Well, hello, hello, hello.
As you can see, my internet is working better, I have finished the play I was writing, I’m still swamped in math homework, and I’ve started a new medication.
I’m sure everyone is wondering “since when were you writing a play?”
And many more who know what I stand for and how I conduct myself online are probably thinking “you’re on a medication?”
To both I say: expect the unexpected.
This all happened upon my decision to visit that psychiatrist. Despite the fact that it felt like I should have been wearing Gandhi’s flip-flops and a Togo in the office, despite the fact that she played some Mozart-like shit from a ten year old stereo, it was a serene environment.
She’s a nice person. She asked me several questions, of which I stumbled through answers. I told myself I’d be completely honest, and for the most part I was. I didn’t get to say everything, but I said many things. To add to the list of things people think I have, PTSD and agoraphobia has now joined that list.
You’re probably thinking, “You went to a psychiatrist; I thought you were anti-psychiatry?”
No, no, no. I’ve never been anti-psychiatry. I’ve been anti-stupidity. I’ve been anti-ignorance. That doesn’t stop this recent experience of starting on a medication again feeling like a failure. I’m supposed to interpret mental health issues as experiences in life, things that can be interpreted separately from the medical model, and leaving that office I felt I had broken my own morality.
I’ve given it a couple days and I’ve decided I haven’t broken my own morality. No where in my morality was I ever against medication. I’m against over-medication; I’m against the idea that medication is a better life-long treatment than skills and emotional support. What I’ve always advocated is that whatever you feel is best for you in the moment, I will support, whether that’s medication or DBT or CBT or mindfulness and yoga. What I’ve advocated is what medication is tested for: short, temporary use.
It’s not tested over a period of five, ten, or fifteen years. Most are tested for six to eight weeks, perhaps a few months. Rarely, a year or two or three. Those on the medication for an extended period of time are the test subjects. The only difference is they’re not paid for clinical study.
That being said, after explaining things I was given a list of medications she recommended: seroquel, effexor, propanol, praoxin, and Ativan for panic attacks.
Let me. . .
Let me reiterate: I am not against medication: I am against over-medication. And that, to me, seemed odd and extensive. Propanol? The beta-blocker blood-pressure medication? I understand it’s used for Anxiety, but anything that targets my blood and my heart puts me on edge. Praoxin? Yes, I have nightmares. Really I just wanted to express them as a way to prove I’ve been more stressed; I don’t really need something to suppress them. Ativan? Addictive and not necessary. I said I have panic attacks every once in a while, and while they are severe, I feel I have my ways to control them. Seroquel?
I don’t think so.
That leaves us with Effexor.
First of all, there are some reactions known if you combine Seroquel and Effexor, if I’m not mistaken.
Second of all, I said yes to the Effexor to try and control this recent flow of anxiety. It’s been tearing me down harder than it ever has before, in more ways than one, with the excessive thoughts and paranoia and the rumination and–you all know. The feelings of loosing control. So I will use this (if my body responds alright) for a brief period of time to get myself sorted out. Then I will taper off like I always do and use the skills I’ve learned to carry on. That’s what I’ve always used medication for, and using it again now isn’t a failure. Instead I take it as a sign that I’ve done so well these last four years managing things on my own that my brain had to come up with more ways to test me.
So what do I have to do? I have to adapt.
I’ve never been on an SNRI before. I chose it because I don’t respond well to SSRIs. I’ve heard about as much negative of Effexor as I’ve heard positive, which is about how every drug works. This week I haven’t had any side effects aside from a bit of nausea the first two days, and drowsiness. Will she try and up the dosage the next visit? Probably, because that’s how this works. Will I go for it? Probably not. It’s my choice, remember?
Do I look like someone willing to chug down 300 mg of this shit? HAHAHAHA bitch please. My liver and my kidneys and my heart aren’t interested in that and they can’t speak for themselves; I have to speak for them.
Not to mention I have zero health insurance, so this is getting paid out of pocket.
So my plan this week is to get started adapting. I want to stop missing phone calls just because I don’t know what’s going to be said on the other end.
My plan this week is to figure out something I can do to help me learn social skills. Perhaps something DBT related or a group of some kind. I need something beyond just interaction in class, beyond interaction at work, that can help me learn how to better navigate the social world. I just need to learn how to talk.
It’s just like math. You have to start from your basic information and build it up, because what you learn in the basics will follow you throughout the rest of your math career. If you don’t have that solid foundation, you can kiss something like Calculus goodbye. Considering that calculus is undergraduate math, you might as well just kiss your entire college career goodbye, because it’s just going to get worse after that.
And that’s what I need. I need to learn the basics of conversation and interaction and get used to being in a territory that I’ve never really understood. I’ll approach this with the brain of a mathematician, come up with an algorithm, and spend the next year of my life drawing calculations on my window until finally that fateful day arrives when I can say yes! This is the equation to social interactions. Then I’ll win a prize and go on to quantify consciousness.