Back in 2004, when I had Nervous Breakdown version 1.0, I was put on Paxil CR after a brief trial on Lexapro that resulted in a rather alarming instance of "Uh-oh! She's walking around in circles!" My relationship with Paxil CR lasted for a couple years with the help of a fat, funny little mustached side kick called Risperdal. Oddly enough, I also became a fat, funny little mustached side kick while taking this combination. I begged my state mental health professional to pay attention to the fact that I was gaining approximately 20 pounds per week, was sprouting hair in not-fun places and had stopped having my period.
She actually asked me, "Do you really need to have a period?"
So, as soon as I became employed and achieved health care insurance, I acquired a private psychiatrist whom I payed a rather large fee for each visit with the help of said health care insurance. Actually, like most of my previous and current health care providers, I still owe him some money.
The new psychiatrist said that I was on an excessively high does of Paxil CR, but first he wanted to take care of the Risperdal. He switched me to Seroquel. Seroquel and I got along very happily together, even after I weened myself from the Paxil CR and never did find another anti-depressant to suit.
My relationship with Seroquel lasted up until I had a lapse in health insurance. By the time my health insurance was reinstated, I found out that over-the-counter sleep aids with pain reliever could put me to sleep, so had started to use those instead.
I figured I could go off the Seroquel for good...
Introducing Nervous Breakdown version 2.0, wherein I have suffered severe anxiety, which has caused a host of physical problems, and which I have tried to treat with, first, Cymbalta (horrible - see misery diary post "Cymbalta: Satan's Candy") and now, back to Paxil CR, again. My new general practitioner - I no longer have a psychiatrist, at least not until May 13th when I go to see a new one - selected it from a list of anti-depressants I had tried in the past, deciding to re-try it because it only caused weight gain (at that point, sitting in her office, I didn't care about weight gain either, and still don't, as long as it doesn't get too bad, and so long as the Horrible Anxiety goes away).
This second time around, as I have researched and confirmed with Google is quite often the case, I am having more severe side effects with the Paxil CR. These include nausea, loss-of-appetite, tiredness, weakness, weird dreams, restless legs and walking-in-circles anxiety.
In any case, right now I'm hoping to return to Seroquel, and maybe even reduce the Paxil CR again until I am using Seroquel as my primary care mental illness pill. It has become abundantly clear to me that taking an SSRI alone causes severe agitation for me, and that it must be supplemented. Unfortunately, my general practitioner doesn't feel comfortable prescribing Seroquel; because it is an anti-psychotic, she wants me to discuss it with a psychiatrist.
I'm still taking the Ativan, but am not entirely enamoured with it because the sedating effects do not last very long and because I know it is addictive.
I just want to have some energy without anxiety.
I just hope everything works out. Not just my meds, but my life, my sense of well-being.
I want to get a job so that I have one less thing (money) to worry about.
My general practitioner said that, with all the stress, my brain has probably been completely drained of serotonin.
I'm waiting for the return of the best parts of me, of clarity, of moments of peace and happiness, but also anticipating the sloughing off of old patterns of bad behavior. I know that this is part of the continuing problem, that this is why the problem continues, why it seems to go away but then come back.
I'm still learning how to take care of myself, first learning the lesson of just how important taking care of myself is.
Unfortunately, I am apparently very hard-headed and must be beat about quite a bit by the Universe before I finally get it.
Maybe I'll never truly get it, maybe I'll keep making mistakes, but I hope I start to make less; I hope that I learn, that I grow. I would say change, but I don't want to change so much as grow. I think grow is better. Change indicates that I am unhappy with who I am, which I'm not, but I do want to become more of my best parts, and learn to manage my least-best parts.