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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Medications: Do as I say, not as I do!!!

Okay, this is one area that I appear to be clinically clueless and Geoffrey uses it "against" me all the time. I hate taking medications. I have a stigma about them when it comes to me. I feel like I've failed, I'm not doing something right, that I can handle things or I'm not that bad off. However, what I've been leaving in comments, have told my clients and really do believe is that medication is helpful and extremely useful to take the edge off things, so that one can manage life and therapy.

Even so, I fight it every step of the way despite knowing a great deal about them and their usefulness. Sometimes, I even cry when I have to increase or add because I feel like I've failed. God has a way of making me speak to myself. See, the two times in my life that I was prescribed medications, I was really "fighting" the whole process. However, at the same time, I just "happened" to have at least two families and clients who were doing just the same thing and I was talking to them about the benefits, etc... Yes, I was listening to myself and telling God that I don't like his sense of humor.

Well, this time some of you know that I've been having a particularly difficult time with not wanting to talk about my abuse flashbacks which have been getting more intense, more frequent and more intrusive causing me great anxiety and fragmenting everywhere. I just did not feel stable...not that I'm sure what that feels like anymore, but I know what it isn't. I am on a load of medications which I evaluated, thoroughly discussed and researched them with my psychiatrist and pharmacist. Plus, I had a ton of knowledge myself.

Also, I have a couple of PRNs (as needed) medications to take for anxiety and/or to help me to stay less fragmented and make the thoughts of suicide, wanting to self-injure, wanting to die, needing to die and feeling like I am a bad person quieter. Well, I know this, but I wasn't taking them because I felt a little better. However, feeling a little better doesn't mean to that I did not still need them!!

Geoffrey reminded me of that today and had the nerve to tell me I was acting like someone with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. There is absolutely no ill-intent about this statement. Patients with these disorders have the most difficult time with maintaining a medication regimen partly due to the same reasoning that my own clueless brain had. I immediately understood what he was saying and I just looked at him and said, "I have absolutely no defense." Now, I've been leaving comments to several people about the importance of continuing to take your medications even if you are feeling better. Well, I got that thrown back in my face today.

Today, I finally talked about the one persistent flashback, but not before I took a PRN right in Geoffrey's office!!! I took another one when I got home. Guess what!! Despite being the toughest therapy session of the week, I am the calmest and least reactionary I've been for weeks!!! The medication really does work.

With all that said, I thought that I would share with you what I take for Major Depression and Post-traumatic stress Disorder which is only supposed to take the edge off of things so that I can manage to do the hard work in therapy...if I follow my medication regimen. I know many share their medications, so I thought that I would too. Please keep in mind that I am totally against over medication and fought psychiatrist and physicians regarding what they were prescribing for my clients. I also advocate for myself in the same way and know that this is the right combination for me and my symptoms.

By the way, I am going to list everything that I take and I keep a piece of paper behind my wallet with my allergies/reactions to medications and my current list behind my driver's license in case I am unable to speak for myself or am so anxious that I forget. It also come in handy and prevents miscommunication whenever I visit a doctor or hospital because they just copy the list and put it in my chart. I also include what it is for since some medications are used to treat more than one type of illness and I don't want any confusion or the wrong diagnosis included in my medical chart. I suggest this to everyone. In another post, I'll write about what trials, thrills and tribulations my medications have taken me through to find this imperfect combination:

PRN=as needed
BID=twice per day

Effexor XR 375 QPM for depression

Trazodone 150 mg 1 tab QHS for depression/insomnia

Clonazepam (Klonopin) 0.5 mg 1 tab QAM for anxiety; and 3 tabs HS and PRN for insomnia/anxiety (no more than 5 mg total /day)

Risperdal 0.25mg PRN (extremely limited) for insomnia/anxiety

Invega (paliperidone) 3 mg QHS for insomnia/anxiety

Lunesta 3 mg QHS for insomnia

Cabergoline (Dostinex) 1 mg twice weekly for Invega side effect of hyperprolatinemia ( I'm lactating without being pregnant, woopie!!!)

Synthroid 0.05mq QD for thyroid suppression; s/p carcinoma (I had thyroid cancer)

Astelin Nasal Spray BID PRN for nonallergic rhinitis

Allegra 24H for nonallergic rhinitis

1 multivitamin w/Calcium & D QAM for supplement

Amitiza 24mcg 1 BID for chronic constipation (which is part of the Post-traumatic stress disorder and I've had problems for as long as I can remember which is mostly likely due to the abuse and complicated by stress and medication side effects now. I have tried everything and used to watch my clients carefully because we had several clients die from constipation complications)

Epidrin PRN for migrane 2 caps @ onset, may repeat 1 cap after 1 hr up to 5/12 hr

So there is my lovely list. I know that it is long and the psychotropic (psychiatric ones are many), but I feel really good that this is the proper regimen for me at this time, but I am constantly re-evaluating. I have also been told that it is not expected for me to remain on them forever, just to get me through therapy. Even still, sleep is elusive most evenings. But, since I can't work I can nap and rest is good even if I am not sleeping.

Please do not leave posts on any recommendations regarding my medications. I trust my medical team and my own research, experience and judgement regarding what I need. I just shouldn't when it comes to taking the PRNs when I should. But, what do you know I took them and feel much better today!!! Today, I am clinically clueless!!! (listen to yourself and own advice, cc!!) :-P


Unknown said...

Medication is not a lot of fun but I am normally pretty good for taking it. Right now I take Seroquel 3 times a day at a 100mg per shot and additional 50mg as needed. Theory is my brain will not have the opportunity to run off on its own plus it works pretty well for flashbacks and self harm urges. More then likely I will go back on Nardil once the business with the dentist is finally done with. Oh and I take Temazapam for sleep. The part that I struggle with a bit is when my brain starts to race it is rather enjoyable especially compared to the usual state of nothing but I have learned the hard way a couple of times what happens when my brain is on its own and running wild so that is enough to reel me back in. I think the hardest part was acknowledging that these meds are going to be here for the long term and the chances of me coming off of them in the near future is slim to none but what can you do. Take care

Clueless said...

Thanks for the comment. Yes, Seroquel worked really well for me except my Triglycerides went from 56 to 300+ and I gained 30 pounds. I am just really grateful that there are medications out there that do work because I can't imagine trying to cope without them. I just wish it was easier to find the proper medication.

Unknown said...

I have been lucky on Seroquel so far at least on the weight end. It has been years since a regular blood test. Zyprexa was a royal pain for it worked but the 60 pound weight gain in five months was a little much. The list of meds I have been on is way to long and is still not figured out completely. you would figure by now there would be a simple test saying you lack this chemical so you need this med instead of the experimentation that is all too common.

Clueless said...

I like what the one doctor said on the PBS special about it taking too long for trial and error. Maybe, one day they will figure out a real scientific formula which I think they eventually will, but probably not in my lifetime.

jennifer said...

I take Amitiza too... it's a lifesaver for me. I refer to it as a "digestive aid" on my blog 'cuz my coworkers sometimes read it and frankly that's none of their business.

Have you ever taken Ambien? I'm wondering how Lunesta compares. The Ambien just isn't working for me anymore.

Also how well does the Risperdal work? My husband was on it for about a month, I think, a couple years ago, but it was hard to tell how it worked since he started 6 medicines all in one day. I've thought about asking for it for myself, but I just haven't yet

Clueless said...

@BPD, I emailed you a response let me know if you did not receive it. Also, thanks for the add to your blog roll. I did the same.

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