Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Thursday, November 21, 2013

To Med, Or Not To Med?

These pills look sort of suspicious. 
 Hi everyone! Just a reminder that you have until tomorrow at 3:30 Central to ask me any questions you want answered in my 100th blog post! I only have a couple so far, but they're pretty good questions. I could always use a few more! Email me, comment on this blog, or ask anonymously at ask anonymously at my Ask.Fm page!

Anyway... Lately, one of the things I've been thinking about is whether to get back on my medication. I stopped taking it after I got back from my Oregon/Washington/California trip, after I ran out. The reason, at the time, was that I just didn't have the energy or money to deal with going to the psychiatrist... it costs $150 for a fifteen minute appointment, just to get her to renew my prescription for another six months. I was going to wait until I got a job and got insurance, but as it turned out the insurance at my job is so crappy that it is not worth paying for. So I am now uninsured and unmedicated. I could pay out of pocket for doctor appointments and medication. It is a lot, but won't break my bank. I just have to consider whether I want to or not. (Here I'm really just talking about depression meds. I've never really gotten ADHD meds. My last doctor gave me Wellbutrin, which is really meant to be a supplement to depression meds but can also be used for ADHD. I didn't feel like it worked much for my ADHD, although it did help with my depression!)

Here are some of the reasons I don't want to. 

  • Every time I have to go off the meds for one reason another, I go through painful physical withdrawal symptoms. 
  • I cannot just take my meds in times when I am doing badly. I have to take them all the time, every day, day in and day out, in anticipation of at some point having an episode of depression. 
  • I've been on my main depression medication for 13 years, on and off. Every few years they up the dose a little, as my system becomes more resistant. What happens when I'm taking the highest possible dose? And what is all this medication doing to my kidneys? 
  • I still go through bouts of depression, even while I'm on my meds... but instead of feeling sad and anxious, I just feel nothing. It is like the meds dull down the pain of depression, but I don't have any positive emotions occurring, so I'm just there, existing and not living. I can tell when I'm going through depression, when I don't feel like doing anything at all that I usually love doing... yet I am not really feeling any sadness. Just numbness. It is weird. 
  • Technically you are not supposed to take most types of cold medicine, allergy medicine, etc, while taking my meds. I do anyways, but I probably shouldn't. I usually avoid Benadryl because it makes me extremely drowsy.... but when it, I need it! Otherwise I'm up all night sneezing my nose off, and when I try to go to work the next morning I look like I am Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Who Also Came Down With A Nasty Case Of Pink-Eye Or Maybe Just Smoked Some Crack. 

Here are some of the reasons why I am considering going back on my meds...
When I do go through depression, it is fierce. One of the reasons my life is where it is right now is because, when I first decided to study to be a special education teacher, I was going to go off to a four-year-university about eight hours away from here. I had gotten full financial aid for it, because of my age and income level, and was going to have my own apartment and everything. But at the time I had been off my meds for about a year. And I got really homesick, but it spiraled into terrible depression, and I had to drop out of school and move home. I'd spent a year preparing for college, had gotten all this cool stuff for my apartment, and everything, and I had to chuck my whole plan in the garbage. I still feel sad when I think about it. If I'd been on my meds at the time, I probably could have gotten through it. I don't want that to happen again when I move to the northwest next year.  I mean, I know it will be a little different, because I will have Aunt M and Uncle J and my cousin and Sunny and Bro and Squeak near by, whereas at that college I had nobody. Not even my cat, because the only apartment complex I'd been able to find that wasn't completely ghetto... and I mean robberies, stabbings, people setting Dumpsters on fire, etc... was Adult Student Housing on campus, and they didn't allow pets. And this time I will definitely be bringing Lily (my Small Dog, who was not even born when all this happened, and I guess indirectly everything that happened was for the best because I never would have had her or Trixie if I'd stayed down there in college.) But still. 

Uh... that's pretty much my only reason. I don't want my stupid depression to flare up and ruin everything again. Also, it does take the edge off. Sometimes I feel really irritable and noises bother my when people talk with their mouths full or noisily suck on rock hard Twizzler candies while I'm trying to do my homework... and my meds keep me from diving under a table and rocking when faced with situations I can't sensorarily handle. (I think I just invented a new word!)

I've been considering other types of treatment. I think it would be smart to learn how to try to manage my depression and anxiety on my own, through strategies or exercise or whatever... because I'd always have that with me, wherever I went.

I suck at "talk therapy." I used to like it when I was a kid because I felt like it was cool to have someone listen to me. But now I have this blog and you guys listen to me and it's better. In therapy, its like they say, "What do you want to work on?" and then they stare at you, and you can't think of anything, and you just sit there, and they think you're quietly contemplating your life, but really you're thinking, "My leg itches, I'm thirsty, don't let me forget to stop for gas on the way home, that's a cool painting on the wall, I feel like this couch is totally trying to swallow my butt, it smells kind of weird in here, Bishop Allen is the coolest band ever but Vampire Weekend also rocks, I wonder if my dogs miss me right now?" 

I'e been looking into other types of therapy. Equine Therapy sounds so cool, and you get to learn to ride a horse in the process, but I don't know if anyplace offers that for adults. Art therapy would be cool, but I don't know anyplace that offers that for people who aren't already in a hospital somewhere. Biofeedback sounds interesting... you get to play video games using your brain as a controller, and it teaches you how hae better control over your own mind. There's probably other stuff, too, right?

Maybe we should take a vote. Internet, what do you think? To med, or not to med? That is the question! 

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