life is a carnival and the carousel never stops turning.

Which kinda makes me wish a tornado would tear the damn thing to shreds.

I fucking hate carousels.

When Seeking Treatment Is As Stressful As The Disorders

Posted in anxiety disorders, depression, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 30, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

So shrink appointment in 90 minutes and I am wound up like a clock. Have been for 2 days. And while I have had ‘appointment anxiety’ since I was a child seeing the pediatrician so I have to own my own neuroses.

Thing is,the last year at this psych center with all their changes and staffing issues and how difficult it is to communicate with the nurse or dr between appointments…

My anxiety is heightened to crippling levels.

And I just don’t think this is acceptable or professional on their part.

It is so difficult to seek mental heath treatment in the first place,every appointment or dealing should not be this stressful for a patient already maxed out on stress.

I’ve already been indulging Googleitus by looking up ways to talk honestly but firmly so I am heard.

God,reading that ‘I feel’ drivel makes me cringe. While 75% of the time I agree it is great to say ‘I feel’ instead of going postal with the ‘you make me feel’ thing that is never productive…

This psych center’s apathy, poor staffing,and all around messiness seems the perfect time for ‘YOU MAKE ME FEEL MORE ANXIOUS,STRESSED,DEPRESSED AND IGNORED AND IT PISSES ME OFF!’

Sometimes the best way to he heard and not brushed off is to get angry and stand up for yourself. If they feel it’s a personal attack,well,I think being kept on a med that made me suicidal for 3 weeks longer than necessary feels like a personal attack on me. Do no harm and all that.

But of course I will go in and stifle how truly disgusted I am with the whole operation because hey,I am a mental patient so no feelings I have are ever valid,just bipolar distortion.

You’d think it’d be as simple as change the doctor if it’s not working. Ha,in rural midwest with crapass insurance no one accepts…I am stuck with the den of ineptitude.

And it makes me sad cos this center used to be a decent place. Been going there 12 years,and they’ve never been able to keep help doctor wise more than a year or two,so staffing issues I’ve learned to deal with. At least they used to manage some semblance of competence and make me think they half ass cared about patients. Now…I have little faith in them and I’m stuck.

Getting help is supposed to be the easy part. You admit you need it finally,the rest is gravy.

In my case…this place has deteriorated into a car filled with clowns who’re too busy to even squirt me in the face with a water filled flower.

It is negligent to make a patient feel this much stress. It is despicable for them to not fix their staffing issues so no patient has to feel this way.

Your doctor’s office has a big problem if you start pondering going off your meds because dealing with their office is too stress inducing.

How Mental Health Issues Invalidate You

Posted in bipolar disorder, depression, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 29, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

One of the hallmarks of bipolar,whatever axis,is that we feel every emotion so deeply. Whereas everyone else’s emotions pour in from a small Blue tooth speaker, our feelings broadcast from a stack of amps that’d make Ozzfest seem like Manilow in an elevator.

Soo while trying to be self aware and keep this flood of emotion in check we are constantly invalidating ourselves because hey, we feel so much so intensely, how can we ever trust anything we are feeling?

I’ll be the first to admit that often, my emotions on any given topic or situation are out of proportion thus I am being fed improper signals at a deafening volume-but mental health issue or not…I am reacting to these wrong signals and reacting wrongly,I am stuck owning this.

Yet during these heightened emotional responses…my feelings are authentic,no matter how distorted or amplified. There is nothing insincere about the way I feel and truthfully,even if overreactive,I am having honest responses to what my mind insists are honest emotions.

It’s a catch 22 from Hell.

I see the shrink Monday and already my mind and body are twisting in knots. Because I am obligated to doubt and question myself and what I will say and in what tone I will use. I know mentioning their short staffing issues will put the doctor on the defensive. If I bring up the nurse’s failure to even inquire with insurance as for a change of meds,she will take offense and pf course,it will be on me.

For fuck’s sake!

I’d ask for advice from my occasional readers but that is as futile as dealing with the doctor. Now that even bowel movements have a ‘like’ button,there is no need to interact or ask for comments.

Besides,asking for even one person to even say ‘hang in there’ would be an emotional distortion on my part…let alone seeking someone,anyone,just one person to advise my social ineptitude on how to get the dr to pay attention to me without offending her and her staff(no matter how much they deserve it)…

I’ve already negated my own argument by letting the anxiety send me careening off topic…

And bonus,asking for or hoping for advice or input or support makes me loathe myself cos once upon a time,I didn’t need validated by others cos I wasn’t stuck with a mentally defective label or psycho analyzed to the point of constant self doubt…

Anyway…dr appt Monday,still depressed,still uber anxious,mega pissed at their ineptitude,completely at a loss on how to get my very dire feelings across without over distortion…

I miss being a manic promiscuous spending spree drunken irresponsible ‘crazy’ person.

Way more fun and same end result as getting treatment:feeling shitty about myself.

Fuck a fancy bag.

Mindfulness Is The Kardashian Of Mental Health Treatment

Posted in bipolar disorder, depression, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 28, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

Oh,yes,I am back to bitch and moan and frankly,I don’t care who it offends. My triggers are many but the last couple of years…the term ‘mindful’ sets me off just as much as the colors orange and red have triggered me since I woke with my apartment building on fire 18 years ago. I try to ignore it,try to not engage the trigger,try to deny it is a trigger.

But it is a mega trigger that makes my blood boil.

Sooo many blogs about mental health the last couple of years have become havens for buzz word ‘mindfulness’. Of course, mindfulness is the new black.

It’s a mindless trend in psych treatment, getting its moment in the sun same as all the other trending treatments over the years. Cognitive,exposure,rapid eye movement desensitization,visualization…

The professionals have NO clue what they are doing so every few years they change therapies. It’s no better than which Kardashian is trending today for what utterly inane reason.

Bringing me to another trigger- the all new labeling of mental health disorders as ‘behavioral health’. That one makes me feel stabby.

I am glad for people who have had good results with cbt, the eye movement spiel,the ‘immerse yourself in what you fear to heat your fear’ and mindfulness. Great for you!

Thing is,I’ve been in treatment for 32 years and the treatment trends come and go. As soon as you find what works, the trend changes. And for those like me who all but walk on hot coals and use leeches to suck out our depression and anxiety…

Trendy treatments are futile and downright insulting.

And by the way,as much as I really want to be supportive of and happy for others who are on the mend…

‘Cured/managed’ mental health patients can grate on my nerves as much as hypocritical former smokers who kicked it and suddenly are so great in their own mind.

You should savor feeling better but don’t forget what it’s like on the other side of the fence where no miracles are happening.

Be MINDFUL that while you are doing better and now you have all this great clarity about how awful you once felt and now you feel great,wow,what a complaining loser I used to be…

Some of us aren’t there yet. Some of us simply aren’t trending with sunshine spewing mindfulness…and that’s ok.

Trends come and go. I want my treatment to work and stick around.

But hey,that’s just my opinion and while I stand by it…use leeches,hot coal walks, snort Sea Monkeys. Do what works for you.

Just don’t be shocked if I hear the term ‘mindful’ and start looking all stabby.

We all have our stuff and that godawful trendy term…makes me want to locate sharp objects.

Now back to your all important previously scheduled top ten trending topics. Hey,maybe one of the Kardashians are using mindfulness leech therapy.

Benzo Withdrawal Has Nothing On Stopping Antidepressants

Posted in depression, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 25, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

I’ve officially hit day 7 coming off Effexor. It had been mildish until the last couple of days. Now I feel loopy,uncoordinated,woozy,off balance, sleepy yet wired. And let us not forget to mention the wondermous ‘brain zaps’ that come with quitting SSRI’s,SNRI’s,all the alphabet soupy med classes.

For those unfamiliar with the brain zap phenomenon…it’s a bit like having a joy buzzer planted deep in your brain and as you come off the medication and the levels in your system lower and lower..,some sadistic prankster keeps shaking hands with your brain in random ninja attacks you never see coming, ZAP ZAP. Oh,it’s gone a-w- zapzapzapZAP.

Talk about disconcerting. And I’ve had it coming off 99% of the antidepressants I have been on over the last 25 years. Tapering off only helps so much,no matter what the doctor’s say. The withdrawal symptoms still come,and it can take months for some to totally stop a medication,the withdrawal is so bad. (Read a few mental health forums on the subject and depression starts looking better an option than stopping the meds to treat it.)

I guess in some ways,I am ‘lucky’. I got in on the antidepressant fun train back in the 90’s, long before the pharma companies and psych docs even knew these meds could cause withdrawal. My first cold turkey med withdrawal was…ZAPZAPZAP. Effexor. My brain trust shrink told me,after being on it over a year,just stop taking it.

That went soo well for me! In addition to the brain zaps, assorted physical and mental chaos,for the first time in my life..,I started having visual and auditory hallucinations. I was walking around with a knife in hand,convinced someone was in the house. I slept for a week with that knife under my pillow.

Finally I realized I was really losing my shit so I called the shrink,who of course,wasn’t available. Just my lucky night cos the new school doc on call was horrified my old school doc didn’t taper me off Effexor. He was genuinely concerned and validated my symptoms and guided me through coming down in dose over a couple of weeks.

Effexor and Cymbalta are the two worst I have had to withdraw from. Ideally I would have tapered Effexor this time but withdrawal is better than suicidal thoughts. I just want it over with,get this shit out of my system. Which by all half life accounts,after a week, I should have it out of my system.

And that is the problem. These antidepressants don’t linger but your brain chemicals still cry out for them,whether they helped or hurt. Zap zap zap,give us our poison,we neeed it.

I have quit Xanax,Klonopin,Ativan,Temazepam, cold turkey,more times than I want to count (money or availability reasons) and there was no benzo withdrawal worse or even as bad as coming off an anti depressant. It’s not like that for everyone but that’s been my experience.

When you hear ‘withdrawal’ you get images of some shaky dirty street person jonesing for a hit of whatever happy toxin gets them by. They’re all sweaty and filthy and they just want their fix,they’d kill a newborn puppy for that fix.

But antidepressant withdrawal is nothing like that. It’s your brain zapping and telling you something that was there is gone and it needs it back or it can’t stop zapping you or making you feel out of sorts. There is no desire for it, we don’t get a high from it,we’re not in some alley ready to harm puppies to get that next 20 mg of Prozac or whatever…but we’re still suffering a process that is as grueling and we’re doing it to help ourselves get away from poison pills.

With the hell of coming off anti-deps you’d think none of us would ever risk it by taking another one ever again.

It’s a catch 22 served on a flaming hot platter from hell. When tbe meds work,they are worth any risk. When they fail, you reach the point of wishing for death instead of 6 weeks of brain zap withdrawal.

The true meaning of courage and optimism is the willingness to keep putting yourself through it because you have so much faith that you *will* find that magic cocktail and live happily ever after.

Or ya know,live several months feeling pretty content before yet another med quits on you.

When 20 plus meds have quit on you but you keep riding that medi-go-round…does that make me brave and optimistic or just a self loathing masochist?

Ask me in 4 weeks when (hopefully) the brain zaps have stopped.