Saturday, January 29, 2011

here we go again - without grapefruit

I went to the new psychiatrist yesterday. To my great delight, he expressed hope that with medication I could get healthier than moderately depressed with a good bit of OCD thrown in. As I hoped he would, he changed my SSRI.

And then comes the fun part. I started "experiencing" side effects before I've even taken the new medication! I picked it up last night, but planned to take my first half pill tonight. In the mean time, I'm experiencing extra tiredness and some sort of almost dizziness in my excersize class. Which I would definately consider blaming on the new medication if I'd actually started it. But I haven't, so I have only my brain to thank. Because not taking my old SSRI this morning shouldn't effect me at all yet, as far as I am aware. Oh, we could thank the flu, too. Because that silly thing seems to like to come for a second visit just under a week later. I consider myself healthy-but-extra-tired now. (haha, what's new.) Actually, none of these "side effect" feelings are particularly unusual. I just like to forget that they come up fairly regularly. I like to remember the excersize days when I didn't struggle to complete the class instead of the days when I felt rediculously tired.

This psychiatrist checked to make sure they had told me that Seroquel could result in my getting diabetes, among other risks. They might have mentioned it, but I'd forgotten. Now my OCD remembers. And he hasn't taken me off the Seroquel yet (though he intends to not leave me on it too long). So as I eat my sweat food today (I didn't want to eat at all, but compromised on sweat food), who knows what terrible things the sugar is doing to me.

I can conceive of life without depression. I don't know how accurate my idea is, but I can immagine not being depressed. OCD is another story. I can't immagine not having that sort of thoughts floating through my brain and bugging me throughout the day. What would life be like without OCD? So maybe that's why I told the psychiatrist that the depression bothered me more than the OCD, because I don't even know what it would be like to not have OCD.

One more piece of entertaining trivia (at least OCD is funny, though not fun). I went back to the "what if I said the wrong thing to the doctor and he gave me the wrong medication" thought I had back in July. Different doctor, different medication, same faithful OCD.

But I feel more hopeful with the new psychiatrist, who says he usually calls back the same day if I call with a problem, unlike the nurse that called me back a week later when I had medication concerns in the fall. I feel more hopeful. And I like the feeling of hope.

And I will stop eating grapefruit like the medication paper says, but I like grapefruit, so it is a sacrifice (not much of one, though, since I hardly ever bought grapefruit anyway).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So I got the flu and now I feel week. I guess it didn't help that I haven't eaten lunch yet and it is past one o'clock. And I know I'm blogging twice in one day. And I know it could be compulsive. And I'm still writing, because maybe it will help me sort out my thoughts. My counselor said writing thoughts gives me a little more objectivity than just thinking.

Earlier today, after eating a normal breakfast for the first time since Friday (thanks to a stomach flu), and after going out into the sunshiney day, I felt good. I felt like that was how I wanted to feel in life. Not without problems, but without the depression hanging on me. It lasted maybe 10 minutes into church. Then I got tired. Physically. My wonderful stamina after having the 12 hour flu. That's what my non-depression times are like; I do okay and then I tire out. So maybe there is hope of recovering (both from the flu and depression).

Now I'm about to try to get myself to eat lunch (I will succeed - 3 meals a day is one of my top priorities -when I'm not sick). And either sleep or walk in the sunshine. I guess I hoped once I finally got the stupid flu that I'd stop feeling so tired like I did all week, but I recover from the flu back to being tired. One step at a time...

reality and feelings

"Am I dizzy, or do I just feel dizzy?" I asked myself. Followed by being incredulous that I'd actually asked myself that. I do that sort of thing alot, but it doesn't make alot of sense. Am I sad, or do I just feel sad (what's the difference?)? Am I depressed or do I just feel depressed? Am I happy, or do I just feel happy? Well, actually, I want to feel happy, so I usually accept that feeling. Oh, even more suspicious. The point is, I felt almost-dizzy. The point is, I sometimes feel depressed. I don't have to second guess every feeling.

But, my ocd lies to me. I feel anxious when I don't need to. I feel anxious that using this computer instead of that will cause something bad to happen, but I know that feeling isn't an accurate picture of reality. But it is an accurate description of how I'm feeling. There seems to be where I get confused. My feeling doesn't make one computer more dangerous than another. But my feeling of anxiety actually exists, whether the thought causing it is accurate or not. See if I can remember that fine (obvious, but still somehow confusing) distinction!

Especially when I go see the new psychiatrist.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Morning. Feeling tense and frozen. Is that normal, or is that a medication side effect? And does it matter? Because eventually I get myself to move. On Saturdays and Sundays it's pretty hard, though. And it's hard on work days, but I don't want to loose my job, so that's a great motivator.

I went from being indecisive to being indecisive to suddenly deciding to go on a hike with my dad. May my counselor be satisfied with my exposure to the sun (through a winter hat and two coats! Really, how much sun exposure is that?). Actually, she probably wants me to go outside several times a week or something.

I don't like my options from here. Hoping for medication-related improvement is a really really slow and possibly hazardous approach to regaining "mental health." But some people have been helped this way. Hoping for a CBT and ERP solution seems even more discouraging. I'm supposed to have these super powers that enable me to act against my thoughts and feelings and change myself. Oh, really. Like I haven't tried to be a perfect human before, and see where that got me? But I'm not supposed to try to be perfect. I'm supposed to be intentionally not perfect? I'm grumpy about therapy and the think-more-rational-thoughts thing. And that is why today's plan includes going to the gym and trying to get out my frustration in a positive way. If I tire myself out... then can I go back to sleep? (Of course, I'm tired already.)

But medication is a slow hope; I don't see a doctor for a couple more weeks. And therapy is a slow hope - I'm supposed to just do the things that "should" help me with the confident assumption that it will help. Really? What have I been doing wrong for the past half year? Okay, so I slacked off alot. I know, I know. And maybe it takes years for the therapy to change me. Months for medication, years for therapy, okay, now I understand my attraction to the idea of medication. Because months sounds better than years. But it could be years. Suppose it takes years to find the right medication. Okay, that's too depressing. Let's get back to thinking in the right here, right now. Right now, I'm typing on the computer, and I like the sound of typing. Little tiny goals. I've done this before. I can do this again. Little tiny goals. And rewards. What would I like? A puzzle? No. The psych. Dr. implied that I liked them because they held one right answer. I concluded he didn't think this was a good traight in myself (to the extent that I seem to posess it), and I stopped putting puzzles together. Thanks, Dr. And even more thanks to my brain for it's amazing "logical" conclusions.

But what else? I could buy tennishoes. The psych Dr. used that as an example of how he had not been careful with his money when he was younger. So I concluded that I shouldn't buy new tennishoes either, despite the fact that they had holes (no, I held out that the holes were a good reason until my counselor said she didn't notice the holes, so then I decided I was stupidly over-reacting to some holes in my shoes - and some uncomfortable times when water entered my shoes through the very not water proof sides - and so I have not bought new shoes. 'Cause buying new shoes might be a sin.

And oh, great. Do I just sit here writing my obsessive compulsive thoughts for the world to read? Maybe I should print this out for my counselor. I like to give her writing samples of my thoughts. Sometimes she compliments my writing skill.

Thankfully, I presume most of the world will not find or read this, keeping my secret safe from most of the people who know me.

Thanks to all of you who are my ocd friends who read this and do understand.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

exposures and (in different paragraphs) moderate depression

Today's exposure - flip a coin to make a decision. My counselor suggested it for when I get "stuck" on a decision, but that would be a terrifying time to try it. (There is something scarey about letting a penny decide your future; hence, I almost ALWAYS avoid it.) But I thought it had some merrit as an ocd exposure, even if I didn't want to use it in decision making when fighting anxious concerns about choosing the wrong thing and ruining my life. So I used it on something where I approved of both choices - going to the bookstore first or going straight to the library. It was tails, so to the library I went. I was a little disappointed, but I got over it pretty quick.

That's my specific, intentional exposure. The other exposures just sort of come, based on other decisions. Biggest upcoming exposure - give someone a ride. It's scarey enough to just drive myself somewhere without someone in the car with me. And no, I didn't choose this to be an exposure, I'm doing it for other reasons. It's an exposure that found me.

Grasping the bathroom doorhandle would be a combination. I did have to open the door, but I could have used just one finger (as usual), thereby limmiting germ contact. But instead I grabbed the handle, kind of angrily. So there! and then there were germs on my hand. My left hand. And they might still be there or they might have fallen off. They might have fallen onto the keyboard. Another person might "catch" some of them. Or we could go with my sister's "germs die" theory, which may have some scientific support. Or we could move on to excersizing, since I'm supposed to do that today. I have my ear phones this time, so I can watch tv while I do it. Sounds like fun.

This time, at my counselor's, I showed her my list of scores on a depression questionaire thing over the last 11 weeks that I've been on the exact same medications and dosages. That is one way to communicate that my moderate depression is being irritatingly consistant, with some slight fluctuations. I am glad to be "only" moderately depressed instead of severely depressed. For that, I am still thankful. But I sure hope I don't stay moderately depressed for too much longer.

And I've pretty much decided to try to get a second psychiatrist oppinion.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday. Took my Seroquel with my antibiotic and food last night. Not the greatest idea. Better to take Seroquel without food, because the pharmacist said I'd absorb it a little bit better. And I want all the help I can get, even if I don't think it's working like I want it to.

I got around 9 hours of sleep, but I'm still so tired today! I don't think that's fair. But i made it to work only 4 minutes late, and got out of work early because they didn't need me anymore today (sad for the paycheck, happy for my brain). Then I was supposed to eat lunch. I took a bite of apple and a bite of whatever bready-meaty-cheesey-needs-some-sauce thing I made for lunch. And then I entered the library. Happy brain, upset whatever in me wants/needs food. Oh, but I don't "need" lunch. Rats, gotta force myself to eat. Could get a movie and watch it while I ate. Good idea.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's been a rollercoaster day. Barely get myself out of bed (yay for depression and weekends - and not being able to fall asleep until midnight. That might factor in), late to Sunday School (but I DID make it to Sunday School!). Church, happy singing, passable sitting through the service (I sometimes freak out that the pastor is going to say something wrong and the church is going to die - yay for anxiety, poor pastors that get stuck with me). But today I did fine during the sermon. I didn't even draw half a million flowers, which is one of my coping methods. Communion - yay for scrupulosity. But I survived it. Then more happy singing, more talking to friends, drive home, lunch with a friend (I touched her food while I prepared it), then we went to the gym. Then I meet somebody who I mostly know from when I was in the "behavioral health unit" of the hospital. My poor friend from lunch who went to the gym with me; suddenly my mind has a problem to solve. I think, no, I won't solve it now. This will be good for me. Some success while I watched TV and ran on a machine. Less success when we were walking together. I just want to stop and figure it out! Anxious rubbing my forehead. And she doesn't know. She keeps walking and talking as if I was normal, perhaps because she isn't reading my mind. :) Oh, and perhaps because I am normal, that would be a possibility, too. Maybe.

Anyhow, she thankfully eventually decided to run ahead and I got some good thinking in. Not enough, of course, until I went home and wrote it down to talk to my counselor about. Well, appearently still not enough, because I'm writing about it. So funny, my rediculous moodiness! I think I have too high hopes; like I want to feel better. I want to be willing to live with myself the whole day instead of just part of the day. I want the confusing "emotional pain" to go away! I want to know for sure if I'm on the right medication or not - I think not, my psychiatrist and counselor think yes, so that's two against one. And once again, how do I know? Maybe I'm wrong.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I saved decisions to "get my counselor's imput." For example, the college classes one. Then I talked through it in front of her, and she seemed fine with my conclusion, so that was good. Then I thought she'd helped me figure it out, but she said I had really done the figuring out. Confusing.

So I'm signed up for a Jazz class and a Child Guidance Theory class. The one should be fun (except that it's Jazz 2 and I've never taken Jazz 1, but I've taken ballet and modern and tap so I think I can slide by, but I'm still nervous). The other might prove helpful as classroom discipline is one of my more challenging parts of my job. I actually didn't discuss the jazz class with my counselor, but I did discuss the other. What I really want is a practice class while I still have the counselor I like (i.e., before I commit to moving and going full time to some college somewhere). The excersize class is for fun.

I was thinking yesterday in a dance class, I used to really want to be the best - still do. Want to impress the teacher. But it's easier for me now to let some of the "what is the teacher thinking of me" questions go and do it more for fun. So that's a goal with my excersize classes and with the upcoming Jazz class; enjoy it. Do it to communicate, but not to "show off." We'll see how I do. Oh, but I need to remember to appreciate improvement and not just aime for perfect completion of the goal.

Speaking of goals, my counselor wants to set goals for my depression and anxiety for the next few months on my next visit. I'm not sure quite what she means. What kind of goals does one set for a few months? I hope that in four months I'll be able to get out of bed on Saturdays without a long mental struggle with myself? I hope that I won't be so scared when I just see a police car (unreasonable fear; I can be driving quite exemplary and still feel scared. Or feel scared just at the thought that maybe the car behind me is a police car)? Oh, well, I guess I shouldn't worry about this; she can explain next week.

I dyed my hair again. I wasn't nearly as scared while I did it as the first time. Wasn't nearly as concerned about something terrible happening. I think I even forgot it was a "sin". And then! Then I cut my hair. I've wanted to do this for a while, but never got past my fear that something bad would happen. But today, I decided, if I mess it up, I can go get it cut by somebody who costs money. And I asked my brother how it looked when I was almost done, and he gave me a few pointers but said he wouldn't have known I cut it myself if I hadn't told him. So I finished up, and my head is lighter now. I actually like it so far; I have a tendency to get worried and anxious when getting a hair cut and to get upset with the person cutting my hair. It being me, I could cut it however I wanted without having to explain that to a person. And I didn't have any need to get upset with someone else. And I like it. Okay, so maybe the medication is changing me, changing how much my fears control me.

Now, if I can just get through my fear of having the wrong footwear for the first Jazz class next week... (okay, logically now, suppose I have the wrong footwear? I get something else for the following week. The worst that could happen is I could get kicked out for one class - or break a bone falling, but I don't think that's so likely. Really, neither is likely).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

college class?

Somehow life gets complicated really fast. Like, I think to myself, I can take such-and-such class on such-and-such days and that will be great.... followed by finding out that the class is full. Not too much of a problem, because maybe people will drop out. So then i look at the local college I was planning to transfer to, and guess what, the classes are mostly online. Listen! If I want an online college, i'd pick a different one. So then my whole shakey plan for a bachelor's degree crumbles once more (this isn't unusual).

So then, the choice gets more complicated. Which class do I take from where and why? Because I wanted to take a class in person. (I'm great at online, but it has been suggested that perhaps in person would be better for my depression.)

But then I look at the online class from a different college and think, oh, I'd so much rather take that class than the in person ones here. I mean, I'd enjoy the material I was learning. That does help, you know.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

sinusitis again

I did go to the doctor. Told him I felt like I had a sinus infection, but I wasn't sure what was from that and what was from depression. He said, I was right; my brain could be exaggerating symptoms. Then he said that based on his observation, I probably did have a sinus infection, so I'm back on antibiotics. That struck me as interesting, considering, if I didn't perceive my symptoms to be as bad as I did, I sure wouldn't have gone into the doctor. It was my desperate attempt at continuing to be able to get out of bed each morning. I sure hope this works.

It's been the sort of Sunday when I had the worst time just getting out of bed. Missed Sunday school and was late for church. But I did get out of bed! I was uninterested even in watching a movie at lunch time, but watched one anyway, and did enjoy it somewhat. This depression has to get better.

Tomorrow to the Psychiatrist. Tomorrow I get to try to put this hard-to-explain state of living into words that he'll understand. Try to figure out which of my symptoms are important to mention in the short time I have with him and which are unimportant. Try most of all to explain that I'm not much better than before medication, though I'm on two.

Alas, my patience runs short. I wish this was better by now.

But oh, well. Got to talk to people at church. One person who knows of my depression was nice despite that. I don't know what I expected. For him to pity or awkwardly ignore me? Who knows, maybe he does pity me, but he was more just friendly today, so that's fine. I don't want to be a strange freak of nature. I'm just me.