Reflections From Today

So I saw Dr W today, my psychiatrist. I told her how I don’t like being on Strattera and how tired it makes me feel. I also told her that it’s not working all that well anymore because I haven’t been able to focus or concentrate on anything lately. She asked me about my stressors and I revealed to her that I have many.

It’s the first time I’ve ever really been that forthcoming with her. I usually withhold just how badly I feel or how depressed I really am. I don’t tell her how often I have suicidal thoughts. All this because I know that she will prescribe me more medication.

I was right in my assumption because today, she upped my Zoloft dosage to 100mg because of all the things that I’m suffering through lately – with my move, my divorce, my terrifyingly difficult semester (which is only going to get worse as the semesters progress), my abandonment issues, my fears, my hectic schedule, my unstable financial situation, and work. She thinks that my loss of focus and motivation is due to these stressors and she hopes that by fixing my mood and anxiety, that the Strattera will start working again. She told me to give it 3-6 weeks and if nothing changes, then we should reconsider the Strattera.

To be honest, although I hated the heart palpitations, the sweaty and cold hands, the constant sweating, the flushed face, and the anxiety that Ritalin brought on me, I liked the other more positive effects like how it boosts my energy, how it keeps me going strong despite not having had a meal, how it helps me stop my sugar craving, and how I can control my diet better. Strattera makes me exhausted – all. the. time. – and I feel sluggish, my mind gets foggy easily, and my dry mouth symptom is the worst thing to deal with since I have to talk a lot – being a server, you can’t not be talking to your guests.

Anyway, so now I have to give Zoloft another try. It hasn’t really been doing anything for me. I doubt it will do anything even with 100mg.

After the meeting with Dr W, I headed to group therapy in which because the lead facilitator wasn’t able to attend, the co-facilitator was more inclined to let us rant instead of just focusing on how we feel at any given moment. One of the group members was having difficulty letting go of an unhealthy relationship, and the rest of us fervently encouraged her to love and respect herself first. To put herself first. As the session grew, we all started getting more and more “rant-y”. Near the end, the group member who had brought up her issue of unhealthy relationships talked about her career fears and insecurities now that graduation is approaching. She is Asian, like me, and we both share starkly similar backgrounds where our parents were concerned. Her rant about her parents brought me into the fray and before long, the two of us  were pretending to be our parents and saying things that Asian parents would say (things that people usually turn into memes). This prompted another member, a Caucasian, to express how angry he was that any parent would do that to their children and how it must be that his lack of cultural understanding is what is making him so angry while the other member and I are just accepting it as a lost cause.

As the group filed out the group therapy room, I said to T, “You totally just let us rant, didn’t you?” while chuckling.

T smirked and gave me a mischievous look.

“Well, it just seemed like Steph (not her real name, obviously) really needed it…”

“Yeah… She did… And I guess we all did…” I said with a smile. Most of the time, T had sat back and just listened, from time to time, he had an amused look on his face. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in therapists’ heads. I know S smirks to himself from time to time as I speak – it always makes me wonder what it was that he was smirking at. I never had the guts to ask him. I’m building up to it. One day, hopefully soon, I’ll ask him why he smirked or why he looks so amused.

When group therapy ended, I felt a great tug in my gut – I wanted to see S so badly. I saw that his door was closed with the “Do not disturb” sign hanging on the doorknob. It meant that he was with a client. I was upset.

And of course, like always, whenever I’m upset, I spiral downwards.

I thought about the rope that I had. I thought about the noose that I had tied last night. I thought about the anguished email I wrote to S. Then I thought about something I read on PaperDoll’s blog about how she realizes that her therapist isn’t her crisis line and that she shouldn’t be messaging her during crisis. I thought about the email that I had sent S this morning at 3.30am when I couldn’t sleep and the suicidal thoughts plagued me. It was a wonder that I didn’t get up from out of bed and hung myself then. I realized that I shouldn’t be sending him emails like that. He can’t answer me through email and technically, I shouldn’t even have his email address.

I want to hear from him constantly. It kills me that I keep thinking about him because I know that I shouldn’t be relying on him all the time. I need to grow up. I need to be the support I need. But of course, it’s easier said than done.

I waited until S was done with his session with his client. When I saw that his door was open, I took the bundle of paracord rope and marched to his office. I was going to ask the receptionist, K, if I could go talk to S but there was a line at the reception counter. I figured that if I didn’t go see S then, I probably wouldn’t. Besides, I am at CAPS so much that I didn’t think that anyone would stop me if I went down the hallway towards S’ office.

I was right because although T was walking down the hallway towards me, he didn’t make any moves to stop me. Neither did P, another psychologist that I had seen before for a crisis intervention session. In fact, she smiled at me. I think both T and P, who were both S’ office neighbors, knew that I was headed to S’ office.

My hands shook as I lightly knocked on his ajar door. S was at his desk. He looked up from his work and smiled at me.

“Hey…” He said.

“Hey… Um…” I started, not sure if I should explain what I was doing there standing at his door. I decided not to because I already felt quite awkward to stand there. My hand shook as I showed him the bundle of rope. “Can you… Can you please take this from me?”

His eyes widened a little when he realized what it was that I was holding. He quickly sat up in his chair and leaned over to reach for the rope. I had half a mind to pull my hand back as he reached. I didn’t want to be out of that option – if I were to die, I wanted it to be my choice.

“Yeah!” He said, as he took the rope from me. He then looked a little concerned. I clenched my jaw. My hands continued to shake. “Were you waiting? I just finished with a client…”

I wanted to say that I knew that but I didn’t want to come across as a stalker. Yes, S. I know. I’ve been watching you from outside of your window. Eee heee heee heeee heeeeee….

“Um, no… Yeah, I know. I saw that your door was open. So I thought… I could try to see if you were here…”

He hesitated and looked like he was going to say something else, but he didn’t and I could tell that he was gauging my facial expression and body language. Probably trying to figure out what it was that I wanted from him. I wanted to say more but I realized that I was standing outside of his office which is inappropriate. So awkwardly, I said, “Yeah… Okay… See you”

“I’ll see you next week, Jules…” He said.

“Yeah… Yeah you too… Take care…” I said as I wandered away, my hands still shaking. As I left CAPS, I wanted to punch things and scream in anger. I think I didn’t want my autonomy taken away – despite the fact that technically, I was the one who decided to give up that autonomy. I knew I had to do it. I’ve been toying with the suicidal thoughts too much lately. So much so that I learned how to tie a noose.

My week has been terribly hectic and when I pulled into my parking space last night, I had promptly burst into tears because thoughts of my ex crossed my mind, and thoughts of me being so lonely crossed my mind. They triggered an outflow of tears that were uncontrollable. A friend said that I am stressed. I feel like I’m at the brink of a mental breakdown. It feels like it’ll happen soon and when it does, I’m sure people around me will be surprised.

Out of Control

My ADHD is out of control.

It’s been out of control for the past week or so now. The Strattera is obviously not helping and because it’s been keeping me drowsy so much lately, I’ve decided to stop taking it. As a result, for the past couple of days or so, I’ve been extremely depressed. Sure, I’ve had reasons to be depressed as well but I think the fact that I stopped taking the medication is also contributing to the depression.

I’m not sure what to do at this point because I really don’t want to be drowsy and exhausted all the time so I don’t really want to continue taking the Strattera but I’m also no doctor which means that I probably shouldn’t be messing around with medications without consulting my psychiatrist. I’m supposed to see her a couple of weeks from now so I’m not sure if I should be calling her up to get her opinion on things or just wait.

I’m just a little worried for the next couple of weeks because not only will S be leaving on paternity leave for a couple of weeks, school will also be starting next Monday. Since I’m taking on so many new things, I really need to be on top of my game. I’m just wondering if I should go back to the Ritalin and just ignore the Strattera.

Sigh. I’ve been hating life and hating myself these few days – particularly since my ADHD symptoms have been aggravated which is contributing to my anxiety which in turn is contributing to my depression.

I feel like I’m going insane inside my own head. Don’t you just hate that feeling?

Calligraphy

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It’s been a long time since I last did a calligraphy piece so here is one for today.

I just took my first 45mg of Strattera and it’s really threatening to knock me out. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like to be on the target dose of 80mg but I’m going to stick to it until I get there and give it a couple of weeks before I figure out whether I want to keep Strattera or not.

Medication Experimentation Update

So I don’t know whether the way I feel is because of the Strattera or whether it’s because I didn’t get weaned off my Ritalin but I feel extremely tired.

My head and eyelids feel heavy. I feel the kind of feeling you get when you’re having a sinus infection or a flu or the kind of feeling you get when you just took cold medication. I feel like I could just fall asleep standing.

I know one of the side effects of Strattera is drowsiness and lack of energy but man, I didn’t think it would hit me this hard…

I guess one good thing is that my heart doesn’t feel like it’s beating 100 times a second and I can drink tea without feeling like a bullet train as I’m talking. But I seriously should’ve thought about how it could’ve affected me at work before I took it.

Medication Experimentation

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So I’m back on the medication experiment wagon again. Dr W, my psychiatrist, has decided that I should try a non-stimulant because of how predisposed I am to anxiety attacks.

She gave me a trial pack of Strattera and told me to take it per the instructions. I am to take one a day at the same time until I reach the target dose.

It’s a little unnerving to know that the target dose of Strattera is 80mg when I only take 20mg of Ritalin…. I dunno. The fact that it’s four times more makes me feel nervous about taking Strattera, even if it’s a non-stimulant.

We’ll see how things go. It’s supposed to take up to 6 weeks for it to be effective. Since it’s a non-stimulant, one of the side effects of it is drowsiness though. I hope I didn’t make the wrong choice of starting it on a day I have to work a double shift….

Anyone else have experience with Strattera?

Of Psychiatric Medications

I saw my psychiatrist today for our regular follow-up meetings. As I waited for her, I contemplated out soon-to-happen session.

I had a dilemma because I didn’t really want to be totally honest with her about the last few weeks as I knew that she had been wanting to put me on anti depressants and anti anxiety meds. Though I have no problems with psychiatric medication because I know it doesn’t help people, I also have reservations about taking them.

I’m very sensitive to caffeine, sugar and alcohol as well as stimulants and drugs. I didn’t want to begin any medication regiments that could make things worse for me because I remembered how the Adderall had affected me quite adversely.

Dr W has also been concerned with my mood for the past couple of months. Two months ago, when I saw her, she had suggested anti depression meds to help. I had been resistant to that. Today, she had said, “You know… I know you have concerns but we’ve been petering around the idea of medication for your mood disorders… Maybe it’s time for us to talk about that again.”

I had told her how bad my anxiety has been for the past few weeks that I think is just the result of school deadlines. And she said that she wouldn’t be so concerned if I wasn’t so prone to anxiety already as it is and the fact that I keep getting into these anxious situations that I can’t get out of has her convinced that I need another tool to help me cope with the problem.

She also suggested a different ADHD medication that both helps with the ADHD and also relieves anxiety. We discussed both options (of switching my ADHD medication and taking both Ritalin and an anti anxiety medication) and I finally relented. So now, I’m going to try Ritalin and an anti anxiety medication that I can’t remember the name of for a month to see how it helps me.

The good thing is that the anti anxiety medication doesn’t have to be taken daily and can be taken as needed, which was what I wanted. The only downside to that is the drug takes 30 minutes to work which means that I’d have to know when I’ll have an anxiety attack in order for it to work. If I knew when I’d have anxiety, I wouldn’t have anxiety, would I?

The positive thing is though, Dr W isn’t just a drug pusher because she recognizes that therapy is a better way to alleviate mental disorders but that medication is a tool that can be used to help therapy.

So, we’ll see how things go. I ended up being honest with Dr W with how I’ve been feeling and perhaps the medication will help me. We’ll see.

Medication And Tea

So I’ve been battling a sinus infection since 10 days ago and it’s persistent. It refuses to go away. Well, I thought “Hey, maybe some tea will help…” seeing as tea contains a lot of healing properties.

I just realized that taking Ritalin and drinking caffeinated tea (in my case, I’m drinking green tea), is actually not a great idea. Somehow, the caffeine seems to negate the effects of the Ritalin and now my focus is all over the place.

I have 20 tabs open in my browser and two different assignments I’m working on at the same time while writing this post and listening to music. I’ve also started a dozen different conversation topics with my husband in the past 10 minutes alone. The last time I’ve been this way was when I wasn’t taking my medication.

It’s actually quite an interesting thing to me because I like to experience new sensations and new feelings, even if they’re negative. I know, I’m super weird that way.

In any case… This is a learning experience. I need decaf tea if I’m going to drink tea while taking medication.