10 Months Off Meds And Loving It?

I was in the middle of writing another post on a similar subject when I realized it’s almost been a year off of psychiatric medication and then I had to double check because that seemed like a lot of months to me considering I’ve spent the last 8 years going on and off medication at least three times a year. The most months I’ve stayed on medication was about nine. And that was 7 years ago. Let’s just say I’ve been as consistent with medications as I have been with this blog.

Throwing shade at myself.

I stopped my medication in the first place because I was sick of being tired, I was angry, hurt, and frustrated over a break-up and I just wanted something to alter my state of mind. Now that I look back on it, I can see that was my intention: distract myself from reality by overloading myself with a different type of reality.

I was on Abilify and Trintellix this time, with a psychiatrist ready to switch me from Abilify onto Vraylar. I think I ripped up his prescription though.

The Abilify I’d been on many times before. It’s the only antipsychotic that my body would tolerate. I have a theory about why, but I won’t go into that. Trintellix however, was very new. Not just new to me, but new to the market, and I agreed to try it because I’ve tried the majority of other SSRI’s and SNRI’s and hated each one. Psychiatrists liked to tell me SSRI’s were supposed to help with anxiety but that shit ain’t ever do shit. Straight up.

I figured the only way to get a real anxiety medication, like a Benzo, would be to prove I wasn’t an addict and the way to prove that was to be compliant with their plans first.

I’ve stopped every SSRI, SNRI, mood stabilizer, and antipsychotic I’ve ever been on abruptly. And by abruptly, I mean cutting my dose in half every week for about a month. There are studies coming out now that show you should reduce medication by about .25mg or less every few months in order to safely come down. I was cutting miligrams by the fives and tens (if applicable). Quickly. And I’ve never had an adverse reaction from it, even if I was on them for 6+ months.

*I do not recommend anyone do what I’ve done, or come off of medication without the watchful eye of a medical doctor who can pinpoint physical consequences easier*

But with a new, and very under-tested SSRI, I should have been a little more logical. I didn’t spiral immediately, it took about another month to feel the effects. I woke up depressed, more depressed than I’d ever been (and that’s saying something) and I remember a lot of dissociating and voices. Mind you, I stopped both medications simultaneously. I laid on the couch eating chocolate cake and chocolate chip pancakes during the days and spent the evenings drinking whiskey and heading into downtown. Oh, I also went to work. How? WHO KNOWS.

But eventually something had to give and I ended up in a bathtub with my clothes on arguing with my voices about killing myself. Good times. I didn’t pull myself out of that situation, in case you’re wondering.

But, I also didn’t end up in the hospital. And I’m glad I didn’t.

For the next few fuzzy months I went into an outpatient program, stayed at the mental health program I currently work at (little bit of conflict of interest there, but it worked out) and for a couple weeks was back on the medication. Then, I stopped it again and discarded of them.

What resulted from that was strange. A lot of depression, even the depression I experienced before I stopped my medication, lifted. I felt great. Not manic great, not even hypo-manic great. Just . . . content. That continued steadily and increased once I completely changed my diet and exercised (I’ve lost 35 pounds over the last four months).

It was only a couple weeks ago did I notice my mood become a little wobbly. I started noticing things, strange things again. People kept knocking on my room door and my walls, breathing through them, talking through them, and I could never catch them. I started distracting myself more often, which I didn’t notice until a few days ago. If I wasn’t listening to music, I was watching YouTube or television or playing video games–loudly. Sometimes I’d do all of it simultaneously. Sleeping has become more difficult and I went from getting 8 solid hours to 5, and more recently, 2. I started feeling touches on my arm and legs at night and when I spoke to people I misheard them. I mean, really misheard them. It’s not like when someone says something and they stumble over their words so you think they said cat when they said car. This was people saying full sentences and me hearing “you don’t know what you’re doing at all” when they really said “how have you been today?”

The mumbles have come back too, the hearing a crowd of people talking but not really catching what they’re saying, and so have some familiar voices, particularly one of the softer deep ones who has generally been kind. While I was struggling to get to sleep the other night listening to all the other shit, he told me “I’m proud of you” and for whatever reason, that helped. Me and him, we’re on the same page.

Now that it’s been ten months off medications, I understand why this is happening again. I think the real test begins now. Most of the medications are the lowest they’ve ever been in my system in 8 years and this will basically be me bare-assing my mind around.

My brain has a big ass and the meds were pants three sizes too small.

I’ll have to find new ways to deal with all this, and not get caught up in paranoid thoughts. Constant music and videos has helped keep my mind less focused on all the chatter, but I can’t live life like that all the time. It’s why I haven’t been able to read or write or stay motivated in general.

I recently got a new therapist. She hasn’t known me for longer than a month and a half. In our first session I told her I hadn’t heard voices consistently for a few months, so we’ll see what her reaction is tomorrow when I tell her

Conclusion: meds aren’t always the answer. Not taking meds isn’t always the answer. What works is what works. Will this work? Who knows. But I’d rather try and find out than never try and wish I had.

You! Stop It RIGHT NOW: ADHD meds and Psychosis

Alright, everyone STOP.

I found something to rag on already? Damn, it must be a divine plan for me to come back to this blog.

I need to stop this shit before it gets out of hand. I can’t even get through ten posts on my reader on WordPress without seeing: “ADHD medication may increase the risk of psychosis”. And I can’t read one fucking article related to that without getting this bullshit statistic of “rates of ADHD have increased by *enter bullshit number* within the last year”.

Let’s tackle this one stupid point at a time.

First of all, let’s review: The ADHD medications which are being talked about are stimulants. They are not, and let me repeat this, THEY ARE NOT CLEARED FOR NOR RESEARCHED FOR CHILDREN CONSUMPTION, and yet they are given to toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, and people under 25. What do all those age brackets have in common? Their brains are still developing.

Some idiot doctor is quoted in this article saying “We compared amphetamines [Adderall and Vyvanse] to people who were prescribed methylphenidates [Ritalin and Concerta]. We found that the Adderall type drugs had an increased risk of psychosis”.

Wow, you guys! Really? Is that what you found? And did something similar happen when you asked people to mainline some meth? Bump some cocaine twice a day? And moreover, did you ask a thirteen year old to do it?

Someone please just take a bat to my fucking head so I don’t have to read this nonsense anymore. No one should be surprised that a type of amphetamine that has a very similar chemical structure to illegal amphetamines is causing something illegal amphetamines cause in otherwise healthy people quite fucking often.

If anything they need to take this opportunity to learn from this. They already fucked up multitudes of people’s lives. So do us all a favor. Do something you should have been doing from the beginning. Scan the brains of your patients before you put them on this shitty medication and scan their brains afterwards, when they decent into brutal, prescription induced psychosis, and publish the results. And tell us exactly what these psychiatric medications are changing in our brains.

But you won’t do that. That would harm your fucking business.

Now, obviously, not everyone experiences this side-effect. Don’t get fooled–that does not mean the structure of your brain doesn’t change. Let me share an article I posted on my job’s facebook page. And let’s really, really talk about this.

This article here is posted on Mad In America. It’s essentially an interview with a man who was on psychiatric medication, anti-depressants, and has his doctorate now, in medicine, and doing research on behalf of medication withdrawal. It was found in some studies that as much as 1/40th of a general starting dose of an antidepressant immediately effects every serotonin synapse, 70% of which are in your gut.

So let’s think about that. I was started out on 10mg on my antidepressant back in the day. 1/40th of that is .25. .25mg of that antidepressant would have had an immediate effect on me. Would I feel it? Probably not. But your body and your cells and your synapses would. And over time, eventually you would too.

Adderall is an amphetamine and therefore directly effects serotonin levels. The recommended starting dose of Adderall for adults is 30mg. Not quite sure how they came up with starting dose for anyone other than adults considering it’s never been researched on children.

.75mg of Adderall will have an immediate effect on your system. Think about that.

We have absolutely ZERO clue as to what any of these psychotropic medications do to our brains. That’s not me hating on the system, that, my friends, is simply a fact. The research is biased, often perpetrated by bribed researchers, and the media is so inept at reporting truth half of what the studies actually say are never reported. Don’t believe me? If you’re in college, take your university library card, get on the database, and go read some real journals. Trust me, if you understand statistics a lot of these studies will ultimately disappoint you.

On a child, on an underdeveloped brain, even half of 30mg is going to have a lasting effect on them.

This idea that ADHD is rising is also bullshit. Why? Firstly, doctors get paid to prescribe these medications. They get little kick backs from pharmaceutical companies. So, if you come in with your child who has a few tantrums a day and has trouble sitting in school, that doctor isn’t going to ask you what the nature of the classroom is or the nature of the household (i.e, whether or not the child is being stimulated in school, whether or not there’s enough physical activity, whether or not the child’s diet is overdosed with sugar, whether or not the child is glued to electronic devices, whether or not your parenting just sucks ass).

What this is doing is invalidating the people who really do have deficits in their attention. You could go in a doctor’s office and say you’re having trouble focusing and walk out with a fucking Adderall prescription.

Recesses are being taken out of schools or the time outside is being shortened. You think that’s not going to affect a child? Even though I was silent throughout my school years, when it was raining and we weren’t allowed to go outside I got fucking restless. Why? Because I was a fucking kid. That’s why.

I feel bad for the children who really can’t focus, who literally spend every day and every night fighting their brains, trying to finish a paragraph in a book they’re assigned to read. While their classmates talk out of turn one time and are suddenly given a prescription.

Then everyone wonders why, when that child turns 13, she has a psychotic break.

For example, I have attention problems. I start things and I don’t finish them. I space out when people are talking and then randomly blurt something. I’m either very interested in one thing, or interested in nothing. But I function like every other person. I love school, and learning, and my attention issues have never been a problem for me, even as a child. I didn’t grow up with the t.v on every second, with a smart phone in my hand, eating freaking Frosted Flakes with extra sugar. Whenever a psychiatrist asks me if I have attention problems I always say no because I’m not going get punched with a label I don’t need when there are people out there who literally have breakdowns because they can’t focus.

Everyone STOP this MASS HYSTERIA. And think CRITICALLY. Please don’t believe everything you read–including me. Go research for yourself.

And stop trying to find quick fixes for every little hiccup in your life. Because quick fixes don’t exist.

Mainstream Psychology & Psychiatry

Alright, let’s talk about this. Some of you probably already know my stance on psychology, psychiatry, and the way the system is set up. If you’re new to this blog, and haven’t been through the ringer with me, check out the quotes at the bottom of the home page and you’ll probably get the jist really quickly.

But there’s a trend on social media that I kind of want to address. It’s this cliche thing of naming what people like to call “mental illness”. I’ll use the term here because they do, but know I don’t believe in it, and never will I call myself mentally ill.

twitter_512I came across a Tweet (yes, I use twitter: @Ipenned) today stating “Social Anxiety disorder is not to be confused with introversion–which is true. It went on to state that people who are extroverted can also have social anxiety, which is certainly true. But then they had to ruin that truth with “Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness and can affect anyone”.

Why does that ruin the truth? Well, as someone who has struggled with social anxiety since I was a toddler (4 years old), and we’re talking severe social anxiety, I used to faint if I got called to the front of the class, and once spoke in tongues in front of a whole class because a substitute teacher called on me and my brain stopped working. I’ve made two whole friends in my life by myself. But as someone who has struggled with this, the last thing I want to be called is ill.

I’d rather be told I experience life differently. I’d rather be told not only is it okay to be anxious, but it’s okay to not need, want, or feel pressured to make or be involved in friendships. A lot of my anxiety abated when I went off on my own. Not because I’m some sick loner that needs to get my shit together, but because I actually enjoy time to myself, and the anxiety tires me out if I’m around people too long. That’s not a problem. That’s not something that’s wrong with me. That’s me. And if other people have a problem with it, that’s on them. They don’t have the right to call that part of me an illness.

I don’t consider my psychosis an illness. I interpret things differently, I think about things differently, my perspective is often through a lens of trauma, which becomes a lens of delusion, and once I was helped to understand that, a lot of clarity ensued.


I don’t consider my depression an illness. I’ve been through a lot in my life, including homelessness, growing up around a lot of alcohol and drugs, domestic violence, violence–that changes the way you think, the way you see things, and the way you feel. Your neurons develop different connections. That’s not an illness. That’s an environmental change, an evolution. That’s called plasticity. Depression has opened up so much beauty in the world to me, I wouldn’t be as grateful, thankful, or happy as I am today without depression. And that’s not me glorifying the situation, that’s me finding the good in what everyone says is bad.

So it frustrates me when I see people on social media promoting this idea of illness. Why are you insulting yourself? Why are you feeding into the labels? I’m so confused.

I’m confused on why people think injections of medication is a good thing. I’m confused on why that’s not seen as a trap. I get that a lot of people have trouble taking their medication, I’m one of those people, but are once-monthly injections necessary? What if the person wishes to get off and their doctor doesn’t agree? Their power is taken away. And I understand that people really wholly believe their doctor knows what’s best for them. But I’m come across many psychiatrists who instead push their own agenda and don’t listen to a word I say. How is that knowing best? How is not listening to your “patient” knowing what’s best?

I guess I’m just confused in general. I’m sick of being seen as the enemy. I’m sick of people thinking that because I refuse to feed into the hype of pop psychology that I’m in denial of my own issues. If you want to consider yourself disordered and sick and ill and put all these negative connotations on yourself, and then turn around and say you’re not your illness, you go ahead and play around with it, try to make that logically sound. I, however, refuse to play into bullshit and refuse to play into the hype.

And that’s today’s Mental Truth.


I’m curious what you all think. I mean really lay it on me, tell me all of your thoughts and wishes. Tell me your self-hate speech and what that little voice is like inside of your head. Tell me your positive self speech and what that little voice is like inside of your head. Tell me if you don’t have one or don’t have the other. I’d like to know.


I’d also like to know what you think about your therapist, briefly, sharing a struggle they’ve had in order to relate to something you’re saying. I know some people don’t like their professionals to “get personal” with them, but I’m curious why this is. I’m curious why you wouldn’t want someone who is there to help with your mental health prove to you that everyone struggles in one way or another at some point in their lives? I thought the whole point wasn’t to feel alone?

I salivate over the idea of mental health peers being counselors, therapists, psychiatrist, psychologists, people who really understand and can share their successes with you and how they got to where they are: that to me is inspiration, not a sign of a bad therapist. I don’t think they should sit there and tell you everything about their life, I don’t want to know about the star shaped mole on their husband’s nether regions, but telling me about a coping mechanism they’ve used for anxiety would be helpful.

Maybe this is just me. That’s why I’m sending it out to all of you, what’s left of you at least, since I’ve taken so many hiatus’ from this blog that I don’t know who actually reads me anymore or who doesn’t.

Since I will be giving a speech on peer supportive opportunities tomorrow, I’m in the spirit of talking about it.

How useful would it be that your therapist knew exactly what severe anxiety felt like.

How useful would it be that your psychiatrist remembers what their psychotic break was like.

How useful would it be that your counselor knew exactly how low your energy got during a depression because they’d been there before.

I think there’s a lot of compassion and empathy missing from the system sometimes, and I think a lot of that has to do with not really, truly, understanding what we go through. I think it also has to do with this “just do your job” mentality that happens from working a career too long–at least for some.


I know there was a big difference between the physician’s assistant my dad saw in the emergency room versus the doctors that had been practicing for years. You could tell the P.A remembered all of his motivational interviewing skills. He knew how to connect, he knew how to negotiate, and he did it all with some serious humor. Maybe he’ll just be a great doctor one day. Or maybe it’s because he was new.

Somehow we have to keep that passion up. How should we do that? Should we, as patients, clients, residents, guests, members, whatever you refer to yourself as–should we start a ruckus? Should we remind our doctors why they became doctors in the first place?

Then there are the nice doctors who you do connect with who make simple mistakes. But it’s how they handle those simple mistakes that tells me whether or not they are decent at what they do.

For example, the nurse practitioner who handles my psychiatric medications (yes I am once again back on meds) told me that Abilify’s starting dose is 15mg.

It most certainly is not. How can it be if the first “therapeutic” dose is 10mg? I have yet to mention to her that the physician’s desk reference tells us that anything above 10mg hasn’t really shown any true efficacy in all the studies its been through, that will be a conversation for when she decides to try to take me to 15mg.

When I told her that I wanted to start at 5mg because my body is sensitive to this bullshit (I didn’t say bullshit, but I wanted to), she said oh, okay, we’ll do that–and didn’t argue with me. She trusted that I knew what was best for my body and I respect that. Not every psychiatrist or doctor will do that. Some of them pretend to know everything. Throw some Calculus at them, I bet they forgot how to do it. So they don’t know everything. Ha.

I think this also speaks to be able to speak up for yourself. It’s taken me a lot of years to learn that skill when it comes to doctors, because you want to trust what they have to say, you want to trust what they say is best for you, but the truth is only you know what’s best for you. Sometimes that means no medication, sometimes that means swallowing your pride and your arrogance and quelling your hatred for pharmaceutical systems and taking some form of medication until you can better handle yourself.

I don’t believe anyone is doomed to medication for eternity. Including myself. But I also recognize now that it’s an essential aide sometimes in life.

The point is, speak up for yourself. Don’t let someone, especially a professional, tell you that you don’t know yourself.


The Future of Preventive Care

Adobe Spark (7)

In the last post, I mentioned the DSM board’s attempt at preemptively striking against textbook psychosis. There’s a whole other world out there in the mental health field dedicated, and quite passionately might I add, to prevention psychiatry: stopping the progression of certain experiences, mainly psychosis, before they turn into something they can label as schizophrenia.

I have nothing against their passion. But I would like one of the members to explain how creating several new disorders like attenuated psychosis syndrome would do anything other than create a new label multitudes of teenagers would be diagnosed with, fed medications that aren’t researched on teenagers, and make them fear their future more than they should.

So, where do we start?

If you ask me (no one did), preventive care, if that’s what it’s to be called, includes family dynamics, relationship dynamics, and self-dynamics, not only diagnosis and medications.

Family Dynamics

This is an important but difficult portion for me to write. I find myself grappling with words that sound rehearsed and disingenuous, because I’m not quite sure what a healthy family dynamic would be. But I understand that what you are taught, what you see, what you experience as a child heavily influences what you teach, what you see, and what you experience as an adult. This includes behaviors and thought patterns that may be seen in the world of psychology as abnormal.

The family as a whole must be looked at in preventive care because it may very well be that the problem starts somewhere in the family, perhaps in the history of the family. Substance use, abuse, neglect, perfectionism, other illnesses of family members that fall on the responsibility of the child. Every moment of life becomes a little more traumatic, and the brain is our rock, it must do what it must to protect us from processing emotions we don’t fully understand. As helpful as that can be in the moment, it becomes something to wrestle with for many years in the long run.

As a child, I never spoke my insecurities, my emotions, or opinions. I didn’t feel safe physically or emotionally. I didn’t learn healthy outlets for anger, and I didn’t learn healthy outlets for sadness. I didn’t know my pain was worth mentioning, so all of it meshed together somewhere in the back of my mind, and eventually came out as panic attacks, depression, psychosis, and self-harm.

Does this mean my family is to blame? No. What it means is that the dynamics were not healthy. It means when looking at preventing further development of experiences like psychosis and depression and self harm, regardless of whether a diagnosis is the main goal, we have to look at how the family functions/functioned as a whole.

Relationship Dynamics

What’s been learned in childhood and adolescence inevitably bridges into the relationships we have throughout life, and if there is a pattern of bumpy relationships–friendships, romantic relationships, acquaintanceship– then it’s time to also take a look at why. Everyone, even the most introverted person, needs a close friend once in a while. The inability to have an open, comfortable, a mutual connection with another person may force a person inward.

It may also signify an inability to understand what healthy relationships look like, another one of my own personal weak points. Part of preventive care should be focused heavily on providing a person resources on how to learn to have these healthy relationships, even if it’s just one person. And I’m not talking about just therapy, I’m talking about workshops and intensive analysis. Having someone in your corner makes all the difference when you feel lost or disregarded or confused.


How does the person regard themselves? How does the person treat themselves? This is the most important aspect of preventive care, because in the end you really only have yourself as your largest support force; if you’re not on your side, who is? This is why I believe adding another diagnostic label telling someone they’re developing a life-long “illness” that they will need long-term medication as treatment doesn’t really empower them to look at their life with healthy vision.

Is the person stuck inward? Do they value themselves? Do they value others? Do they have painful outbursts? I point out these behaviors for a reason: they are most often questions asked and behaviors people want to change. I don’t believe preventive care should be about changing anyone, but rather giving the person a chance to see a different perspective and a different side of things. The personal transformation which transpires from that will help the person loosen up in the way they are meant to loosen up, rather than forcing a way of being on them. We’ve seen that force isn’t a healthy dynamic between “patient/client” and doctor many times.

Where Does This Leave Us?

If you are a provider, take into account everything. I’m sure that’s something that’s taught over and over again, in fact I know it is because I’ve heard it in every psychology class I’ve ever taken. But sometimes we forget. And sometimes we don’t mean to forget. Sometimes we get wrapped up in what our job is versus what our job could be. And that’s when it’s important to take a step back and really engage with people, understanding them on a personal level. It’s a two way street here: while it’s up to us consumers to take our health into our own hands, it’s also up to providers to guide us appropriately when we might not be able to take our health into our own hands.

There’s a notable difference between doctor’s who are genuinely curious about what’s ailing you and those who want to help, but come equipped only with the DSM.

Forums Of The Psychological Kind and McDonald’s Tiny Package

Rain is nice. It gives me an excuse to cuddle in my robe, slap on my headset, and spend the day writing.

But sometimes boredom creeps in and my attention span drifts and I find writing a coherent sentence insufferable, and that is when I turn to the shithole that is the internet. Unlike most people I don’t have the “lightening fast” internet speeds Comcast promises their customers. You all hear about Comcast merging with Time Warner? Old news, I know, but I think it got shut down; too much of a “monopoly”. Whatever, America. You are the epitome of Monopoly. And I’m not talking about the game.

I had Comcast once. The internet speeds I would equate to licking your Tootsie Pop until you get to the gooey center. Once you reach the center, your page has loaded. How many licks does it take to get to the center anyway? Anyone ever figure that out? Well it’s a-fucking-lot. That’s right Comcast, I’m calling you out, what you going to do about it? Nothing? That’s what I thought, bitch.

I’ve never told the story about Dharma’s, have I? Well, there’s this health food place in my town called Dharma’s. It’s locally owned. It’s not a chain, it’s not a big business, it serves a lot of vegan and vegetarian foods. It’s quite cute actually. Their original name was McDharma’s until McDonald’s caught of whiff of it and sent them a threatening letter saying they were prepared to take them to court if they didn’t change their name.

Food Looks Delicious Though

How insecure is that? McDonald’s just proved how small their package is, if you catch my drift. They should join the hundreds of men who drive those giant trucks that rise seventy feet off the ground. I mean really. You think a tiny vegan restaurant is a threat to your entire multi-billion dollar murdering franchise? Like anyone outside of our town would even know about McDharma’s? Man, what a bunch of whiny shits. Cowards. Obviously Dharma took the “Mc” part out of their name. They felt threatened. I would have counter-sued for harassment. And then I would put Mc.Dharma’s as my restaurant name and flipped off the C.E.O’s of McDonald’s and their lawyers as I flew out of the courtroom on my hover-board. Fuck you.

I’m calling out McDonald’s and Comcast today. I’m on a roll. Let’s get Viacom in this too, and what the hell, Time Warner too. You’re all a bunch of crooks and fools and liars and thieves and if I ever have a chance to vandalize one of your cars, you better believe I will.

Anyway, enough threats. I was talking about the internet or something, right? Damn brain always firing off on random tangents. No wonder people get tired of listening to me talk; a conversation with me is like running a couple miles.

I use my phone’s “Mobile Hotspot” for internet service so we don’t have to pay. #MetropcsForLife

But it’s unbelievably slow some days. Like today. So sometimes I’m confined to short Youtube video clips, WordPress, or forum sites. You know, like PsychForums. I lurk. I used to lurk as a guest, now I lurk as a member.

There are some interesting people on there. You have the 13 year old’s wondering if they’re schizophrenic because their cat scratched them, then you have the “Antisocial” people who apparently aren’t as true to the diagnosis as the ones on PsychCentral forums (say the PsychCentral users, not me), then you have the people who obsess about the smallest symptom and decide to call themselves OCD, GAD, Bipolar, and Borderline personality all comorbid; at least they label it “probably” or “suspected Dx” (rolls eyes), and last but not least we have the AntiPsych forum, of which I’ve proudly posted. Until people started to just be ridiculous. If you’re going to have reasons to dislike something, don’t be biased about it. That just makes all of your points invalid.

So two things here.

Okay, maybe three.

  1. If you’re thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, or any kind of teen, you should probably stop freaking out. Unless you’re so depressed that you’re considering suicide or have attempted suicide in the past, or you’re so anxious you can’t walk out of your house, or your hearing things or seeing things or manic, or doing rituals to keep one of your family members from dying, you’re probably fine. There are adults on there who read two sentences of these teens stories and put it in their head that they have a disorder. I hate to play this card but . . . you’re a teenager. Everything is going to suck. Everything is going to feel a million times worse than it is. Sure, I had anxiety and depression as a teenager but excuse me I was homeless and my family environment was (and still is) poisonous. If I didn’t have some issues I’d be a miracle child. If everything else in your life is fine except for the fact that Jimmy asked Sarah to the Prom and not you, than chill. You don’t have depression, you’re just sad.
  2. Stop calling yourself Antisocial. Antisocial does not literally mean “Not Social”. It’s a personality. Unless you want to be labeled as dangerous, or manipulative, or unremorseful, or violent, or you had Conduct Disorder as a child, I’d suggest you stop.
  3. Which brings my third point: Stop self-diagnosing. It’s one thing to notice symptoms in yourself. It’s one thing to maybe search them up, see if they fall into a pattern or whatever, and take careful notes about yourself with the fact in mind that you’re probably exaggerating the symptoms now that you know it’s a real “thing”; it’s a whole other thing to label yourself with a disorder. Once you have that label people will see you differently. You’ll see yourself differently. You’re suddenly part of this group stigmatized by society when you probably don’t have to be. There’s nothing exciting about struggling day by day and there’s nothing rewarding about being blamed for societies issues. Mental disorders aren’t there to summarize your behavior because you know the moment you go to your doctor and say “you know Doc, I think I’m feeling a little depressed“, that dude gunna send some drugs your way and now you’re looped into the vicious cycle of jumping back and forth through medications that you might not even need. Coming off of them is going to make you feel like you need them again. And if you don’t know how the brain works that’s exactly what you’re going to think.
  4. Fourth fucking thing I just thought of right now. Try your hardest not to see a physician for your mental health. I know money is an issue. I have no health insurance. I don’t even have money! But somehow I’m seeing a psychologist. There’s always a way. Your physician will be happy to write a prescription but you think he/she gives a shit how you’ve been feeling? They got twenty other sniveling patients in the waiting room coughing their lungs out, itching from poison oak, or they have a four hour erection from too much Viagra, or they’re bleeding from their eyes and the physicians have to sit and fucking listen to their complaints for fifteen minutes. They don’t have time for your problems. Literally, they don’t have time. It’s not that they don’t want to. The way the system is set up, physicians who aren’t specialists aren’t there to see you for an hour. It’s get in, get out.

Let me tell you a story. One more. It was the summer of my sophomore year. I’d had this horrible, phlemy cough for weeks, all congested in my chest . . . a bunch of weird shit going on. I’ve had this problem before during the summer. Had trouble sleeping because the congestion was so thick in my throat and upper respiratory system. Went to a doctor: he prescribed me Robitussin. Fucking Robitussin.

I didn’t know it was Robitussin until I got to the pharmacy and opened the bag.

I still have that bottle to remind me how stupid some people are. He talked to me for five minutes. Five. Minutes.

I never took that shit. You don’t insult my intelligence like that. I still have a congestion problem, I do have an overproduction of mucus (ewwwww) a lot in my throat, I can feel it even more when I’m anxious, and I read anxiety can cause your throat to spasm and create little mucus lumps in your throat. Do I probably still need to see a doctor about it? Yes. The panic attack that landed me in the hospital started because my congestion had me coughing all night for a day straight. I think I started freaking out about it and my heart pounded and I felt my throat swelling and I thought I had bronchitis and regardless of the fact that it took me two and a half hours in the morning to convince my family to take me to the emergency room (I couldn’t breathe and my vision was fading pretty fast because I was hyperventilating), I got there.

The nurse lady took my heart rate which was about 164 and she said if I don’t start breathing I’m going to get a tingle in my hands and arms and pass out. I started getting the tingle in my hands and arms and freaked out even more. I said “I’m going to pass out.” She said “well, that wouldn’t be smart“.

They did their little chest scan thing with contrast in my veins, found no issues with my heart or anything, and set me on my way with CC’s of Ativan in my veins. I puked twice and passed out on the couch.

There I go off topic again.

My first panic attack was as I watched House. Took me months to gather up to the courage to watch it again.

My point? : Be careful with labels and be extra careful with physicians. And don’t pass out. It’s not smart.

Smoke And Mirrors

If my boyfriend wasn’t my boyfriend, food would be my boyfriend.

I scarf it down way too fast, but it’s delicious, I can’t help acting like I’m on an army base with a full plate and three minutes until boot camp starts.

Anyway, whatever. What I am glad of is that my dad finally got a good doctor. When the doctor saw him do his thing where he breathes deep and scratches at his hand really fast and stares with wide eyes at you and only smiles like the Cheshire Cat when you call his name, the doctor said “well that’s a temporal lobe seizure”.

Finally, a doctor got to see what we deal with every other week.

The days he goes to the hospital (including the day I blogged about it), are being misdiagnosed. TIA’s are mini strokes and can precede an actual stroke. He’s been having them for a couple years now. I’m positive they’ve been seizures. It would explain why he was just yanking on the door with it locked (and couldn’t unlock it) and why he was crawling around in circles on the floor. It would explain why yesterday I found him just standing in the middle of the floor leaning over to one side scratching really fast at his hand and smiling like the Cheshire Cat at me when I called his name and why he limped his way outside in a circle while I ran after him saying “what’s going on; what’s going on?” and him replying “I wanted to see what you got me” over and over again. It would also explain why a minute later he was in the house again cooking himself something to eat and having a conversation with me like nothing happened.

So, problem solved . . . sort of it. He doesn’t know why they’re happening (I have my theories) and all my dad had done today were blood tests and urine tests regarding his kidneys and other stuff, along with a new blood pressure medication. My mother told me the doctor is a really chill guy who really cares about helping his patients (he actual had a good conversation with both of them regarding background health) which is good considering the psychotic sons of bitches we’ve had before through the county.

The one pill pusher doctor we had, which I think I’ve blasted in a post when I first started this blog, actually had the BALLS to invite us to his retirement party. I wanted like hell to go just so I could take his invitation and shove it straight up his ass.

Sure, I have social anxiety and sure, I’m extremely nervous around authority figures (particularly professors/teachers or anyone who knows more than me) but when it comes to doctors (or police officers) I could give two shits about their status. Police officers are easy, just tell the truth. I only get nervous socially when I have to give my opinion because people can shoot that down easy and that’s embarrassing. You can shoot down the truth all you want, it’s still the truth. I’m lucky most of them can’t tell my ethnicity from just staring at me so when I get pulled over and they can’t see through my tinted windows and they come around the driver’s side to see a kind of white but kind of black but not exactly Latina woman sitting there, I always get a “Oh . . . how’s it going today?” greeting.

I probably also posted about the time one was four cars behind me, put on his sirens, and instead of pulling over the ones in front of him (all of which pulled to the curb) he came behind me. He was the one who was most surprised when he saw me in the driver’s seat. He gave me a ticket for a brake light that was out. I have three. You only need two. He was a fucktard. Even the sheriff who signed off my ticket was like “what the hell did he give you a ticket for?”

I got pulled over a few months later for expired tags and asked the officer if it was legal to pull me over for only having two of the three lights working. He stumbled over his words and said “there’s a grey area”.

So whatever. I should have fought the ticket. If it ever happens again, I will.

But anyway, back to doctors. I’m not nervous around doctors. I’m nervous going to the doctors because I know I have to deal with the receptionist, sitting around all the people, and having to talk to the nurses (I can feel my heart pounding just thinking about it) and I’m even nervous when I talk to the doctor because they are humans. But I’m not nervous if I feel like they’re trying to fuck me over. I get mildly angry at first, then enraged. And at that point I will tell them straight up.

Like the one doctor who tried telling me Lexapro didn’t cause the giant cystic acne bumps on my face. What she didn’t know is that 1) I’m an expert in acne, I’ve had it since I was 10 years old and I’d never developed that kind, and 2) I’d spent two days researching the correlation between Lexapro and Acne and there is indeed a correlation; 30 thousand other people reported it. That’s not a coincidence. That was also the day I quit that shit before they tried to give me antibiotics for the acne.

And guess what? The bumps disappeared (apart from the bit of acne I still get every once in a while)

But Lexapro pissed me off, not only because of all the nightmares it gave me and the very little relief, but I had just healed my skin from acne’s torturous path and here that shit came causing more scars than I’d originally gotten rid of. I’m still having to rub aloe cactus leaves on my face just to get them to fade a little and it’s been three years since I’ve been on that crap.

Coincidence: also started having panic attacks after I got off Lexapro. I think I’ve said that before.

Well, anyway, we all know science now says anxiety is actually caused by too much serotonin so . . . you know, trust science. Trust in it. It’ll cure all your woes. Even if your woes could be cured without it.

Whatever. The point is, don’t not stand up to your doctor just because they’re a doctor. How do you expect to get full treatment if you’re not involved in it? Then you’re just riding a roller coaster in the dark with some stranger as the driver. One of my friends went to a psychologist to help with her anxiety (she’d had to move out of her parents house because it was just . . . bad; she and I were 15 when she left) and the first thing the psychologist suggested was anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications. I was laughing to the point of tears when she told me she stood up off that couch and started saying “don’t give me that bullshit; I came to you so I could talk, so I could sort out my problems, not so you could shove some bullshit down my throat”.

I laughed because it is so like her. She will speak her mind no matter who you are and she recognizes that her life is hers, not to be dictated by someone with a piece of paper that says, hey; I’m a professional.

Well, you’re a professional in yourself. They’re a professional in their field. That means you have to work as a team to learn about each other. And I’m thankful to the county doctor involved with my family who is like that. Right away he ordered all the proper tests, made Medicare pay for a blood pressure cuff, gave him better blood pressure medications (his was about 190/90; it can easily hit 230/90), and even set him up with a counselor to start working on his alcoholism. We need more like him, especially in the welfare programs.