The Night I Tried to Kill Myself

I don’t quite know how to put this experience into words. I haven’t written for some time again, due to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and general brain fog. I can’t seem to form coherent sentences as quickly as I used to, nor can I focus for long periods of time on something that I have a deep love for.

Thursday, 10.25.18 I remember walking into the outpatient center I attend for a therapy session. I remember the feelings of utter hopelessness attending with me, like a sack lunch I was carrying to school. I had made the decision to give up. I was tired of fighting, I was tired of trying to fight, and I was tired of the only option being fighting. I was tired of fighting myself, I was tired of, for the millionth time in my mental health career, coming off of medication, and I was tired of hearing I needed medication to thrive.

I was taking 10 milligrams of Abilify and 10 milligrams of Trintellix and I couldn’t find the energy to finish homework, or get out of bed, and I didn’t have the luxury of feeling any emotion at all: happiness, sadness, inquisitiveness, passion–nothing. And so I did what I always do: stopped the medication.

This usually happens without consequence. For the most part, I’ll stop cold turkey after a couple of months, struggle through a few physical withdrawal symptoms, and get on with my lifestyle. The last time I stopped these two meds, I regained my energy quickly, breezed through four classes, and managed happiness until the opinions of those I care about convinced me to try the medication again.

So I tried again, For maybe two and a half weeks. Then I stopped. I stopped and I noticed my energy did not come back. My mood was stable until it wasn’t. It plummeted. I focused a lot on what was wrong with me, the disappointment of my relationship ending (yes, I’m still stuck on that), and the worries of the future regarding my education, where I’m going to live after December, and the simple fact that I struggle taking care of myself. Those are the surface issues. There are deeper issues I don’t think I’m in touch with yet.

I’ve struggled with depression since I was ten years old. A low mood was nothing new to me, in fact I welcomed it because the darkness was comforting. It was an old friend, a sinister reminder that life is suffering and suffering reminds us that we’re alive. I was thankful for this friend to return because on the medication I didn’t feel alive.

I started planning fun things to do to keep me from falling further: A concert, an overnight trip to San Francisco, Halloween plans and costumes. I got excited: the week of the 21st would be marvelous.

But I started separating from myself.  I don’t remember when, and I don’t remember how, but part of me blacked out. I know I was around and talking to people because I went to work, had laughs, made plans. I don’t remember much of it, but I know I was there.

By Thursday, the 25th, I was moving slowly, not comprehending where I was, no hope or vision for the future, and I’d even lost interest in Halloween, my favorite holiday. I confessed to the therapist that I didn’t have energy to care much about my life, nor could I answer her questions. I didn’t tell her I’d made a plan to (somehow) kill myself after Halloween. It wasn’t fully developed yet, an undercooked chicken in the oven.

I don’t remember much about the session other than the ending: a mindful meditation seeking to locate my inner child. I remember a lot of pain resurfacing, so deep and profound I had never felt it before, and I snapped. I was gone. She asked me how I felt, and I told her dissociated, separated from myself. I remember that. She made me do some grounding activities to bring me back into my body. I don’t think they worked.
That night I went to a concert. It put me in a seemingly better mood.

Friday and Saturday I spent the days in San Francisco at the Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, Six Flags, and around town. Saturday evening, on the drive back, a sinister part of me reminded me of my plan.

I’m not a stranger to hearing voices. I don’t hear them every day, and I haven’t had a bad episode in a while, not since my last hospitalization last year, but this time was different. This time I heard nothing external, and everything internal.

We all have an inner voice that reads to us, thinks for us, and we are in control of that voice, we dictate it. I’m dictating it now as I read back what I wrote, and as I write. But what I listened to that Saturday evening was not of my own doing. A different voice, a male voice, one inside of my head that I had no control of, which directly told me I needed to kill myself. He instructed me to open the door of the car and jump out in traffic–on the highway–and end it. He addressed me as “you” and I addressed me as “I”. That’s the only difference I can pinpoint right now. When I had a thought of my own, I said to myself “I need to calm down”. When I didn’t, he said “you need to do this. There’s no reason for you to live, you don’t deserve life.”

Was this a demonic entity interfering with my thoughts? I didn’t know. I sat paralyzed in the rental car my Ex drove, crying consistently for an hour and a half. The torment wouldn’t stop. “You don’t deserve to live. There’s nothing good about you. Jump out of the car. End it. When you get home, kill yourself. Hang yourself in the closet, no one will even find you.”

I had plans that evening with another friend, so I did not act on those commands. I did, however, drink quite a bit of whiskey and wander around the downtown city. When I got home, I drank more whiskey and fell asleep.

In the morning I awoke instantly crying. The day was Sunday, 10.28.18. I turned on Breaking Bad: I’ve never seen it before. I don’t remember much of the episodes because my head was so loud: “hang yourself in the closet. Take a knife, slit your wrists. You will never amount to anything. You don’t deserve to be on this earth, you don’t contribute to anything.” I joined in: “I can’t write anymore. I can’t enjoy things anymore. I don’t see this getting any better”.

It was 6pm that night when I finally stood up and searched my apartment for something, anything to hang myself with. I didn’t feel in control of my body, I was just going along with the motions.

“Fill up the tub, get in the water, slit your wrists.”

I grabbed a kitchen knife from the drawer and filled up the tub. I remember this part more clearly than other parts because my heart was beating out of my chest, my hands were clammy, and I couldn’t get a grip on myself, I felt like I was losing myself to someone else.

I got in the water with my clothes on and fought the noise in my head. I tried to give myself reasons to live–family, my cat, work–but it was always overpowered by that other voice. I spent a half an hour sawing at my wrists with a dull blade that could barely cut a tomato. I pressed as hard as I could and my skin barely broke. Eventually, I threw the knife. I remember a lot of crying and banging my head on the wall and hitting myself. The noise wouldn’t stop. I ripped out the string from my leggings I had on and wrapped it around my neck and pulled and pulled and pulled. Thinking back on it, I would probably pass out before I die, given my hands are the one pulling the strings, but in the moment I just needed to cause some sort of harm to myself. I kept trying the knife in between strangling myself and I sent one text message that I don’t remember.

It was a couple hours before I stopped. My neck was sore and I had stopped crying, but I wasn’t back in my body yet. The water was cold and I heard the front door open and footsteps running in.

We spent a couple hours talking, and I was gone completely. I don’t remember an ounce of the conversation. I remember seeing through my eyes my body stand up and go for the knife, go for the string, and my ex preventing me from doing so. I remember telling him I didn’t want to traumatize him.

There’s a block on my memory of the conversation, what I said, what he said. I remember being on the couch wrapped in blankets, soaking wet, distraught, eating pizza. I didn’t remember the last time I had food. It couldn’t have been too long. I took a Seroquel. I only had three or four left. It’s a shame I didn’t have a full bottle, or I would have just swallowed them all and called it a night.

The next day I didn’t awake until 1pm. I could barely move, my mind was paralyzingly loud, and I turned on more Breaking Bad. The urge to die was so strong. People took turns watching after me, texting me, calling me. I refused to let anyone call 911. The hospital is not a place to be when you’re in a crisis.

Today is Halloween. My head isn’t loud. I came back into my body and have trouble remembering what the depression felt like because I feel I wasn’t the one to feel it–this entity within me, whether it’s paranormal or just a fractured part of my self, is hell bent on destroying me.  I haven’t experienced a dissociative experience so destructive since high school.

Am I still depressed? I think. Mildly. Or it’s so severe that I’m incapable of comprehending the severity of it.

I didn’t learn to love life from this attempt. I didn’t learn to appreciate the little things or find new meaning or purpose. I still feel lost and confused. A hospital visit isn’t going to change that. What I did learn is that I’m more committed than ever to never taking psychiatric medication again in my life. After 7 years of being a guinea pig, I’m done.

My outpatient group counselor asked me why I despised medication so much. I told her it’s poison. She asked in what way. I told everyone in that room that long term treatment results in heart issues, liver issues, physical ailments that permanently scar your internal body and shorten your life span.

She said okay,  well, then would you rather kill yourself now and not have a life to live, or have some little problems a little later?

I said that was a dumb question, and that heart arrhythmia’s aren’t little problems. I said I’d rather kill myself than subject my body to synthetic chemicals.

And through this experience, if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the only two ways I will die is by my own hand or nature’s hand. I will not slowly die at the hands of greedy monsters making a profit off my death. If anyone is going to shorten my life span, it’s going to be me.

Should 911 have been called on me? Probably. I’m worried what I will do after Halloween–my original plan–and where my mindset will go. I’m worried I won’t be able to receive the support people are offering because I don’t know how. I’m convinced there is nothing left for me and that the only thing keeping me alive right now is fear of the unknown and a low threshold for pain. I’m worried this depression will slide past, unnoticed, and sky rocket into something more. I’m worried I’m not going to find a purpose again, that I’m not going to find a reason to live. I’m worried I’ll never feel passionate about anything again, or optimistic. I’m worried I’m shutting down, like the last stages of liver cancer. I’m worried I’ll pass as functional and be in misery for the rest of my life, however short or long that is. I’m worried someone will convince me to go back on medication. I’m worried that the only thought in my head right now is that I give up.

I’m worried that, recently, every time someone offers their help, my response now is “I don’t want it.”

Sudoku and Neurotransmission

There’s nothing that can convince me that this life is meant to be as complicated as we make it. There’s nothing that can convince me that we will ever find all of the answers, and to think that we have some already is naive and wishful. These are the things I think about as I backtrack in my Sudoku game, something I used to hate doing as a child because I could never get it right the first time. I have once in my life, but that was in a bout of mania. As much as I like to think it was my own brain power, it was really just a flood of neurotransmitters doing all the work.

250px-sudoku_puzzle_by_l2g-20050714_solution_standardized_layout-svgI was thinking about this the other day, about neurotransmission and Sudoku, and how they both have algorithms to describe their process. We have more neural connections in our brain than we have estimated stars in our galaxy. 1000 times more, to be exact. Sudoku has a bunch of different number possibilities, but only one answer. I fear neurotransmission is not as simple.

We have an algorithm for the probability of neural transmission: when certain neurons will fire and the chance of that happening, essentially. I believe if we do wish to describe the processes that happen in our brain, math will be the catalyst for success in that field. There are too many connections, too many variables, to settle on an explanation as simple as, say, a chemical imbalance.

I came across an essay in PLOS medicine titled “Serotonin and depression: a disconnect between the advertisements and the Scientific Literature.” This is a big deal. Although published in 2005, their words are still very relevent today. I’m sure you have heard in commercials about psychiatric medication that “so and so disorder is a chemical imbalance, and [insert drug] works to correct that balance”. Notice they will never explain how or why, because they simply don’t know. We don’t know.

And that’s where my area of study will be, once I do graduate: let’s explore this idea of chemical imbalance and what it may mean. My ultimate goal? Disprove the theory.

That’s a long way off, and it may only be a pipe dream, but I believe I can catalyst a different type of thought in the mental health community by proving, scientifically, mathematically, whatever you want to call it, that something like a chemical imbalance cannot possibly exist. Why?

As the essay says:

Attempts were also made to induce depression by depleting serotonin levels, but these experiments reaped no consistent results [9]. Likewise, researchers found that huge increases in brain serotonin, arrived at by administering high-dose L-tryptophan, were ineffective at relieving depression.

As it also says:

Contemporary neuroscience research has failed to confirm any serotonergic lesion in any mental disorder, and has in fact provided significant counterevidence to the explanation of a simple neurotransmitter deficiency. Modern neuroscience has instead shown that the brain is vastly complex and poorly understood.

And of course, let’s not forget:

There is no scientifically established ideal “chemical balance” of serotonin, let alone an identifiable pathological imbalance. To equate the impressive recent achievements of neuroscience with support for the serotonin hypothesis is a mistake.

comic-bubble-hmm_1609021If there is no established balance, there, logically, cannot be an imbalance. This article focuses purely on serotonin and depression, but this in fact relates as well to the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia and any other neurotransmitter they claim causes certain mental health issues. These studies are indeed correlational and not experiments. What does this mean for us that struggle mentally?

It means the door is open again. It means we can find a different explanation. It means we can focus on genes. We can focus on environment. We can focus on the way society structures thought–how we’re taught to think about ourselves in the first place. We can focus on things we can change, rather than this pipe dream that a little pill that may or may not cause more harm to our bodies/brains than good, can cure anything at all.

To deny that there is a biological component would be ignorant of me. To accept the propaganda that pharmaceutical companies place in front of my eyes would be even more ignorant of me.

There could be a chance that neurotransmission is just like Sudoku, and that perhaps there is one single answer and we just have to back track and back track and back track until we find the right numerical composition. But more than likely that isn’t the case. This isn’t a pattern devised by a computer. This is a pattern devised by universal chaos and quantum processes. What is there to correct? What’s created by nature is created by nature, and for us to label that right or wrong, normal or abnormal, is rather selfish and egotistical.

What else could it be, if not a chemical imbalance then? We could brainstorm ideas for hours. Genetics–if your mother has what we label as schizophrenia, there’s a greater chance you will too. But stop. It also depends on: Environment. There’s a striking number of people who receive this label who have been through some type of sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe emotional abuse, and often voices and delusions reflect this pain. What does that tell us? That deep pain that isn’t processed properly leaves a lasting stamp on our neural connections, and turns something on and off in our genetics. Socio-economic status plays a role: think of all the homeless people you see wandering the street talking to themselves. Assume they are not on drugs, and you’re dealing with a mental health issue. You think it’s easy to get well in poverty? You think there isn’t trauma in poverty? What effect does trauma have on the brain? There are studies on this, but what does it mean for neural connections? What does any of the things I just mentioned mean?

That’s what I plan to study in my life. I’ve given up the fight against these pharmaceutical people. I can’t fight a corporation. But I can fight their bullshit research with real research.

Ironic, considering Research Methods is my LEAST favorite class.

And that’s today’s Mental Truth.

 

 

Processing Things

In the shower this morning I found a piece of anger within me that I have yet to fully eradicate.

The thing about dealing with mental health problems is that you will always have days you feel like you can manage, and you will have days you feel like you can’t manage. Sometimes the days you can’t manage are consecutive and go on for months, maybe even years. And the shitty thing about that, other than the fact that you are struggling managing life, is that other people will not understand that.

Everyone has their own pain that they deal with and everyone deals with it differently. Some people can breeze through a truama and choose to put it out of their head while others develop Post Traumatic Stress and dissociation issues. I don’t think there’s a right way to deal with trauma, but generally what works is facing it and working through it. Sometimes when you do that, it takes a while and it takes a lot of pain. And that pain can shut you down for a while, maybe some weeks, months, years even.

For me, learning more about myself and what goes on in my head is proving to take some months, coming up on a year now. And for the past year it is true that I have been withdrawn and I have avoided other people, mainly because I’m struggling believing people have respectable motives towards me. I feel that they’re against me, and that if they say they aren’t, they’re lying.

Trying to explain this to someone who doesn’t experience it is almost impossible.

And I feel that since this was a part of the conditions of my recent breakup, that I should address this on this blog so I can also process it for myself.

Last November was a tough time for me going into the hospital and losing touch with a lot of reality. When I came out of the hospital, I didn’t really have anywhere to turn, at least that’s what it felt like. I still struggle with reaching out when I need some kind of support because it seems like whenever I do, it’s never enough. That’s my own issue I need to work on.

But knowing what I’ve been through, knowing what I’ve gone though, it should go without saying that It’s going to take me years to really get to a point where I feel comfortable “being outgoing” again. Unless I stop this infernal medication and go manic.

I just don’t feel like any part of me was understood in this break up. It was another trauma, because I’ve never had anyone so close to me misunderstand me so entirely.

And I respect his decision, and I respect that this has been an issue between us for a while. I don’t have any problem with someone making a decision that’s best for them. I just wish it wasn’t because of my mental health. I finally understand that saying: if someone can’t handle you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best. 

And I will be back to my best, I will return to myself. And it hurts me that I couldn’t have someone I love walk that journey with me. I guess it’s something I need to walk by myself. Maybe that’s just how it’s meant to be, and that’s fine too. I can’t control everything.

I also know there are people out there who WOULD walk that journey with me, who would research what they don’t understand, who would offer support in a way that will help me grow and get back to myself. And those are the people I need to surround myself with. I’m not quite sure where or when I will find them, but I will find them and I will latch onto them.

It seems like it’s a lot to ask of someone, but I would do the same for them. If they suddenly woke up in the midst of psychosis and ended up in the hospital, I would learn all I could about their experiences. I would be with them in their experiences and I would support their confidence until their confidence could support itself. Sometimes we need someone to do that for us, and it seems like if you truly love someone, that wouldn’t be too hard of a thing to do.

I had a great four years in my relationship. It was great fun, and there were times where I was supported by no one else but him. I acknowledge that. And maybe that was too much of a burden. Maybe it’s difficult for some people to hold that kind of pain and confusion with someone else. I tend to think it’s a rather simple thing because that’s what I do at work at all the time. I also acknowledge it’s different when you’re around it 24/7, or at least more often than three days a week.

So, these are things to be aware of going into my next relationship, whenever that may be. But I never felt like I overburdened him with my problems. I never sat there and complained about myself all day and all night, and I never demanded support. I only talked about my problems when they became overwhelming and I really did try and get out and do things.

I’ve been told all my life I’m not outgoing enough. I’m sick of hearing it. And you know what? I don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m done giving a fuck. Don’t like it? Not my problem anymore. I was ready to put effort into saving the relationship and that was cut off. So I’m not going to try to put anymore effort. I’m not going to try to win you back. I’m not going to bother you all the time. I’m just going to do me. I’m going to move and I”m going to try starting over. This town, Santa Cruz, has nothing left for me. And that’s okay. Everyone has to move on some time.

And that’s today’s Mental Truth.

Passion

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.

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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.

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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.

tipoftheday

The MMJ Journal, Pt. 1

 

Part one of this experiment. What experiment? The experiment of Medical Marijuana, CBD, and how they pertain to mental health per my experience.

Remember, I was a general street pot head since I was 13 until around 18. I stopped because I got busy with college and went into a period of being still crazy, but very positive and hopeful. I forgot what depression was, I felt I could handle the anxiety. Until the real paranoia or brief hallucinations started well into my second year of college.

Since those experiences have heightened, I noticed I keep bouncing in and out of psychiatrist offices again, buying into (briefly) the idea of a magic pill. Until I’m faced with the prescription in my hand and remember my own personal beliefs. That’s usually when I tear up the prescription. And then cry on my knees a week later for having done so. Then pick myself up and remind myself of why I tore it up. Then I’m on my knees again and . . . well, you get the point.

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It wasn’t until the big Medical Marijuana legalization and controversy sprang up here again did I wonder about the benefits. So I researched, came across CBD, hybrids, and a load of strains of cannabis I never knew existed.

So I got the card, got the stuff, and have some interesting things to say.

First things first. What have I decided to use it for, mental health wise? A few things.

  1. The PTSD: Flashbacks and thoughts always swirl uncontrollably. I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but flashbacks aren’t always just images. Emotions can be a flashback as well. CBD calms the body and therefore calms the mind.
  2. The anxiety: The shakes, the avoidance, the rumination, the aches, the physical upset, all of it. As I said, CBD calms the body and therefore the mind.
  3. The depression and mixed emotions: There are times I can’t get out of bed and am devastated and valueless. There are times I can’t figure out what emotion I am and that usually results in self harm or broken doors and cracked walls. I get violent.
  4. Other things: I am technically on that spectrum of schizophrenia disorders, although it keeps being bounced back and forth between severe dissociation and some “lesser” form of schizophrenia. Whatever. There are times where I don’t feel much at all, or I feel a lot at once, and either way it’s not going to show up in my face. You’ll find me laughing and smiling a lot, not because I’m happy but because it’s my reaction to my own emotions and others emotions, bad ones, good ones, unsure ones. Rarely, you’ll see me monotone entirely, and that’s when It’s gotten into danger levels. That’s how I was in the hospital and that’s why they thought I was depressed. Anyway, i’ll lose my motivation but I’ll also lose my ability to really care much about it. So when I hear I’ve failed three classes or haven’t kept up to my responsibilities–self-care wise, work wise, people wise, myself wise–the thought just goes through my brain, chills for a minute, but evokes no real panic or anxiety or sadness or anything really. Sativa helps with this.

I’ll explain how each has been transformed a little bit, more so than I’ve ever experienced with psychotropic medication.

xispuenqa2h8rbnhmhak_sativa-indica-comparison201

Knowing about the types of strains are important. The main two, Indica and Sativa, have different properties. The Hybrid type does as well, said to be more balanced between the two. Being grown indoor versus outdoor–all these little things matter. Having been your average teenage drug dealer at one point (not a very high status, but in high school it meant you were the SHIT) and your average teenage stoner at one point, I can confidentially say getting dealt with things from the street versus in a dispensary are drastically different. At least around here.

CBD has no THC, but can still be Sativa or Indica. You won’t get high. You can Dab it (i.e, burning concentrate (wax, crumble, shatter on a glass rig) and still not feel anything “mentally”. For all you who have dabbed, you know how crazy that sounds.

Your body will feel it, though. Your pain will dissipate, you might feel a little clearer, or notice your stomach isn’t churning anymore, or that your cheeks aren’t burning anymore. It’s a very physical high, less of a mental head rush.

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So, that being said, CBD sounds like a godsend for Anxiety. For me, it calms my heart rate. Listening to that thing pump like crazy sends my head into a tizzy and makes my anxiety worse. Having that thing sound steady took away 40% of my anxiety immediately.

The stomach stops churning and hurting and nothing is very urgent anymore, that’s the signal your brain gets from your body at least.

The thoughts can still swirl and be a tornado and be overwhelming. But that’s what’s so great about CBD. You’re not disconnected from your brain, you’re being forced to deal with your mindstate clearly, absent of any bodily interference or mind fogging “high”. That’s something not even psychotropics can do. 

Sativa is the upper, Indica is the downer, that’s how I see it. Sativa will kick motivation into gear, focus, energy, and I’ve noticed for me the more focus I have, the less my anxious thoughts hold me back, and that’s where the anxiety relief comes from. Not everyone’s anxiety is helped with Sativa, though, so be warned. Sativa is the strain I was least confident about, giving my issues with anxiety and fast heart rates, so I go about that strain with caution.

So far, Sativa has kicked me out of bed and giving me some focus time. No weighted depression, no avolition issues–yet. It took me a while to balance the Sativa with the THC to a level I could mentally withstand, but the CBD Sativa works fine.

Indica will relax you and put you to sleep. I guess people say it helps with depression because it might influence dopamine? I have no idea, it’s always worsened depression for me. It will wind down that heart and that brain and your body will melt if you do enough of it. Struggling with dissociation I have to be careful of that, because I will slip off an edge if I “melt” too much. I’ve noticed in the past, since I was heavy into Indica and the body melting, that the morning after my depression will be full blast for the next few days, just as getting off any anti-depressant would do–but without the bodily side-effects.

So far, I’ve only used it to put me to sleep and I’m sure that will be its main purpose. It doesn’t take much, with the strength of strain I’ve got, and it’s helped me stay on a consistent sleep schedule. I’ve noticed it increased paranoia as well, and hallucinations, but that’s how it’s always been with Indica and me for whatever reason. Seems backwards, right?

I have only tried a Sativa CBD. I use Indica with THC because it does more than just relax, it physically puts me to sleep.

"You've been eating that 'special' grass again, haven't you?"If I were my teenage self, I’d see this as an opportunity to spend all my money getting high. But because I’ve noticed my limitations I understand this is no different than Prozac or Haldol or any of that: and if I had those medications I wouldn’t buy more than I needed and take extra. I won’t do that with MMJ either. Because I’ve noticed the huge difference between being high and being, as they say, “medicated”.

I guess I will say this last week and a half, I’ve briefly felt what I assume normal people feel. Mentally balanced. The anxiety can be taken down so far I get confused: turns out I was experiencing close to zero anxiety. Never experienced that in my life, not even from the street things, supplements or psychotropics I’ve tried.

The important thing to know, if deciding to try this, is your mind and body’s limitations. CBD you can feel secure with knowing there is next to no THC and the probability your mental state will be “chemically” affected is also next to none. With THC, just test it. It’s no different than jumping between medications, albeit being safer, albeit having no side-effects, and albeit not being man-made.

If you’ve tried everything else, don’t be afraid to open your mind to this. You never know what could happen.

That’s the Sativa talking.

NOTE: I have suspicions Sativa influences serotonin. If you are sensitive to serotonin as I am, be cautious. I notice a headache (just as every other SSRI has been for me) and I notice the teeth grinding and twitching (which has also accompanied things that increase serotonin or serotonin-like receptors in me). I have ONLY noticed with this the THC Sativa strain, NOT the CBD. It’s also sent my thoughts in weird directions, as SNRI’s have, but that’s because I did more than I should have. My mistake. The more I leveled out my amount, the better the results were. Complete focus, Complete ability to stay in the present.

Maybe

I like talking to therapists, psychologists, and LCSW’s for non-therapeutic services. Only if they have a certified degree. I’ve mostly spoken to a few online, through initial emails or messaging.

I like talking to them without telling them what I really believe about mental health, and instead seeing what they believe, evident in the responses I get from them.

I told one about a lot of things. I told her about some hallucinations, about what I’ve heard from voices, about being controlled, about . . . basically, everything I’ve ever talked about at one point on this blog. I told her much of this isn’t daily, but frequent enough for me to notice, and that all of these things have been with me for many, many years. I said I never went after diagnosis because I never felt entirely incapacitated by it all. (Not the whole truth, but close enough). I told her, in regards to anything I’ve seen, heard, or thought, that after I calm down–be that hours, weeks, whatever–I can tend to rationalize those things were a little out of this world or not real. I never said I don’t believe a lot of what happens, but I never said I do believe it either. There’s a limbo here.

There were some other things I can’t remember about checks and balances or something. I asked, in her opinion, if she felt the system I had developed–good or bad–could keep me grounded.

I love her response, because to me it encompasses the polite, therapeutic approach of this era. (sarcasm)

Among other polite things, she said, I’ve probably become accustomed to these things and therefore can’t realize how incapacitating they really are. 

She said things may never worsen, but that I shouldn’t take that chance. Therapy and medication would be a good safety net for me, she said.

She said seeking mental health treatment would be good, because THEY would determine what’s wrong with me and develop a plan for treatment.

Yes, let more people control my life, please God. I’m helpless.

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I know a lot of people get suddenly hit with these things people like to call mental disorders, and I know a lot of people don’t. I’m sure there are people like me who have been like this since before they could remember. And Thank God for that prolonged experience.

Thank God for that because had I not been this well-versed in myself, hearing that I’m blind to how incapacitated I am would make me think I was actually losing my mind.

If I’ve become accustomed to things and they haven’t rendered me helpless . . . why exactly do I need to be told something is wrong with me and get treatment for it? What is there to treat? I’m so confused.

That’s not to say things don’t suck. Things suck. My mental health is not at all where I would like it to be. I’ve got really shitty coping mechanisms that have been whittled down to nothing from stress and anxiety. I lose myself pretty bad sometimes, but not all the time, and I’m not thrilled about waking up every morning.

So the fuck what? I am waking up every morning. I do manage to have a job. I have no idea how I’ve managed that, but I have. Things suck, but I’m accustomed to that, right?

Is it bad to be accustomed to these things? I don’t know?

Would it be better NOT to be accustomed to these things? Seems like that would have more severe consequences.

Perhaps accustomed is the problem and I’m missing the point. Maybe being accustomed to things isn’t the same thing as being okay with or good at managing them? Is that maybe what was trying to be said to me? If so, that also makes a lot of sense and is something I should consider.

Maybe we should always read between the lines of what’s being said to us by professionals. Maybe some of these professionals are actually saying something profound, but by taking their words at face value (As I did above) we’re rendering them unhelpful to us.

Or maybe it’s better to turn their words into something that makes more sense?

Or maybe fuck them all?

I don’t know.

Quick Fixes. Let’s Talk About It.

For some weird reason, we think the mental health system today is more logical, humane, and helpful than the days of Lobotomy, Ice Baths, and Cold Blankets.

For some weird reason, we think giving someone muscle relaxers before hooking up electrodes to someone’s temples is more humane than just zapping them and watching their body convulse. For some reason, we repeatedly confirm that we have no idea if E.C.T does anything useful, and yet it gets recommended–and very often.

Let’s look at what came out of the Lobotomy era: Thorazine, that’s a pretty big one. The notable “Chemical Lobotomy” put the ice pick rearing mad scientist out of business. In fact, it put all that nastiness into the hands of the pharmacy companies. The only difference is you don’t get a black eye after you swallow a pill. Your organs do, but whatever, no one sees that so it’s okay.

So what went wrong? We go from believing mental health issues come from spiritual unrest (which I’m not going to argue against) to believing it’s hardwired into our system before our birth (which I’m also not going to argue against). That’s a pretty big leap.

I’m not going to argue against or for either option because arguing gets us nowhere. What I’ve noticed in the progression of how mental health is viewed in society (western society, mostly), is that it’s a social construction, much like Gender is considered. It changes with time. Homosexuality used to be a mental disorder. Now it’s not. There you go, simple as that. It’s taking terms and calling it one thing or another. That’s all “mental illness” is. It’s a social construction. What we call depression now might not be called that in fifty years, either due to science or enlightenment or whatever. And the funny thing will be that how people experience depression will change with it’s name–not because we’re changing it, but because we believe we’re changing it.

campaign_for_lgbtequalityFrom what I’ve heard from some LGBT communities, is that things aren’t as bad as they used to be. They’re still pretty horrendous, especially for people who identify as Transgender, but . . . the more acceptance there is online, in communities, and in families, the less of a surprise it is nowadays to hear someone is bisexual or lesbian or gay. Chances go up a good half a percent that someone you interact with won’t hate you for your sexual orientation. What kids in our future, provided acceptance continues, experience underneath any gender spectrum label will be ten times different than what kids today do. Not because the facts of the gender spectrum change, but because we see it differently. We treat people differently, so they treat themselves differently.

Now, if you’re experiencing psychosis for the first time and you get locked in a facility where people are grabbing you and forcing you onto cots and injecting you with things you don’t understand–you’re getting a very clear vision of what people think of psychosis. You might not know it at that moment because creatures are crawling out of the floor and nibbling on your toes, but the aftermath, the lack of support for many, the way you’re treated, what you’re told (you’re sick for life, no way around it, sorry): it says it all. It increases a sense of being trapped, controlled, which doesn’t help anyone if they struggle with paranoia or voices. It increases fear and psychosis feeds off of fear.

So what if how we view these experiences we like to call “mental illness” more like a brain’s distress call–kind of like someone giving you all their belongings, and a sealed envelope you’re not allowed to open until they’re “far away from here”. Would you tackle them to the ground and scream “you’re sick, you’re fucking sick! You need help, you psycho!” in their ear?

If we treat these experiences like a distress call, if we see it as an experience that deserves unique attention because each person’s experience is unique, it doesn’t matter whether the person has a “weird brain chemistry” or if they’ve been through trauma or if they’ve damaged something with drugs–whatever. It won’t matter because we’re not looking at what we think their problem is, we’re paying attention to what they experience, and respecting that. Respecting their despair or fear or anxiety or compulsions. We’re respecting their past, if they have gone through trauma, and we’re respecting their shock if their life has been generally good and they suddenly woke up with God talking to them through a walkie-talkie.

For those of us with these struggles, this goes for us to: we have to respect our experiences. I don’t think it’s healthy to fight ourselves. I don’t think it’s healthy to limit ourselves to that kind of existence. I think it hinders our ability to grow and our ability to function.

What do I think went wrong? I think we got too obsessed with wanting answers to everything. I think, as humans, we get so caught up with believing everything must have a reason and that everything in life that isn’t a pleasant experience needs to be made into one. If negativity didn’t have a place in life then it wouldn’t exist. Then positivity wouldn’t exist. Then we’d all just be zombies wandering around the streets aimlessly, taking bites out of each other’s bodies every now and then because what the fuck else are we going to do? We’re propelled by our biological instincts and that’s it, right? Hunger will be our main experience. Looking forward to it.

When I say “mental illness” is a social construction, I am not saying these experiences don’t exist. If I said that, I’d get pounded into a bloody pulp by the comments and I’d be a lying liar. Instead what I’m saying is these experiences that are very real are being described and made into something they might not be.

I’m 21 years old. I could wake up tomorrow with ten times worse hallucinations than I currently have. I could wake up 24 years old at the mercy of delusions that last longer than a few weeks or a month–they could last six months or a year. I could wake up so far gone in my head that I forget my head even exists. But I’ll never call myself sick or ill. Never have, never will.

Food for thought, everyone.

 

 

MI, DSM, IPS, and Surströmming

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This week I’ve been apart of a Motivational Interviewing training, and as I do with all my trainings and classes I take that stand out to me, I’m going to share the experience. Tomorrow is the last training day, but I’m going to end up having to leave a couple hours early, so since today was my last full day I decided it would be a good idea to share what I’ve learned.

If you have no clue what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I didn’t know what the fuck it was either. All I know was that for me and my coworker it was free, and you can never get too much training in human services.

It’s actually not really about interviewing, but it is. I feel when people see the word interviewing they immediately think about that one job they went in to get where the woman with the bright red lipstick and the blonde hair asks you to sit in front of her as she rolls off your basic “what are you strengths, what are your weaknesses, tell me about a time when you accomplished something, tell me your mother’s father’s, mother’s maiden name and sign here at the dotted line to say you consent in giving me your first born child’s left leg.”

hqdefaultMI is more of a form of communication. You stray away from too many questions because too many questions turns into Motivational Interrogation, and people who are struggling don’t need to be interrogated. MI focuses on encouragement and affirmation with the aim of guiding someone towards change. The belief here, which is the most important part as I see it, is that everyone has the capability to change what they want to change, that everyone has choice, and when we’re stuck sometimes we just need a little compassion to help us see our choices again.

It’s also about focus. You all know my focus is shit, so you could imagine my grief in training myself to not wander off or black out during role plays. But, I learned when I did focus in all my energy in listening to the words someone was saying, so I could “reflect” back what they were saying, I found I was interested enough in what the person was saying to keep my attention.

I still hate Role Plays though. Nothing will ever change that. They were created by the devil.

By reflecting, I essentially mean interpreting–in a sense. For example, one guy in a role play said, as we focused on change talk, “one thing I’d like to change about myself is to be more extroverted” so my response was “it sounds like you want to make more connections with people”. I was right. It was a guess, but it was an educated one. And this is why MI is both extremely useful and extremely difficult at times.

In MI, you phrase your sentences with “It sounds like” or “So you . . .” or “It seems to you that” or “You’re feeling . . .”. You’re encouraged not to inflect your voice at the end of your phrases so as to make sure it doesn’t sound like a question, which is even harder to do when you speak English and are used to the fail-safe of counseling: asking only questions.

And at first, it feels like you’re telling someone how they feel. This was a reservation I and many others in the room felt. But the more you practice, the less invasive you feel. Instead, you start to get a bit of an intuition on how someone is feeling. If you’re wrong, they’ll correct you. Then you can say “oh, then tell me more about . . .”.

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I’ve experienced the opposite of MI from an LCSW at the hospital. She blabbered on about herself, about how I need to change my mindset and about how depressed I apparently was. She needs this training like a hog needs slop. 

But my real excitement about this training is the crossover I see between it and Intentional Peer Support. I think it’s great that clinicians and certified counselors and licensed counselors have opportunities to do MI (if they go through progressive, or holistic studies), but the truth is many of them will never know what it feels like to go through things their “clients” might. And while love and compassion for your fellow human is wonderfully healing, it’s an advantage if you can also relate through your experience. So when someone says their voices are really frightening them today, you’re going to know what that feels like.

It’s not that you have to blurt your experiences 24/7 at this person to prove you can relate. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to mention your experience at all to connect and understand. The difference is that when you engage as a peer, that compassion you put into it will be from a different place. Mixed with MI, I’d say that’s a very powerful relationship to grow with someone.

The thing is, the world is very focused on quantifying mental health and the human experience. We’ve started to ignore the human part of being human. We want cures and answers and we love labels and the idea of “brain disease” to pawn off someone’s behavior on a reason we tell them they can’t control. Good for profit.

 

dsm5-smWhich brings me, quickly, to the DSM. Were we to see and speak with people in the format of MI, perhaps we wouldn’t see this “rise in mental disorders”. The rise isn’t in the “disorders”, the rise is in the diagnosis. Before the DSM III, all these “disorders” were called “reactions”. Everything. What we call psychosis now, was a reaction. What we call the symptoms of “Bipolar” now, was a reaction. Don’t you see? All they’re doing is changing what we call things. It doesn’t mean we’ve “discovered” more disorders. It doesn’t mean people are broken. It doesn’t mean we have “diseases” or “illnesses”. It means some people in white coats are sitting on the board of the APA playing word games. And the more you believe you’re crazy, the crazier you are.

My fail-safe of DSM critique: Schizoid Personality Disorder. Fucking god-forbid someone wants to keep to themselves and have a restricted range of emotions and NOT be upset about it. Fuck. Kick those people off the fucking planet, am I right? Because, from what I’ve heard from people experiencing this, most of them could care less if they appease society or not. They keep the same job for 30 years, they mind themselves, and they don’t get bothered by it. You know who gets bothered? EVERYONE ELSE.

I get asked at work by guests sometimes what my diagnosis is. I answered the first few times, not because I believed in the terms, but because I felt I needed to appease their questions–they speak the language of diagnosis, so I figured I had to too. After a while I’ve stopped giving a direct answer. Instead, I say “I can’t answer that question–but I can tell you a couple experiences I’ve had.”

surst1So what do I think as a peer counselor and psychology student, of the DSM? You ever heard of “Surströmming”? The fermented fish? The one people have to open under water because it smells so horrible? The one people have to dress up with onions and bread to get a decent taste out of it?

That’s what the DSM is in the world of mental health.

When You Love Your Parents Because They’re Your Parents.

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From what I’ve observed from the interactions I’ve seen between, there are different levels of connection. There are deep connections, in which people feel comfortable enough to touch (hug, playfully smack, whatever), laugh, and share things they’d only ever whisper or things they’d consider secrets. There are moderate connections, where most people’s close acquaintanceship or friends fall: you freely speak with each other, go places, enjoy things together, but tend to keep an acceptable amount of personal space. There are business-like connections, where you may know about someone’s life and they may know about yours, you may joke and laugh and maybe even enjoy an occasional night out with them. All three of those layers can overlap depending on the people involved, and their situation.

Then there’s surface-level connections. You greet each other. You smile, they smile, but you rarely see any other emotion from either person. It’s like being in a constant state of your first meeting with each other. Nothing propels the relationship forward.

Some people simply do not click, and I think that’s reasonable given there’s about 7 billion people on earth. If everyone got along instantly all the time, well, social justice issues wouldn’t exist.

I am one of those people stuck in a perpetual cycle of surface-level connections, and not because I have an aversion to people (or visa-versa), but because I didn’t know those other levels of connection existed. I’ve learned this just recently, and I’ve learned just recently that the relationship I share with my parents, and everyone else, is entirely surface level, and always has been. We don’t do things together. We don’t speak about our emotions with each other. We’ve recently tried eating more dinners together. 70% of the time, they end in arguments or physical confrontations. Coupled with all the health problems my father has, with the mental health ones I have, and with all of the financial weight landing mostly on my mother’s shoulders, it’s needless to say connection is a difficult thing to make.

I remember briefly as a child all three of us doing some things together, but not often. I remember a lot of arguments and fights and fear and anger, and I remember being stuck in my head. I’m sure that’s when the fantasies started becoming a form of protection. My world still protects me today, but in a different way now, a way that hinders me.

I’m starting to see that you can care and love for your parents in different ways. I will always love my parents, but I don’t want to be around them. I don’t want to be associated with them. Now that I’ve got a glimpse of what connection and openness and honesty is, I can’t handle being boxed in this situation. I’ve been in it for 21 years, I think that’s enough.

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How I was raised gave me three essential things: shelter (sometimes), food (sometimes) and clothes (about once every five years). I’m thankful for those things when we had them. But I didn’t learn how to communicate. I didn’t learn how to take care of myself very well, how to navigate anything outside the walls of my room, and most of all I didn’t learn how to manage any sort of emotions, not even the good ones or the “stable” ones.

What I did learn was that when I get angry, depressed, frustrated, or even happy, any emotion at all, the only tool I have is to dissociate from the situation: emotions aren’t meant to be felt, they’re dangerous. This could mean I enter a fugue state (which I’ve only had once or twice, I don’t recommend having one in the middle of a four way intersection like I did), it could mean a complete shutdown where I don’t speak, eat, or move, it could mean I hear, see, or get caught up in thoughts that aren’t based in this physical reality we know.

But to put something dangerous like emotions out in the open? How do you do that? Online is easy: I’m writing words I hear and see in my head all the time. Speaking them requires you own what you say. It requires the ability to acknowledge the pain and to trust who you’re speaking to–assuming you know how to trust. Which is something I was also taught, implicitly, is a sure way to get yourself killed or taken advantage of.

For me, this awakening is huge: to realize the majority of my life has been filled with consistent mental and physical abuse  Not because I get to blame all my mental problems on my parents, I would never take that cop out. My childhood only exacerbated what was already there in a sense. This is huge because I’m aware of two major things now: 1) I can love my parents without feeling guilty for also never wanting to live with them again. 2) I have a chance to move forward and explore parts of myself that never got a chance to blossom. I have a chance to learn things I never would have realized I needed to learn.

One of those things includes being open and honest when I’m having trouble. Which is almost all the time, but that constancy might reduce the more comfortable I feel talking. It’s just hard to shake the feeling that admitting struggling is a failure or a weakness or going to bring embarrassment or be a waste of time. I get stuck in a cycle of struggling, feeling overwhelmed, wanting to reach out, reaching the edge, and just before I’m about to put a gun to my temple, my brain pulls me back into some la-la land where I don’t feel on edge–or I feel entirely on edge for a completely different reason like people controlling me, or demons following me, talking to me, or aliens, spirit animals, whatever (I think mine is a bear, it came to me in my shower one day). Then I come out of it and wonder what I was feeling so horrible about to begin with. I’ll have completely forgotten.

My brain has turned into a protector, a survivor, but I would like to do a little more than just survive.

 

Clinical Arrogance: A Disease

The following will be an account of an appointment I had today, from my perspective, which is the perspective of a student of psychiatry in the hands of, and at the mercy of, a psychiatrist of 15+ years.

Disclaimer/ThingsYouShouldn’tBitchAtMeAbout: 1) If you feel any of the following medications actually help you, wonderful; what I say in regards to them has no reflection on you, so don’t act like I should take them just because you do. 2) If you feel any of the following diagnoses actually revolutionized your life, I am genuinely happy for you; what I say in regards to them has no reflection on you, so don’t act like I should accept them just because you do. And last but not least, 3) Do not waste your typing breath telling me “all psychiatrists aren’t like that” because I’m very, very aware of this. This will be an account of one who is not so keen on her own arrogance.

Disclaimer Part 2: If you feel offended by anything I said above, for God’s sake, you probably will have trouble getting through my blog.

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*Brushes off hands* Alright. We’re all on the same page? Deep breath. Let’s take a mindfulness observation moment together: pick a natural object around you. That could be a flower, an insect, the clouds, e.t.c and focus only on that object. Watch it for a minute or two, noticing only the object and not the environment around it, as if you’re watching it for the first time. Let yourself be fully immersed in the visual stimulus of that object, connect with its energy, and breathe.

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Wonderful.

Now that you’re calm, I’m calm, and everything is alright, let’s together explore the very question I find myself plagued with on a daily basis: why do some people exist at all? Why? To fuck with you? To feed their ego? To sit back in their chair, roll in the dough, and not give two shits who they affect? Is that it? Is that what it is?

I’m going to need a lot of mindfulness moments today.

This new psychiatrist I see gave me weird vibes from the moment she placed a diagnostic PTSD code (among two others) on my invoice sheet within ten minutes of meeting me. This was my second visit with her today, and I’m done. Yep, you heard me. I’m done.

Her ears have bricks in them. They’re filled with cement. She hears her own thoughts very, very clearly, and values her opinion like any confident person does. Unlike what other confident people do, she does not seem to value other’s opinions very well.

First of all, let’s talk about the service codes.

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E.t.c, E.t.c, you get the point.

Let’s talk about the fact that, one, I got charged with the 99213: basically, a level three office visit. For those of you with insurance in the U.S, you probably don’t see these things. I don’t have insurance and pay out of pocket, so I do. I’m okay with getting charged as an outpatient office visit; that was 125 dollars in itself.

She charged 25 dollars under a 90836. It’s an add on code under the 90834 code. Essentially, the 90836 is for is individual “psychotherapy” that occurred during the visit that was “insight orientated, behavior modifying, and/or supportive” if the visit is 38-45 minutes.

I paid a doctor 25 dollars to be supportive towards me for 30 minutes. The kicker? She wasn’t even that supportive. In fact, half the time she didn’t know what to say. In fact, half the time she just spewed useless information at me. Rather than taking a moment to relate or acknowledge some difficulties in my house hold, she told me my father could easily be put in a nursing home if he has insurance.

Why “psychotherapy” or “insight” or “support” isn’t included in the fucking OFFICE VISIT of a PSYCHIATRIST, I will never know. I understand they are technically “doctors”. I understand their main gig is (but shouldn’t be) medication. However, I’ve gotten better support/empathy talks from a general practitioner and they didn’t charge me shit.

20662857-greedy-rich-doctor-with-stethoscope-switchblade-money-and-glasseSeems like a good money grabbing scheme to me. No wonder she kept me fucking talk. She needed to hit that time limit. I see the game, bitch.

Which, technically, she didn’t even hit the time limit. My appointment was at three. I was at my car door at three-thirty-seven. That’s 37 minutes bitch, not 38, I want my fucking 25 dollars back. 

Like I don’t know diagnostic codes. Like I don’t know service codes. Give me a break. The more diagnoses you get and the more service codes listed on your invoice, the higher your price is going to be (if you pay out of pocket), and the better your insurance company loves you (if you have insurance), and the more regular your visits will be with your psychiatrist. I received three diagnoses in about ten or fifteen minutes in my first visit with her a few weeks ago, none of which she told me about. She just kind of wrote the diagnostic codes and said nothing on them.

Clinical arrogance is a disease. 

Alright. Still breathing? Take a mindfulness moment if you need one, I won’t mind. Go ahead. Go right ahead.

I’ll wait.

. . .

. .

.

Oh good, you’re back, I was getting worried.

As you remember, last time she tried placing me under the restraint of five different medications within about twenty to thirty minutes: Seroquel, Effexor, Praoxin, Propranolol, and Ativan. I took the Effexor which helps greatly with my energy and apathy issues. I told her no on everything else.

She has it stuck in her head I have performance anxiety. I kept saying I didn’t. None of what I describe is ever related to that. I reiterated myself today. I, once again, rejected all the medications and yet as I look down on my prescription list, I see very evidently the Propranolol prescription underneath the Effexor dosage raise.

She said she was going to give it to me anyway. And she put it on the list.

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At this point, I was done.

There were some things I wanted to ask her opinion on but the moment the medication pushing came, and the moment she completely invalidated every word I said, I knew I would either get five more diagnoses and six more medications, or I wouldn’t be heard, so I decided to keep my mouth shut.

I will say this once more: Clinical arrogance is a disease.  

I spoke a bit about my sensory issues. I couldn’t explain what I really experienced with them (how overwhelmingly strong they are, and how they keep me from functioning sometimes) before she interrupted me and asked if I ever thought I had ADHD. I said very flatly, NO. She asked me if I had trouble focusing and concentrating. I said yes–when I’m being overstimulated, yes, when I live in a hostile environment at home, yes, when I’m fatigued and exhausted all the time, YES. I gave her environmental reasons for two things she tried pinning on biology. 

She said nothing after that. She said nothing until she got on her computer, went through my files, noticed that I have a lot of fatigue issues, and said “well, stimulants also help with energy sometimes. People also sometimes feel more relaxed with them. Would you like to try Ritalin?”

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NO BITCH, would you like to try my FIST in your MOUTH? Because it’s fucking HEADING THERE. 

I said, once again, NO. 

And that was the end of that.

Don’t ever let a health professional run you. You run yourself. You know what bothers you and what doesn’t. You know how your environment contributes to your mental health and how it doesn’t. If you let someone ELSE start giving you reasons for your behavior, without you first reflecting on yourself, THAT’S when you’re no longer in control of your own treatment.

The funny thing is, the two major things that have really been bothering me, my anxiety/thoughts and my paranoia, are the very two things I didn’t get one moment to speak about in between her ramblings. 

I’m not going back.