Today I saw a new psychiatrist, one that can prescribe meds. For years I’ve been going in and telling them I don’t like what I’m on, its too intense, I’m too fucked up if I miss a day (I take 300mg effexor a day)
She asked about my meds history – Diagnosed with depression and given paxil around age 20, which I took on and off until I was 27 or so and diagnosed with Anxiety. I started taking wellbutrin and went through a merry go round of celexa (2 years), something else, then something else (who can remember? I was drinking!). The binge drinking and taking-any-drug-I-could-find got ugly around age 19 until I quit drinking at age 32. Causes include a long family history of depression and alcoholism, my messy upbringing: divorce, half-week 50% joint custody always eating me up with mixed messages, stepparents, custody fights, crazy mother no one could help me or protect me from mostly because I kept running back to her, desperate for that life-affirming psychotic love. Once I was heavily abusing substances, the messy upbringing perpetuated itself throughout my grown up life, which became more undependable and upsetting than my childhood.
I also take buspar and hydroxizne as needed. She told me the Ativan I’ve been having such a fine time on the past 2 days has got to stop as soon as I get level on new meds – because it hits the alcohol receptors of the brain. D’oh! No wonder I’ve been so happy.
She’s going to ramp me down on Effexor as she rampts me up on Zoloft. Huh. My first instinct was “don’t give me that my mom takes that and she’s crazier than ever!” but there, she doesn’t take it regularly and she mixes it with drinking and no attempt at CBT. Anyways I’m astounded this new doc is willing to try, on our first meeting no less. Every shrink I’ve seen for 10 years says “well since the effexor seems to be working, lets not mess with it” – but now that I want to die and have been having severe panic for weeks, well, clearly it’s not doing its job, as much as the job situation and moving fears has exacerbated it. But, this is a big serious deal, its like walking intp Mordor; quitting Effexor. Very bad withdrawls and no matter what, you feel very bad-crazy, as far as I’ve heard.
She also wants me to quit smoking pot once I’ve made the meds switch. Sob! I always said I couldn’t quit EVERYTHING, but I’ve been wanting to anyways – because I don’t want to be dependent on anything, and I’ve been wondering if the literature in AA is right that it affects my ability to communicate with my higher power. Also, according to new doc, it really does add to panic in the long run. I know, I know. Worth a try anyways, clearly the self-medication isn’t working. I told her I tried to quit 2 years ago in the fall, and by Christmas I felt so bad I was willing to do anything to make it stop. But this year, I’m not speaking to mom and I already told dad not to expect me over the holidays. And, I’m already in AA. So, boom. I have no excuse.
This new doc is leaving Group Health soon, BTW, so I may only have about six weeks to work with her. Gulp! What a crazy rollercoaster ride I’ve been on, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Maybe she’s being too aggressive, but I’ve wanted change for so long, I’m willing to work harder to get better. I envision, Steve and my new home, me with a clear head and no dependencies and no freaking out because I forgot to refill my meds….just like him. It sounds nice. I’m willing to try!