Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Peace, Love, and Agony

Begin Again

I met with my new psychiatrist today, since I parted ways with my previous doctor over differing opinions on ECT. We spent a long while talking about my entire psych history, from when it first manifested as a teenager and all the ups and downs through the years. I'm never afraid of having a new doctor look at me with a fresh perspective. I am 34 and wouldn't say that I am doing incredibly well. She seemed to agree. 

I am currently on 5 different psych medications. That's a lot. Her general opinion was, "if you came in on 5 meds and were doing great, then we wouldn't make any changes, but you aren't." Very true. BUT, like any doctor worth their salt, she made it clear that we will not be making major changes quickly. Change too many things at once and you just don't know what worked and what went wrong. But we would most definitely know what landed me in the psych hospital again.

New Territory

She suggested something that I have never done before, a battery of psychological tests to see exactly where I land on the spectrum of various disorders. This actually seems like something that everyone suffering from long-term mental illness should go through. Perhaps that could shed some light on why some of my medications work, while others don't, and point us in a certain direction. One thing that puzzles me, and has several of my doctors, is that I respond well to bipolar medications, but I am plainly NOT bipolar. I did have in my blog description at one point (and I am sure there are still servers out there with this on it) that I was diagnosed with bipolar depression. That was one doctor, and over time it has seemed to be more of a misdiagnosis than anything, and was born mostly from my reaction to bipolar medications. There are times I wish to god I could have a freaking manic episode and enjoy the hell out of life for a while. I know that is over-romanticizing it, but still. 

Even though my diagnosis is major depression (with joyful accompanying suicidal ideations), I am not actually on an antidepressant. (Cue the Twilight Zone music.) My condition has generally responded well to mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics. But perhaps some good testing could point us in a 'ah-ha' direction. I have, in years past, responded well to a couple different antidepressants, just not right now. 

The Semi-Status Quo

I am going to stick with the ECT... if the f*cking insurance company will get on the ball and approve more than 3 treatments. I know that has worked for me in the past, side effects or no. This new doctor is approving of me pursuing ECT and she has even performed it in the past. So, all-in-all, I am pleased with today's appointment. 

Of course, getting into a doctor that accepts my stupid insurance, for the psychiatric testing is a whole 'nother matter. The next available appointment was 6 months out, with the hope that someone will cancel before that... in a time slot that I could actually make. Ha! Once school starts, that will be damn near impossible.

Or Not

Strangley, in the last two weeks since ECT treatment has begun, I have started displaying more classic symptoms of depression. I am eating more, finding it difficult to maintain hygiene, and really wish I could just sleep 24 hours a day. It sucks. My theory is that the disturbance in my neural pathways and chemistry by the ECT, is causing a shift that my brain is trying its best to react to. That's just a layman's guess. I imagine that it means I need to have more treatments, in closer succession, to speed up this process, so that my brain can settle down before school starts. Ain't no benefit in wanting to sleep all the time when I have to kick ass as a student.

Keep On Keepin' On

It really does help having a family. At times they feel like a thorn in my side, but a good thorn. If it weren't for this burning desire to not look like a failure in their eyes and to actually be what bit of a role model I can be, then I would likely spiral into a pit with no escape.

No comments:

Post a Comment