If you follow my small blog you may (or may not) have noticed I have been pretty absent for the past month following my last post which was more of a poll regarding phyciatric therapy.
I kind of want to talk about what I’ve been going through the past month and why I have been absent from the blog.
First off, I admittedly put off seing a conselor or therapist, or at least making efforts to contact one since the poll I took Dec 6th. However maybe others who have benefited from their help will be glad to know I have finally made some efforts to find someone to talk to. This however, brings up the first of many frustrations that have been going on the past several weeks. I am so sick of feeling sick that I am more determined than ever to finally get some legitimate help for whatever is going on with me. The last week of December I called thirteen different certified psychologists. Of the thirteen, only one even bothered to return my phone call, and only to tell me that she could not accept new patients for the time being.
Now, I will say I live in a town that has a military base and a medium sized University so I’m sure finding a therapist with openings here is a bit harder than elsewhere in the States, but have any of you all expierenced anything so riduculous? Even a full week later I still have only recieved the one call back. As someone who is pursing a job in medicine, I’m honestly offended that the other twelve psychologists couldn’t be bothered for a 60 second phone call, or to delegate their secretaries to do it. I guess I just feel that you shouldn’t go into medicine of any kind unless you have a passion for helping people. And at the point where I am with my mental illness, I’m getting desperate for professional help.
Which I guess brings me up to topic number 2.
After my latest regular three month med check with my family doctor, (which also coincided with early December by the way), she decided that my symptoms were worsening after a year of taking escitalopram and that it might be time to switch meds. Okay, fine. Trying [usually] never hurts. So we tried citalopram [and I’ll get to why that was a stupid prescription in a second] for 30 days to see if I felt any different, and boy did I. My personal experience on it was horrible. I felt almost unmedicated. I had my first ever panic attack in public.
Usually, I can calm down or supress my anxieties until I’m home before the panic comes on. But with this medicine barely doing anything to help me, I ended up having a full fledged episode in a movie theater bathroom. Praise Jesus it was empty, especially for the size of the theater. In the moment I definitely wouldn’t have cared about the crying and the heavy breathing, but I ended up getting so worked up I vomited in a public toilet (yuck). So yeah, citalopram can kiss my ass.
This next little bit is me kinda rambling. [sorry].
Anyway, for the eagle-eyed reader, you may have noticed Escitalopram (what I previously was taking) and Citalopram (the trial med) are spelled suspiciously similar. You are right, my friend. The chemical structure of these two medicatons is extremely similar. (I extensively research anything I put into my body). Citalopram was FDA approved to treat depression in (I believe) the 1990s. Escitalopram was its more refined little brother that came in after 2000 once doctors knew which cemicals to target in the brain for better results, making it literally twice as effective. 10mg of Escitalopram in theory has the same theraputic results as 20mg of citalopram. Also, the FDA cleared it to treat more illnesses than just depression; ie- anxiety specifically. Citalopram never got that approval.
So anyways, why my doctor decided to move from my previous med to citalopram is beyond me. But for other readers out there, if your doctor encourages you to try this just make sure the dosage is reasonable with this knowlege. They usually know what they are talking about, this may just have been an oversight on my doctor’s behalf.
So after my most recent of doctors appointments, I let my physician know how much citalopram sucked so now we are trying the generic form of Zoloft which name I haven’t quite gotten the hang of just yet, but I am much more hopeful for this one.
I do just want to share though that for the first time since getting treatment for my illness, my doctor made me feel as though I was what they call a “frequent flyer” which in medical slang, is a nice way of saying someone that pursues different prescriptions.
Without getting too far into it, as I’ve noticed this post is getting pretty long, my own doctor forgot she has been prescribing me a benzo (clonazepam/Klonopin) for the past year. And when I brought up that I thought that it wasn’t working as well as it had used to either she said, “And who gave THAT to you?” <- Literally imagine as much sass as you could put into that one sentence, and you have an idea of exactly what my doctor was implying.
I’m sure she was under the impression that I was visiting various walk in clinics trying to get different prescriptions as some people do but when I said to her, “Uh.. YOU did” ( thinking, wow,*dumbass*) I’m sure she looked at my chart that was right in front of her face and realized, indeed, she prescribed that medicine to me over a year ago, has renewed it multiple times, and has ordered me to be take it twice a day.
Anyway, this brings me to the overall point of this post. If you are struggling with ANY form of mental illness and are bravely trying to seek help. DO NOT STOP TRYING. It isn’t easy. I personally have gone through a baker’s dozen of crappy doctors in two weeks and yes, I’m discouraged, but not enough to give up.
Even my doctor that has watched me grow into adulthood since highschool accused me of being a prescription drug addict, and I still walked out of her office with my head held high.
The stigma of mental illness follows me everywhere I go. And it is a really heavy weight to carry, especially when I feel like I’m carrying it all alone.
But I WILL find a good doctor. One that is patient, and truly wants to help. And I will be so excited to get to write about my experiences with him/her.
But for now,
Hugs and Positive Vibes,