Undoing Crazy

A stay in the hospital…

I promised I was back, and then I disappeared again.   Well, I spent the last seven days in the hospital. I can’t believe that wanting to cut yourself can give you a seven day stay in the “wellness facility.”  I want to clarify, because my last post was a little confusing; I had thoughts of dying, not of suicide and I just simply had the overwhelming urge to cut myself not to die but to know what it feels like.  I’ve had thoughts like that before, but never so strong.

I think I was just overwhelmed by my thoughts.

Being in the hospital is enough to drive someone in there in the first place.  There’s so much time on your hands and if you spend that extra time in your room sleeping, you’ll stay there longer.  I can’t believe the point system is actually true, except at the hospital I was at you can’t go outside no matter how good you are.

Overall though, I feel much better.  No thoughts of self harm or suicide and I even gained some hope of getting better.  I finished an entire journal while in there, I have a lot of insight into my behaviors now and what sets me off.  Now, to handle it in the future.  I’m also considering some form of spirituality.  Not sure exactly what, I’m thinking maybe Buddhism. I’m still unsure.

Thankfully, my Stella has even gotten better since I was gone. Although, the girls didn’t eat much they missed their mommy as much as I missed them.


Pets and Therapy

In the partial hospitalization program you attend group sessions from 9 am to almost 3 pm.  They give handouts in the beginning of the week telling us all what the groups will be throughout the day.  Today I was very excited for pet therapy.  In pet therapy we ended up just talking like regular group therapy but with a Rottweiler puppy in attendance as well.  We went around the room with treats for her and pet her after all the treats were gone.  She took a particular liking to me, which is good because I love dogs.

Because I can’t  have dogs or cats in my condo that I am renting, I decided to get a couple of guinea pigs for some companionship.  I’m amazed at how mentally absorbed I’ve become in my guinea pigs. I’m excited to get home to them and sad when I have to leave them.  I often think of them throughout the day and worry about them as I would a child.  I like that I have something to think about and occupy my mind because I often used to just worry about every random thing.  Thinking about them is a refreshing change.

I’m also excited to report that I actually started to feel hopeful today.  In expressive therapy I was able to work on a collage of what I wanted my future to look like, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to do that a month ago.  I was also able to make a list of goals.  Here is what I came up with in order of which I feel I could accomplish most easily.

  • Try acupuncture. *I went to a place in town and actually made an appointment for this Friday. I’ll keep you updated on how it went.
  • Get into a writing habit.
  • Get my apartment cleaned and organized.
  • Get my guinea pigs to trust me and want to be held by me.
  • Happily return to work.
  • Sell items I don’t use on eBay or at a garage sale. Donate what won’t sell.
  • Do volunteer work.
  • Look into a secondary insurance plan.
  • Keep an eye out for a first shift/challenging position using my degree or that requires a bachelors degree.
  • Get my debt payed off.

I also started seeing the psychiatrist I’ve been assigned in the program and so far I don’t mind him. He changed my meds again, I’ll be going back to Effexor and starting Abilify.  Hopefully that can do what the Fanapt is not doing.  I just want to feel better.


“How can you hide from what never goes away?”

The title of this post is also a quote from the book Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel.

I thought that I was done with feeling suicidal, turns out I’m not.  I was struggling with thoughts of wanting to die and not seeing a purpose again Sunday and Monday.  And today, I’m not really sure were I’m at with things. I don’t feel well, but I don’t feel completely hopeless either.

I hung out with my two baby guinea pigs tonight.  I love the two of them to death, they are so funny and my desire to see them grow and to get them to enjoy being held and trust me is probably one of the only things keeping me going these days.  Despite expanding my friend base after the first rough patch of this episode, I’m still struggling with feeling alone.  Maybe it’s because it’s my first day in outpatient treatment and I’m not used to the people yet, I’m not sure.

I had a little talk with my mother tonight and she agreed that she didn’t feel I was at the point in which I needed to go into inpatient treatment, but last Tuesday I could have sworn that was what I needed.  I’m scared I’m never going to get the right meds, because I’m starting to believe that this doesn’t have any reason other than being a true chemical imbalance and that’s why it’s taking so long for me to deal with and get better.  I was talking with my therapist the last time I had a session and she said that inpatient is the fast way to getting the right meds because you are seeing a psychiatrist everyday and being constantly monitored. I’m not sure, I still feel like it’s just a big crap shot and getting the right combo.

My sleep is back to being completely off the wall. I think I’m talking to my assigned psychiatrist tomorrow, I need to make a list of all of these things.  Although sometimes I never really know what to tell the doctors because I keep forgetting things or it’s been so long since I’ve dealt with them.

I’m going on my fourth month of feeling completely crappy and not being able to deal with day to day life, I’m just sick of having to feel this way all the time.

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“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.”

The title of this post is a quote from Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, my current read.

A week ago today, despite everyone’s advice against it: I decided to stop taking my meds.  In all fairness, I was already feeling horrible and slept through my medication alarm on my phone and when I woke up the next morning (Tuesday, my birthday) I was feeling fine and thought I could handle not taking them.  I went to work all the while telling myself that I could make it without meds, and that I could pretend I was doing just fine even though I was falling apart on the inside.

Work started out fine, then about an hour in I started crying for reasons I can’t explain.  Then, I started to think about the meeting I had the day before about a job I had messed up before I went on leave and thought about the fact that I had delayed pediatric luekemia patients their last chance drug because I didn’t ask questions about the barcode. I also thought about the fact that I am feeling hopeless because I can’t find meds that work for me either.  I’m not a leukemia patient, but at times this thing that lives in my head seems just as bad, like it could kill me at any time.

I left work after my boss saw me crying and suggested I go home to try to deal with whatever was going on with me. (I still can’t tell you why I cried although I have a feeling it may be all the pent up emotions that I should have been feeling that my meds weren’t allowing me to feel.)  I took Wednesday off as well and went to group therapy at night hoping it would have the same empowering effect as it did the week before, sadly it didn’t.

Thursday morning I had an appointment with my psychiatrist at 10:20, at 10:35 I still hadn’t been in to see him and a guy randomly showed up to talk to him about issues he was having with his medication and he pulled him in his office to talk to him.  At that point, I was irrate. I was having issues with my meds too, and I had an appointment!  Finally at 10:45 I went into his office and just went off telling him that I was still mad and that he wasn’t listening to me and that I needed new meds. Sadly, he took me off Effexor and kept me on the antipsychotic for schizophrenics that I feel isn’t doing anything but making me fat.  Now I’m on the antipsychotic twice a day, Cymbalta at night, and Ativan when needed.  I had an appointment with my therapist at 11 so I couldn’t stick around and have the session that I truly needed to have because he has no concept of time.

I made it to my therapy appointment with a little time to relax and try to cool down from yet another terrible psychiatrist session.  When my therapist called me back to her office she asked how I was doing and I just let out a huge sigh.  When I explained to her what was going on and that I had thought about admitting myself to the hospital on my birthday she immediately took me out of work and told me to go back to IOP. Actually, I’ll be starting PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) tomorrow.  It differs from IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) in that it last longer through the day and you also see a psychiatrist once a week.  She even said that hospitalization could be a good option for me to get my meds straight the quick way.  I decided to save the hospital for when I really feel like I want to jump off a cliff again. (Which, the suicidal ideation came back last night)

My sleep is starting to be completely off and crazy, I was awake at six am today.  And I’m also eating like crazy.  Sadly, I have to go into school today and drop my creative writing class because I can’t kick this stupid guy that lives in my head.  I wish I could let the people at work that are disappointed in me and think I should just come out of this see that I have no control over what my mind does or thinks right now.  Hopefully with more work in CBT I can start to at least get some of it under control.

The guinea pigs are doing great, although Bella still has a hard time being held and they are both too afraid to take advantage of the multilevel aspect of their cage.  I bought them treats yesterday to feed them while they are being held and I also bought them so grass that I’ll grow for them.  They are a couple of spoiled little girls, despite the fact that I’m super broke.

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Are these things working?

I don’t know what happened, Saturday night and into Sunday I was in such a good mood and so excited to have my new babies.  Then Sunday night I took a turn for the worst, so to speak.  I was contemplating discontinuing my meds, I have no idea if they are working but they don’t feel like they really are.  Here are a few reasons I think my meds suck:

  • Although I’m able to get out of bed and do things everyday I still don’t feel particularly motived.
  • I haven’t been able to giggle like an idiot which I used to be before I went off the deep end.
  • I can get out of bed, but my mood is often still gloomy.

I’m sure I can come  up with more, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. I’m considering going back to doing therapy twice a week, and hopefully with cognitive that will help more than plain psychotherapy.  I also see my favorite (insert sarcasm) psychiatrist on Thursday, lets see if he just keeps me on the same meds and hopes for the best again.


The Family Business

Every doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, and hospital that I have gone to on this crazy ride have asked me the same question “do you have a family history of depression?”  And at the time I was being intensely treated I could only give the answer of “not that I’m aware.”

Through a recent family death on my maternal side I was able to find out that not only is depression prevalent in the family, but alcoholism as well.  Thankfully for me, I barely touch alcohol. I just hope I can keep that up in the long run.

Also, the other day I posted a youtube video and a quote about depression urging people not to minimize the disease and received a “like” from an unsuspecting individual, one of my cousins on my fathers side.  With that, I decided to send her a private message asking if she had gone through it and if she knew of anyone else in the family that had.  She told me that she is also on Effexor and that several people in the family have been recommended to take meds but have decided not to.

I’m absolutely amazed to find out that it is prevalent on both sides of my family tree. Hopefully know that I know that I can find out how it effects them and how they handle the ins and outs of things. But overall, it’s soothing to know that I’m not the only one.


a brief post on sleep and the depressed…

The sleeping habits of the depressed can be a many splendid thing.  And by splendid, I mean horribly confusing, at least in my experience with depression.

In the beginning, I could sleep all day and night, no problem. When I started Zoloft, in the very beginning of my recovery, I was weak from not eating and also wanted to sleep all the time.  When I switched to Effexor and started eating again I couldn’t stop thinking about things. And by not being able to control my thoughts, I couldn’t sleep either.

The struggle to find a psychiatrist was a completely different story, but after I finally found one that could fit me in, he prescribed Ambien.  I took an entire pill the first night that I also started a higher dosage of Effexor and a mood stabilizer, lets just say the result wasn’t a pretty picture the next day.  The rest of the week I used Ambien to sleep, but only took a half of a pill.  Even then, I couldn’t sleep the entire night. For some reason, my body wanted to wake up at 3 a.m. I’ve found through extensive reading on the subject that this is not uncommon for depressives.

Now that I feel like I have hit a mostly stable point in my medicine merry-go-round, I’m still having issues staying asleep at night.  For some reason my body still wants to wake up at 3 a.m. I typically get up, take a little walk around the place and lay back down and fall asleep shortly after.  Right now, I suppose I should just be thankful to get the sleep.

On a side note, I’ve also discovered that it is greatly amusing to watch people and make up a story about their life.  I think I’m really going to enjoy the new writing kick that I’m on.