Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ahem...

I wrote this extremely long post yesterday about everything that has been going on with me. It actually was quite a bit of history to explain what I'm about to reveal but before I was even half way done I was so emotionally and mentally wiped out that I couldn't finish. Now I'm just not sure I even post it. It's too personal. Too harsh. Simply put, it's just too much to put out there for the internet to see. I thought it might be therapeutic for me to write it all out and tell my story to you but I realized while it did make me feel better to get it down (some of it anyways) I didn't want everyone to know the places I've been.

The short short version is: I've been suffering from depression for a very long time. I've seen numerous therapists with no positive outcome so I had basically given up on any hope of living a "normal" life. Unfortunately, I have become completely incapable of functioning in any aspect of my life and decided it was time to be proactive. When I say incapable, I mean it. I couldn't do anything besides the simple life sustaining needs of my family. Everything else fell apart. Hell, some days I could barely move off of the couch.

I finally made an appointment to see a psychiatrist and went last Wednesday. After a battery of tests and many many questions I was diagnosed as being bi-polar with ADHD and situational depression (I also have high anxiety issues). I was kind of shocked at first (although my mom is convinced I've been ADHD since a young child and has recently been bringing me articles and emailing me stuff about adult ADD/ADHD in women, which DID make a lot of sense) but after doing tons of research and joining an ADD/ADHD forum I can finally see what has been going on all these years. It's like walking into the sunshine for the first time in your life.

I was prescribed Lamictal for mood stabilazation, Vyvanse, a brand new, ADHD medication and Zoloft for depression and anxiety. I had to quit taking the Lamictal for now because 3 drugs were just too much for my system and I was having adverse reactions taking all 3. I was started on 30mg of Vyvanse and 50mg of Zoloft but neither was a high enough dose as I metabolize things very quickly. I went back to see my Dr Monday and she upped the dose of Vyvanse to 60mg and the Zoloft to 100mg. I am experiencing a lot of anxiety with the Vyvanse but only when it's wearing off about 4-5 hours after taking it (it's advertised as being the only ADHD med that lasts 12 hours. Pshh. Bullshit.). She upped the dose thinking a higher dose would last longer and upped the Zoloft to further help with the "come down" anxiety. I did the upped dosages yesterday and still bottomed out at around noon with tons of anxiety. Let me tell you, the anxiety sucks ass. Chest tightness, hard time breathing, headaches. My Dr thinks that it wearing off so early in the day is "all in your head", that's what she said verbatim. I considered that and of course, having the world wide web at my fingertips, I did lots of research. It actually seems to be a big issue with a lot of people. Especially people who have a high tolerance to meds anyways and of course with people who metabolize things fast. I have both of those issues with medications. Always have. It has always at least 4 motrin for me, double the usual strength for any presription pain killer. Hell, I took a bottle of 75 Tylenol PM once and didn't die (not making light of that, I promise....just proving a point). I'm concerned that she isn't going to help with this because she doesn't believe me and every step forward I've made this week will be in vain. There are people on the forum I joined who take afternoon boosters to get them through the afternoon and evening and I think that may be the right path for me because as it stands right now, I'm complete shit by 5 and that's when it gets hectic around here.

I go back to see her next Wednesday and I hope she can be more open minded with me then. I need for her to work with me until we get this right. I do not want to go back to the way it was. Ever again.

After taking the Vyvanse and Zoloft for a full week I can say I DO feel better. My focus is definitely sharper when the Vyvanse is in effect and the Zoloft has helped with some anxiety. I'm interested to see what will happen when we add the Lamictal (mood stabilizer) back into the mix. FYI I am not relying on only the meds to make a change. I realize that the change needs to come from me and I have added some different things to supplement myself physically while the meds supplement me mentally.
1) I am no longer drinking. I actually hace NO desire to drink whatsoever. This is a huge change for me seeing that I did want to drink every day. I thought last night a beer might be good. I opened it, took a few sips and thought "why in the hell did I open this? I don't want/need this!" Which is amazing but I did read that once you get on meds that can work for you self-medicating becomes a thing of the past.
2) Exercising. It helps raise endorphin levels that can make you feel euphoric and we all need some euphoria. Right?
3) Diet changes. I eat pretty healthy anyways but there are certain foods that help with the effectiveness of the meds. I have noticed thought that the ADHD (a stimulant) curbs my appetite a lot and I have to make concerted effort to eat every day. It seems to work best when I eat 5-6 very small meals consisting of protein, carbs and veggies. I've been drinking Slim Fast shakes in the AM for the protein, peanut butter and carrots and stuff.
(Shit, I'm totally rambling! Sorry!)
Last but not least, Structuring my day. Creating a schedule for myself is something I have never really been able to do and the last few days has been pretty easy. It keeps me motivated and moving to look at a list of things to do. I feel so good when I can cross them off. That wasn't even remotely possible last week.
Now I just need to make myself set an exact time for the computer!! It seems these drugs make me hyperfocus on one thing at a time, which is what they are supposed to do so I can accomplish things without my mind racing and getting completely overwhelmed.

Okay enough for now. The post I wanted to be short and sweet has dragged on.

Love to all!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's great that you are working on bettering yourself, while bettering your family. It took quite a while for me to get my depression under control.

The good news is that excersize and diet can get you off the meds. But for some reason i couldn't do it with working out alone. I had to balance out my chemistry before I could fix myself.

Good luck. There are plenty of friends and family wishing you the best.

-M

Woman on the Verge said...

Thanks M. It means a lot to me!

Chloe said...

You have all my love. We think about you lots. Call me if you ever want to chat - I love to talk to you and I'm here for you.

Chloe

Woman on the Verge said...

C
Back at ya love!!

the weirdgirl said...

Glad to see you back! And I'm so glad that you're on a path to a better life. Have you ever thought about seeing an Occupational Therapist as well? After learning with my son about what they do I'm really encouraged by OTs as a therapy path. They do a lot of work with people on handling life skills, setting schedules, figuring out ways to make environment/tasks/etc. easier for people to handle. And you never know, an OT might be able to identify reasons for the anxiety.

I've been encouraging my brother to see an OT. His doctors kept putting him on anti-depression meds that didn't work when I think he has other issues. Such as, imbalanced serotonin levels and some dyspraxia and stuff like that, rather than the ADHD he was diagnosed with.

Anyways, again I'm so glad to see you back! Good luck! Please keep us posted.

Anth said...

I'm so glad that all those changes are starting to pay off!