Archive for medication side effects

Stranded By Dollar Signs

Posted in anxiety disorders, depression, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 23, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

You know how to tell when the fates have a twisted sense of humor? When a mathematically,short term memory impaired person like me ends up with a car with a broken gas gauge.

Since it was bought used at auction there is no way to know how much fuel I started out with. It said half a tank but after driving 60 miles and watching the gauge go UP toward full…Is the car backwards so full means empty? Is the gauge simply giving random readings that have no true meaning? I put gas in,the gauge sometimes goes up towards full but then it settles on half no matter how many miles I drive. Color me confused! Not that I didn’t have a car before with a broken gas gauge, difference was,I’d been driving it awhile and knew how much was in the tank when it quit working. This ‘new’ car (sad that an ’01 is not just new to me,it is the newest car I’ve ever owned),well,I am playing Russian Roulette with the gas gauge. This is not a fun game now that we are 15 mile minimum from town. Not the place to run out of fuel.

So why am I prattling about gas gauges,math,and dollar signs?

It’s very relevant to our current situation. My only real guide to how much gas the car has in it is,argh!,using the mile counter thingie (can’t come up with technical term,can’t be arsed to Google it) then tracking the money I spend on gas, how many gallons,and basing it all on the city/ highway mileage the car was originally supposed to get. Guessing game from hell! I’m not awful at basic math but when forced to do it on the fly and rely on my non existent short term memory to track and divide…

My brain hurts writing about it.

How is this relevant to a mental health blog?

Anxiety,paranoia,and terror.

I’ve never once run a car out of gas. Now it’s a distinct possibility every time we hit the highway. It’s paralyzing me.

Now I know what many are thinking,using that icky thing called logic…why not fill the tank then err on the side of caution at 3/4 of your estimated mileage???

Ha ha ha. Another of this used car’s quirks is that it fuels slowly,something inside is broken and even if the car has driven 100 miles,the gas pump shuts off every $1 you put in,or worse,splashes out. So just putting $5 in takes ten minutes and cramps the hand.

Guessing game. I hate guessing games.

The fact that the car has these issues,on top of our geographical isolation and cash flow issues means…

I feel trapped here after a trip to town and 28 miles on the car even if in theory my math calculations mean I ‘should’ be safe for at least another 12 miles.

Unfortunately,panic and anxiety don’t much care for logic or theoretical things. Scumbag brain locks onto my shitty memory and how I get numbers all mixed up (psych med side effects,anyone?) and becomes convinced that even if the math is right..,an old car might not make the mileage it did when new and I could run out of fuel on the interstate. Worse,not even have a dime to my name to put more in.

So I don’t risk it til next check thus my own mental issues cripple me as much as dollar signs. Anxiety is a cruel disorder I’m not sure I’d wish on an enemy.

You can sometimes reason with yourself on bipolar or depression.

Anxiety just stampedes your logic, spits on your intelligence,and keeps stabbing you in the back.

At least I do like driving the car,whatever its issues.

Gotta love the wackiness of a woman who wears nothing but black driving a white car.


Dear Psychiatric Professional:Do not ever question my commitment to getting well

Posted in bipolar depression with tags , , , , , on December 15, 2017 by morgueticiaatoms

Today started out okay. I was in the abyss yesterday. Today I got up, did laundry, even showered for the first time in almost a week. (Gross, yeah, yeah, meet depression.) I made a trip to Hel-mart aka Wal-Mart to get my kid’s tablet for Christmas, then I stopped a couple of other places to get some VHS tapes since we’re going retro with an abandoned dvd-vcr combo and Spook asked for more tapes. I even managed to get back to the shop early and continued feeding wet clothes into the dryer. I had a TV dinner for lunch.

Then I took my meds.

Lamictal and Wellbutrin, no problem.

Lithium and Trintellix: HUGE problem.

Now I am nauseous, my stomach is churning, and my head aches almost as if sleepy. THIS.

Anyone willing to keep taking medications that make them feel this sick multiple times a week, without warning…this is commitment to getting well. Admitting that meds that help you function are more important than a few hours of abject side effect misery.

Now my psych nurse apparently fails to see what a problem the side effects are. She is utterly disinterested and it angers me. After the last appointment when I was mid meltdown, wearing the same clothes I’d slept in (and spilled stuff on, so combined with not bathing, it’s amazing she could smell the alcohol on me.) Once I admitted to imbibing, her “do you want fries with that” indifference almost seemed to morph into dismissive disdain. Especially when I said I wasn’t ready to work and she asked “How will you know when you are ready?” Maybe the right question to ask when someone is stable, but for someone having a stress induced meltdown..It was cruel. As if saying I’m not trying hard enough. As if one bad choice during a particularly bad period in my life means I don’t want to get well or work.

That really stung.

And sad thing is, her notes go into my file and there will be no mention of her inexperience, or how they fed me to the wolves by sending me to her instead of keeping me with my original wonderful doctor. Her attitude, or at least my perception of it, will not go into the file. My trust issues which do impact my path to wellness won’t come into play. It will look like some poor choices during a dark time mean I’m not committed to getting better and everything is behavioral as opposed to influenced by my ever cycling bipolar disorder.

I realized how hopeless it is when I drove by what used to be the counseling center and it’s now called a ‘behavior center’. Um…NO. Implying mental disorders are behavioral is negligent and ignorant. One more reason I don’t want to go there. If someone is to help me, they need to recognize the huge role my disorders play. It’s not an excuse, it’s a legitimate explanation. But the tides have changed and counseling isn’t therapy anymore. It’s ‘flavor of the decade’ whatever is trending treatment. 80’s it was Prozac Nation, 90’s it was bipolar, then it was borderline personality disorder, now it’s all behavioral and cognitive-is-the-only-therapy other than useless mindfulness.

So hopeless.

Yet here I am, taking meds that make me feel like death and I keep taking them because I am committed to getting well. Because they may make me feel hopeless and have no faith in them but I still have faith in myself, even when I make poor choices or fail to be mindful at times. I believe in me.

If the professionals can’t recognize this, I don’t think I am the entire problem here. It’s about time the mental health professionals realize this. That often, they are part of the problem and while so eager to tell patients to change their behavior, be this, do that…

What do they do about failing us?

Their commitment to helping is what I question more than anything.

Maybe they have a behavior disorder.

Maybe that’s insulting.

No maybe.

It’s insulting to everyone and especially to people taking harsh medications in an effort to get better.

Still…I’m betting on myself. No one knows me better than I know myself and considering all of the personal growth and progress I have made, often without benefit of ‘counselors’…

My commitment is strong and I will not be defeated by psychiatric trends. Few years from now anyone who likes chocolate might find themselves labeled with a disorder.


Trintellix, Lamictal, Wellbutrin, Bad Juju

Posted in bipolar disorder with tags , , , on July 10, 2017 by morgueticiaatoms

Just a brief post on yet again, medication side effects. And what I have learned since starting Trintellix is…Taken by itself I am fine. When, in an effort to evade my bad memory and avoid forgetting meds, I tossed in my Lamictal and Wellbutrin with it twice and became nauseous, sleepy, and my stomach began to hurt, badly. Now since mental health care and meds are as much artform as science, I suppose there’s no way of foreseeing that this would be a bad combination to take at the same time. If I wait fifteen or so minutes to add the other two, I am fine.

Aside from the horrid stomach aches from mixing with other meds, the Trintellix is neither harming nor helping. It’s been 3 days though, so fair enough. I just cannot believe the misery I am in now simply because I wanted to take all three meds at once to avoid forgotten and missed doses.

Trying to plan a life around all this medication complication is a bitch. I am all but retching over the toilet when not curled up in stomach pain and my kid is furious with me because my pain overshadowed the fake concert she was going to put on. Kinda like R when these med complications screw up HIS plans. It’s all about everyone else and how this inconveniences them.

Medicated or hormonal or sane or not..That should make anyone pissed off, to be surrounded by so many selfish assholes who don’t care what you’re going through except that it inconveniences them.

On the other hand…Putting ourselves through all these trial and error meds and the side effects and failures…It negates the naysayers who claim we are malingerers who don’t want to get better. Psych meds are like gargling Drano and hoping it doesn’t kill you. No one would do this unless they wanted to feel better desperately.

So that is all. If you have med side effects that the professionals say you can’t have because their iphone says it’s not listed in the side effect post from the pharma gods…We are all different, all have different combos of meds to take, and IT IS NOT IN OUR HEADS when this stuff makes us sick.

And P.S.- I really find it disconcerting when my doctor, nurse practitioner and even the pharmacist are consulting their smart phones to inform me about my medications. I miss back when people read books. Grumpy Morgue out.

Disturbed and Perturbed

Posted in bipolar depression with tags , , , , on June 2, 2017 by morgueticiaatoms

I fed six shrieking kids last night. Fortunately they sat outside at the picnic table so I didn’t have to do more than cook mac and cheese and provide paper plates and forks. I don’t know why I agreed to it, maybe I was just that glad to have my kid home even though the noise of constant kids is already breaking me down.

Then came drama. My kid opted to play with the older kids two doors down so the devil girls mouthed the older kids then their mouthy loud mother got into it with the devil girl’s father in MY yard and he told me his girls are not allowed to play with those older kids. Fine, but my kid was getting along fine with them prior to his kids showing up. To make matters worse is the race issue, only made an issue by HIS mouthy kids who seem to think skin color is indicative of superiority. Hmm, where did they learn that from?

The shocker was when devil dad invited all four of the posse (I’d call them a gang, but that’s a bad term, too, I guess) plus his own two to sleep over at their house. Not once in 5 years have those parents offered to do ANYTHING, they won’t even let kids in their house supposedly due to a bite-y dog. I was relieved to finally have my kid back but I wasn’t feeling too great (the meds, guess Cymbalta and Wellbutrin together are to blame for my newfound sleepiness and nausea) and my kid’s almost 8 and never slept over anywhere but grandma’s, grandpa’s, and R’s. So I cut the apron strings, in spite of my own anxiety. Their trailer is right behind ours, can see their front door from my step, so it wasn’t like she was miles away. Still…it was a big step for me. Alone time with the dark thoughts is not good right now but I put her needs ahead of my own.

She returned home today at the time I specified and I gave her a shower while she said she stayed up all night and she cried for me, and the other girls made her clean up all their messes but it was okay because they had McDonald’s (why did I feed them all mac and cheese again????). I bathed her and gave her breakfast, within 30 minutes another kid was knocking for her. I tried to play My Little Pony Shopkins with her but the child is so bossy she doesn’t allow free thought. ‘Do this” “Pretend this” “say this”. She needs to learn that if she’s got the story all plotted out and doesn’t want to include others then she can play alone. Awful of me? Maybe. Still. I let her play with Riley and wasn’t five minutes they were asking for food. I hate seeming stingy by saying no but my God, I can’t afford to feed her and me, let alone 6 other kids, day in and day out. And before I get any comments on how I am the adult. duh! I know this. And I realized earlier I would never allow any man or woman to treat me the way that child does. Guess I’m just wishy washy during these deep depressions and she’s likely learned to use that to her advantage. No do-overs here, just cleaning up the mess that’s been made. And in our situation, with limited funds, a crap ass down with zero activities, there’s not much for any of these kids to do during summer but play together. I just don’t know why it has to be my yard. Guess the picnic table replaced the swing set they destroyed as a beacon.

So…Oh what would it be like to write coherently and stay on topic? So I went to sleep-ish at 7 thirty last night…And I say ish because I was up several times but I was so tired (fuck you, meds) I didn’t have the will to stay up. This morning I took my meds and spent two hours trying to stay awake and feeling comatose. Last time I was on Cymbalta, I got hypomanic for a couple of hours afterward. But then I wasn’t on Wellbutrin back then. Guess this mix is just sleep inducing.Which is one of my deal breaker side effects. May be mythbusting time, take away Wellbutrin temporarily and see if the grogginess sticks. Bad Morgue? Yes. But I’m a professional at this shit. Gotta be when your doctor is too busy to be bothered with you.

We ventured out to Dollar Tree. By then all the sunlight and road work and traffic had me so rattled I barely remembered why we went out there. And doing anything with the “I want” monster is hellish. Then a fire truck, cop, and ambulance all appeared in the square, sirens blazing and my first thought, as always, was, “Least it’s not at my house.” That set me off further so I scrapped other errands to come home to safety and try to get my brain on track.

I have a sink full of dishes I am avoiding. Monday I kicked so much ass and now I simply have nothing left. I will try to tackle it all later but Tragic Hate Ball says not to hold your breath.

I just seem to get worse by the day and I don’t even know why. Public outings and noise have always been a trigger but since I had my daughter…it’s like I have dry socket of my central nervous system. Everything is a trigger and my nerves are raw and throbbing when even a breeze blows. It was never this bad before. I don’t blame my kid. It was my old shrink who said the entire pregnancy/birth process could shock my brain better or it could get worse.
I lost that roll of the dice.

I’m not giving up. I read this Hollywood Reporter interview with the lawyer defending Kathy Griffin for the whole bloody Trumpire head picture thing…And she’s getting death threats same as Griffin. She was quoted (and I repeat this loosely), “Yesterday, the devil whispered in my ear that I am not strong enough to survive the storm.”

“Today I told him…I AM THE STORM.”

I like that. I didn’t think a lawyer could say anything that would resonate with me. Who knew.

Don’t Try This At Home, KIds

Posted in bipolar depression with tags , , , , , on March 17, 2017 by morgueticiaatoms

So first off, I wanted to throw in this ****disclaimer**** lest some net troll accuse me of “giving bad advice/setting bad example” bullshit. As previously mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have, for two weeks, been trying to wean myself off  Pristiq, and no, not with my doctor’s approval.

The reason for discontinuing Pristiq, which worked okay for awhile, is that when combined with the Wellbutrin that has done so well for my focus…I end up convinced I have bugs crawling in my hair. The itching scalp thing is just a deal breaker. And considering it didn’t start til the two meds were mixed together and I did make sure it wasn’t Wellbutrin alone doing it…NOPE.

As for coming off without the doctor rigamarole…My shrink’s practice is so busy I can barely get in every 3 months, even after med changes. And he is uber conservative which means we only stop one drug at a time or start one at a time, there’s no expediting the matter with him. Love the doc, but his caution and booked schedule mean my life becomes a bigger living hell with side effects or whatever. I am weaning off carefully, not cold turkey. It’s no different than doing it with doc approval. I’ve been at this shit for so long I probably know more about proper tapering off than the doctor does. I mean, I was one of the first test cases in the 90’s, when they did not acknowledge that anti-depressants cause withdrawal symptoms and my sage shrink told me I could quit Effexor cold turkey. Two weeks of auditory hallucinations, paranoia, and sleeping with a knife under my pillow.

So no more cold turkey, ever. Not stupid. But I did prove my belief yesterday when after a million brain zaps I broke down and took a Pristiq…Next thing I know my previously normal scalp and hair start itching relentlessly. PROVEN.

Just…I am not setting examples, giving advice, just…this is my situation. This is what I am doing. Don’t try this at home kids. Disclaimer enough?

Today is my first day in 3 of not being forced into the dish. And of course I am so psychologically bruised from my time in the dish, I’ve done nothing today. Oh, well, I did fix myself some eggs, and I knew better but I was hungry and thus…gastric agony and dating the bathroom ensued.

I just feel aching and bruised and it’s not having done anything physically taxing. It’s the mental cost that is so expensive and I don’t think people realize that.

I wanted to go get groceries and such today while my kid is at school. Instead the gray day and bruised psyche and gastric hell have me too damned beaten down to do anything.

I guess I can be thankful as I took my meds and for once they didn’t make me nauseous or make me zonk out.

I fear I may have inadvertently put myself into the family war by trying to extricate myself from the anxiety inducing out of town dog sitting gig. I talked to my mom and sis to see if they were still pissed at dad for not cosigning and I offered to PAY them to keep doing the dog sitting thing so I don’t have to. Extra stress I do not need. So mom says no, she isn’t too mad, the dog is welcome. Now I guess I have to tell my dad what I did trying to smooth things over and he will be pissed.

I wanna be an orphan.

Now, back to doing nothing and feeling guilty for doing nothing yet working on accepting the fact that I am emotionally exhausted and it’s manifested physically and grocery stores will still be there tomorrow as will the laundry and dishes. The world will not end simply because I need a breather.

(Now watch the world end, ffs.)

My new decal for the car, just for a giggle.

E.T.Rex lighter- Spook spotted it and insisted I get it. Pretty funny, no?

Let’s Talk About Sex

Posted in mental health with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

***I have the TLC song of this title stuck in my head, so forgive me.***
***Also some perverted trollfuck will be very disappointed by this if they go by that naughty three letter word in the title. Muhahahah****

The number one question I’ve been asked that pretty much sums up mental illness:
“How do your disorders affect your quality of life?”
Um…How does it NOT affect quality of life?
You think it’s woe is me because I have problems with crying outbursts or manic episodes? No biggie, right?

Well, the sales of products like Viagra indicate that sexual dysfunction IS a big deal to men. Which means sex is a pretty vital part of life, mentally ill or not.

So…I will use myself as the example because frankly I don’t interview others on this topic.
Manic, I would hump the leg of the Lincoln statue at the museum. It’s almost like an ecstasy trip, except I’ve never done ecstasy but what is described sounds like a hypersexual manic episode. Good idea at the time, all the nerve receptors alive and well, you feel alive and desirable and want to keep feeling that way.
It’s only after the fact that you review your actions and think WHAT THE FUCK DID I DO, THAT’S SO NOT ME!
Then during the depressions, I feel less than sexual. I don’t want to bathe or pretty myself up. I want to smell bad and isolate and growl at people and cry and just be unattractive and pathetic. No sex drive. But it does release the good chemicals so occasionally I can be swayed.
It’s sad because on an even keel, I have a good sex drive. I like it. What’s the big deal?

But because of the mental issues…Even this wondermous activity is tainted. And it becomes further tainted by the treatments.
I’ve had antidepressants that made me feel asexual. Some made me feel hypersexual but orgasms weren’t ever going to happen. Then were the ones who let you keep a tiny sliver of sex drive but inhibited pleasure so much it was as fun as sweeping a floor.

Unfortunately, there is no Viagra sort of pill to pop for all the sexual dysfunction that comes with treated/untreated mental illness. It is what it is. And the doctors seem to think that sexual dysfunction as a side effect is trivial.
So, what, we’re ill, we should accept that we’re not allowed a basic human pleasure?

It is a quality of life issue. Most people, even if not overtly sexual, still like the touch of another, like how it feels to get carried away with the sensations and emotions and the connection of physically interacting with others.
And mental illness, and it’s treatment, even rob us of that.

So..How does mental illness affect my quality of life?

It makes me want to have all my sexy bits removed because if I can’t get them to work as they were intended…What’s the fucking point in having them.

Too much information?

I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface on this one.It needs to be discussed because it is a factor. People are weird about talking sex anyway, and the stigma of mental illness has lead to almost asexuality amongst the mentally ill.
It’s time to lift the cloak and bring the topic into the light, uncomfortable and embarrassing as it is for some.

So…yeah. Let’t talk about sex.
Maybe if enough people did talk about it and the effects mental illness and medications have on that aspect of our humanity, there might be some research into a drug that might not have that side effect.

I assure you it’s not trivial.
It’s a basic human drive and to have it affected as well…
Mental illness just robs you of everything and the meds that help with some aspects…Rob you of something else.
It’s not a fair trade off for me.
It shouldn’t be for anyone.

Tapioca for brains

Posted in mental illness, mood disorders with tags , , on January 20, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

Am definitely starting to notice a difference in my mood cycles stabilizing since we increased to 150mg Lamictal per day. That semi stability is also helping me trudge through the seasonal depression and whatever obstacles life keeps placing before me.
The down side to this is…the same old side effects that always troubled me with all psych meds is starting to disturb me again.
Maybe the lack of focus can be blamed on some ADD related thing.
The short term memory problems I am convinced come with the use of mood stabilizers and anti depressants. The teleshrink always asks about side effects and I told her I hadn’t noticed any really bad ones.
But this not being able to remember something ten seconds after being told…that is irritating as hell. I’m not talking about forgetting that I did something. I mean, when R tells me to look up a part number, I have forgotten it before I can even get to paper and pen or the computer to look it up. It just won’t stick,like my brain is made of Teflon. It frustrates me and I know he thinks I have Alzheimer’s or something. I’ve often wondered if I have some sort of inner dyslexia as far as numbers are concerned because the short term memories seem limited to anything numerical. Of course, none of that started til after I went on medication.
I am also suffering from scrambled egg brain, starting to forget appointments or getting dates and times screwed up. I am definitely on stress overload, but this happens every time I go on the meds. For a couple of months I do just fine, keep it all straight, am reliable…After awhile though it all starts to turn my brain into tapioca and I get confused and screw things up. It paints a portrait of me as this slacker-flake who just blows shit off for fun, and that’s not it at all. I have tried talking to shrinks about it but they are convinced it’s laziness or me making excuses for not pushing past my depression and keeping shit straight.
I go on sensory overload, the meds scramble my brain, and everything becomes a clusterfuck juggling act. I can’t juggle. I suck at juggling.

One other negative I have noticed…Since she lowered the Xanax, I have been more anxious and am back to having daily panic attacks. I don’t dare mention this to her because she already made it clear she thinks I am at a high dose already…I don’t agree since the lower dose is making my symptoms worsen. Truth is, I am afraid if I complain, rather than increase the Xanax she will want to put me on something like Klonopin or Ativan. Neither of which do shit for the panic and just make me sedated. These doctors want you to be honest with them but considering they have all the control in the relationship, speaking up can often be worse than sucking it up and just dealing.

All in all…in some ways I am doing better. In some ways…I am starting to slip. It happens every time, though, and the doctors can’t agree on what is a side effect or what isn’t, and I’m somewhere in the middle, trying to keep my shit together and often failing.

The one thing I am NOT failing at is being a good mom to my kid. I suppose the fact that remains a constant medicated or not, basketcase or high functioning, speaks volumes about how I have my priorities straight.

Still…it is a daily struggle. I have dark moments and light moments and moments of utter confusion.

But I am still kicking.
Tapioca for brains isn’t terminal, right?