Friday, July 24, 2015

Anxiety-Depression/Bipolar

First and foremost, I want everyone to know that I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression not bipolar.

What's interesting is that I have been dealing with my mental health since about 2009. I have been to around five different psychiatrists, not because I'm a terrible patient but, because of changing insurances and scheduling issues. My first psychiatrist was pretty good, I liked him and considering what I've been through with recent psychiatrists, I might go find out if he's accepting new patients again. My psychiatrists since have been pretty decent until they see my medical record--that's where things get iffy.

In my medical record I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, this has been since the beginning (2009) and the medications that I was prescribed were Celexa and Abilify (I would give you dosage amounts but that would be imprudent). Celexa is for anxiety and depression. Celexa worked well on it's own but I kept getting panic attacks that manifested as heart-racing, can't catch my breath moments plus the feeling of racing thoughts without actually thinking of anything (it was odd but my psychiatrist then understood what I was saying). After experiencing those attacks for about two weeks, I scheduled a follow-up with said psychiatrist and he prescribed me Abilify and that stopped the panic attacks and racing thoughts. I really liked that combination because it helped a ton...except that (from a friend's account) I would behave as if I were awake when I was actually sleeping--my friend asked me where my car keys were and I got up, answered her questions with sleep-slurred speech and attempted to go look for my keys and she stopped me because she realized I was not awake and coaxed me back to lying down again. As much as I liked those medications together, I'm hesitant to start them again because that behavior of seemingly being awake yet actually being asleep...That's scary.

I was doing well on those medications until I couldn't afford my health insurance with BCBS anymore and I definitely couldn't afford Abilify at $600/bottle of 30 pills. Needless to say, I did a very dangerous and unhealthy thing by stopping Celexa and Abilify, cold-turkey without weaning off of them. (Don't ever stop taking psych medications without doctor supervision!) This last bit was about 2010.

I started seeing another psychiatrist after the car accident, about July 2012 (I believe I posted about it then too). This psychiatrist prescribed me Effexor. I had a terrible experience on this drug. I was unable to go to the follow-up with this psychiatrist because someone at the hospital cancelled my appointment, did not reschedule it and I was never informed (Well, why didn't I just go, yadda yadda yadda? I had just come out of a coma after a severe car accident with head trauma not even 4 months earlier and you want me to remember a follow-up appointment on my own? No.). The withdrawal from Effexor was 100% different and 100% worse than what I experienced from Celexa and Abilify.

I believe I started another new psychiatrist in 2013...maybe...I can't even remember if I posted about it--but I did start up a new psychiatrist after that one transferred off of my case. Now, I got prescribed Celexa, Abilify and Trazadone. However, my psychiatrist had to change Abilify to Risperidone because Abilify is too expensive for my insurance to cover. Depakote was added to the mix after my two month follow-up. I suppose they were all working nicely...maybe.

Next, I ended up being hospitalized--if you didn't read or don't remember reading about my mental breakdown circa September 2014--and during my stay, the doctors at this new hospital (I was shipped away from my regular care providers, to a completely different city altogether) decided to play with my medications (to see which ones were working and how much of what works best). I ended up with Celexa, Risperidone, Trazadone and Depakote (I think there was a fifth one, but I can't remember), leaving the hospital.

Then. I almost got hospitalized again. Instead, I was sent to a crisis center (January 2015).

At the end of my stay at the crisis center, I was still on those medications but I had a new psychiatrist to see. This change in psychiatrists had to do with the fact that I was working with a case management agency--there are companies out there that employ people to help people like me or people in my situation, maintain their medications, appointments and other things to keep them stable/balanced/etc--I was told by my then case manager that I had to see the psychiatrist in their facility otherwise I couldn't use their services. This did not go well. I tried to go to my follow-up appointment with this case management facility psychiatrist only to be treated terribly by the receptionist. I walked out of that building because I did not like the way I was being treated and because of that, I didn't get refills for my medications. This happened February 2015.

Almost needless to say, I have another new case manager (this company changed my case manager three times) and another new psychiatrist (I went back to the hospital where my third psychiatrist was). This is about June 2015. I was supposed to be starting my medications again but did not, because I felt like they weren't helping me the way that they should--if I am still going in to crisis mode, going suicidal and getting hospitalized, what are these medications actually doing?

Now, we are here in July 2015. I recently saw the same psychiatrist from June and explained my feelings and what's going on. She reduced my medications all the way down to a very low dose of Risperidone, once a day. She heard what I said about my feelings on these medications being ineffective but wants to see how I do with this dose of Risperidone. Her reasoning is that: "You were on all of these bipolar medications...blah blah blah..." So, obviously, if I was on "all of these bipolar medications" I must be bipolar--even though there is no bipolar diagnosis anywhere in any of my medical records. Which is fine. Whatever. I'll take the Risperidone if it means that one day I can be medication free.

I know that I have major depression and some anxiety. I know what my triggers are. What's amazing is how much better I feel when my triggers are taken care of. With every thing that I have been through...with how rocky things have been, have gotten...with how unstable things get...it's no surprise the fluctuation of my emotions and mental state.

All of that to say that have anxiety and depression. I have anxiety and depression with good reason.

NOTE:
If you are suffering from mental illness, if you need to take care of your mental health, please do find a healthcare provider that can help and guide you towards a stable state of being. Please, do NOT neglect your mental health for anyone or anything. This blog is written solely for my son and his understanding of what I have gone through since March 29, 2012 and NOT for anyone to garner medical advice.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

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