Thursday, May 25, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins Week 55

Week 55: May 26, 2017
1. My idea of roughing it is what I'm doing right now. I'm rationing my food and trying to take my mind off the fact that I'm hungry. It sucks.

2. I never get sick of talking about something I'm not going to talk about because nobody understands.
3. My youth was wasted on a young, delusional idiot.

4. My "golden years" can kiss my ass, and so can my zombie pancreas. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Is it PTSD with a side order of depression, or Depression with a side order of PTSD?

Whether you believe in the metaphysical or not doesn't matter here.
A Tarot reading helped me realize what's been going on with me the past month.
That reading can be found here.
I always felt that the Tarot could be used as a tool to help others, regardless of a belief in the esoteric. I once had the idea to get a degree in psychology and become a counselor using the Tarot as an instrument of discovery. That is highly unlikely to happen in this lifetime. However, that isn't what I came here to talk about.
I came here to talk about PTSD and depression.
I don't adjust well to change, especially unexpected negative change.
When I got fired from my job with the agency I'd worked with as a homecare nurse for close to two years, it really took a toll on me. On the surface, I accepted it well. I didn't cry. However, stoicism is not the same thing as actual acceptance. Internally, I was filled with self-loathing. My suicide ideation was extremely high.
Fortunately, I wasn't out of work for long. The agency I'd been picking up PRN cases with put me on full-time.
Things went okay for about six weeks. Then the patient I was caring for went to the hospital.
I didn't get a new case. I was without work for nearly a month. Then, to add insult to injury, the nice car (one of only four nice cars I've owned in my entire lifetime) was damaged in the hail storm that hit the Denver area on May 8. 
I felt done. I felt worthless. I felt like I was shit in the eyes of the Universe.
I wanted to stop taking all my medications and just allow myself to die. The fact that I'm an insulin dependent diabetic makes this a pretty realistic way to commit suicide.
I've found that I can bolster myself with my writing if I'm strictly experiencing a depressive episode. When PTSD comes into play, something else happens. 
I have trouble writing.
I don't feel like I deserve to write.
I find myself asking "what the hell difference does this fluff I'm creating make?"
This happened to me back in 2013 when the flooding hit Boulder. I was working at a retirement community there. While driving to work, a wall of water struck the side of my car. I was able to stay on the road, but by the time I got to the facility, I was shaking badly. I went and took a shower before reporting in. I don't know how long I was in there, but I stood in there until the storm knocked the transformers out.
I had trouble writing for around a month after that. Part of me was saying "you nearly lost your life, you moron! What the hell is this wittering you do worth?"
Another part of me felt survivor guilt. A lot of people lost their property during that flood. Some lost their lives. In the area where I live, it was only a heavy rain that hit. I evidently survived that damn wave hitting my car.
Losing my job earlier this year socked it to me. Not working for a month has taken a toll. Having my car damaged the way it was by the hail is not irreparable damage, but it may have brought back emotions from what I experienced in the flood.
In any case, doing the Tarot reading helped me examine what's going on with me. 
PTSD and depression are socking it to me. I'm not entirely sure what to do, but at least now I know, and you know what they say--knowing is half the battle.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Psychiatry and the Push for Normal

This is a response to a post by Russell Duffy about a journey which included dealing with depression and therapy.

Many a person, both licensed and unlicensed, has told me that my mental health issues require me to be medicated and that I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad crazy person for refusing to be so.
I'm not saying that medications never help anybody. However, for many people, the cure is worse than the problem.
I can't, for instance, take SSRIs, which are the darlings of modern psychiatry. They fuck with my perception, big time. I normally am not psychotic. I have rapid cycling type 2 bipolar disorder, and my biggest issues are depression alternating with an elevated mood although not full mania, where before being properly diagnosed I would often do things such as take on a second job and/or party a lot. There can also be mixed states, which feature irritability and paranoia, but not psychosis.
If I take SSRIs, I become psychotic. Not like axe-murdering psychotic, which is what most people think of when they hear the word. I'm far more likely to hurt myself than anyone else, however, my thoughts are not grounded in Earthly reality. For instance, Zoloft gave me the perception that my brain had grown tiny hands and was trying to pick its way out of my skull. With Effexor, I jumped up on a counter and was preaching. Prozac made me flat and had me staring at my arm, contemplating cutting it, not for the usual self-harm reasons but because I wondered if I could still feel.
The only thing I take is a form of Lithium which is available without prescription. I take a much lower dose than I would have to if I were to take Lithium Carbonate, because Lithium Orotate is far more bioavailable. 
The therapeutic dose of Lithium, as it happens, is just slightly below toxic levels. Since much lower doses of Lithium Orotate have the desired effect of minimizing the irritability, paranoia and impulsiveness of my disorder, why the hell would I want to ingest nearly toxic amounts of Lithium?
Although psychiatry has come a long way since the early days when those deemed "insane" were locked away in torture chambers, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. I think there is still a tendency to try to make everybody fit the definition of textbook "normal," and that is not realistic or compassionate.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Cross-posted to: