Medications Therapy

Effexor Withdrawal

Now I know why doctors aren’t supposed to treat themselves.

Tapering off Effexor XR seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, it would be better than just stopping cold turkey. I had the doses I needed in the med samples that my doctor gave me. I was on 75 + 37.5 mg every morning. I dropped to 75 mg a day for two weeks. Alternated between being antsy and irritable, when I wasn’t actually both at the same time. But I’ve been known to be that way even under the best of circumstances. Spent one day in bed asleep. Been moody, but that’s nothing new. Thought I might be coming down with a cold or something at times. My intestines got wacky. Had some cramping that I thought was premenstrual, but it turned out that I was actually constipated. I was starving all the time. Felt like I would die if I didn’t eat at that exact moment. But none of it seemed all that out of the ordinary for me.

I dropped down to 37.5 mg a day on Tuesday. Having a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings, both physically and emotionally. Spent another day sleeping. Actually crawled into bed and pulled the covers over my head because I got frustrated over not being able to finish writing my fourth article of the day. Feeling much more tired. Having headaches occasionally. My Adderall XR doesn’t seem to work as well now. Don’t feel as awake in the morning or as focused during the day.

Still haven’t told my doctor that I made this unilateral decision to taper my antidepressant. Too ashamed to admit that I would rather make credit card payments than buy medication. Hope the drug company comes through with free meds for me. Or I hit the lottery. Or my mommy comes to get me and takes me to the next world with her. I’m not dealing with decision making very well right now.

Depression really, really sucks. Even more so now that I have tasted what it feels like not to be depressed.

Family Relationships Personality Traits

Where’s the FUN in dysfunctional?

I have a nephew who is turning 26 today (Happy Birthday Boo-boo-butthead!). I am extremely proud of the man that he has become. He is, and always has been, wise beyond his years. He says things that make me say to myself, “WOW! Where the hell did he learn that?” Unfortunately, those same ideas of his often make his peers say, “WTF?” My nephew has a good job making decent money. He takes pride in his work and honors his commitments. He expects the same from his friends. His friends though, the ones from college, are still trying to find their own way in the world and resent my nephew’s “standards.”

My nephew often says that I am the only person who understands him. That makes me sad. I wonder if my depression makes me more sensitive to his frustration and pain. It hurts me to know that he is hurting inside and I can’t do a darn thing about it except listen.

Some of the greatest minds in history suffered from some form of mental illness. Some of our finest works of art were born from depression and psychosis. Creativity often comes from thinking “outside the box.” How much farther outside the box can you get than mental illness?

Please hug someone today.

Family Relationships

Daddy forgot my birthday

Okay, I know. I’m 40 years old. It shouldn’t matter to me whether my dad remembers my birthday. He was bad with birthdays when I was growing up, but he always remembered mine because it’s two days before his wedding anniversary. I was actually due to be born on my parents’ wedding anniversary. It’s not like he ever made a huge deal of my birthday. He never even calls me. I have to call him. I would call home for my parents’ anniversary. Then my mom died in 2002. And my dad doesn’t mention my birthday anymore.

I miss my mom.

Medications Mental Health Resources

The high cost of medications

I saw my therapist yesterday. I’m in a bind with medications, and he is trying to help me as best he can. It’s not his fault that I have no health insurance and can’t afford the medications that I need. Anyway, he filled out the paperwork to get meds from the drug company, but I have to wait for the paperwork to be processed. In the meantime, he managed to scrounge up two weeks worth of sample meds for me. I doubt that the paperwork will be processed that quickly, but what else can I do? My shrink is medical director of a state psychiatric hospital during the day. He sees patients two nights a week at a clinic. The clinic patients have insurance so they don’t need sample meds. When I was in residency training, the drug company representatives left us samples all the time. Resident doctors see a different population of patients. The poor ones. Of course, without insurance, no one can afford medication nowadays.

Need help with the high cost of medications? Drug companies have programs for some medications (not just psychiatric meds). Start looking here to find out more:


Happy Birthday to me

I am 40 years old today.

My peers and cohorts are parents, physicians, homeowners, academicians. I am none of these. Thinking about that fact used to really bother me. Now I just don’t much care.