Current Mental Health – July 2019

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Photo on Visual Hunt

Hi, all! Here’s the past month’s rundown on my mental health/life.

Mood has improved over the past month, and is certainly much better than it was in June. My husband asked me if I’m at 100%, but I’m not sure. I don’t, however, feel that I’m falling into a depression, so that’s good.

Sleep has improved, thanks to the higher dose of trazodone that my psychiatrist put me on. It’s only a 25mg increase, but it’s doing the trick. I still wake up once or twice in the middle of the night, but I’m able to fall back asleep immediately instead of being wide awake. The only problem is that I’m still really tired when I wake up, and end up falling asleep for 2 more hours. Hopefully, as I get used to this increase, that tiredness will go away.

I got a new, smaller, more compact pill organizer. Each day’s organizer has 4 compartments, and so did my old one, but this one can be confusing. Instead of taking the Dinner medication at dinner, I took the Bedtime medication, which includes my trazodone! I didn’t even figure it out until bed time! No wonder I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open around dinner time lol!! 😂🤣😂

I turned 50! We spent a long weekend in Madison, Wisconsin for my birthday. I thought I would dread turning 50, but I actually looked forward to it. It’s like now, the second half of my life is beginning. I can, hopefully, forget/let go of the past.

Briefly tempted to jump off the balcony in Madison. Wasn’t at all having suicidal thoughts prior to stepping out on the balcony, nor when the thought of jumping struck me. Can anyone relate?

Showering is getting easier. I may actually start showering every other day, with the goal of showering every day. Hey, we all need goals, right?


How was your July? Please share!

Working on Us, Week 6

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Photo from Pixabay

On her blog, Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess has introduced a set of prompts that touches on mental illness. Each week she offers up 2 prompts for bloggers to use in a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry piece. You can respond to either prompt, or both. For more information, click here. The rules are below. This week, I am responding to Prompt 1.

 

Rules:

  • Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.  Write in any format you see fit.  (Answer’s, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, poem, short prose…anything).
  • You can do one or all prompts.
  • You have from July 10th. through to July 17th to submit your entries.
  • Please reblog the original post in order to spread more awareness.
  • If you the blogger have a suggestion/question you want to ask in the future weeks, please submit them in the comment section of this post.
  • Let’s see if we can get some men involved in this weeks prompts, your feelings a validated here too!
  • Plus, as an added bonus, whoever responds to the following prompts will automatically be reblogged to promote your blog site!

~ 💚 ~

Week #6 Prompts: 

Prompt #1 Questions:

1. There are so many varieties of depression out there, such as Bipolar Depression, and (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder.  What type of depression do you suffer from, or have? I’ve suffered from bipolar depression for half of my adult life, as well as from seasonal changes (SAD).

2. What do you do to fight your depression? (Meaning, therapy, medications, meditation, ECT). Medication and therapy, inpatient hospitalizations, partial hospitalizations, and finally ECT, which I no longer undergo. And to be honest, I don’t know if I would choose that treatment option in the future.

3. Does anything help you, and if so… What? ECT has helped in the past, but it isn’t a permanent solution. More recently, my psychiatrist switched my mood stabilizer from Tegretol to lithium, which has lessened my depressive symptoms. It’s working.

Ketamine Infusion

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Photo on VisualHunt

Two or 3 years ago I had been depressed for so long, despite taking various medications and having ECT, that my psychiatrist told me about another treatment: ketamine infusion. Yep, that ketamine.

They insert an IV in your arm, which is connected to a ketamine drip. Then you sit in a comfy chair for about an hour, while the drug is administered. It works quickly — within a few hours, even. And it’s an outpatient procedure.

The catch? It isn’t approved by the FDA, nor does insurance cover it, nor has it been around for very long. Five years, maybe? According to this article, esketamine, which is a kind of ketamine, was recently approved by the FDA in the form of a nasal spray for depression. I don’t know about you, but that sounds weird to me. A nasal spray?? For depression??

The other thing is that you’d need to have the cash to spare to do the infusions, which prevents most people from getting it done. Like ECT you have to go in for a series of treatments, which can become really expensive, really quickly.

I don’t know about the nasal spray, but I would totally try a ketamine infusion before having ECT again. On the other hand, who can afford it? My husband says that if I ever reach that point, hopefully insurance will be paying for it by then.


Have you ever had a ketamine infusion? Would you try it if nothing else worked at all?

I Think I Need Klonopin

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Photo credit: avriette on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC

. . . but I don’t know. Some of you may roll your eyes, but I’m going to write about martial arts class again. Getting there is a big challenge for me right now.

Very recently, I wrote a post called No More Klonopin, which was basically about going off the drug. Now, my anxiety is so crippling that I’m afraid to leave the house by myself. I have yet to go to a martial arts class. Yesterday, I got in the car with my husband and he drove me there. When we arrived, I couldn’t get out of the car. I was that scared.

And this is all so frustrating, because as I’ve said before, I want to go to class. Besides, I want to someday be like Jason Statham in the Transporter. Hahaha!

My husband has my back — he views what happened yesterday (driving there and not going inside) as progress, for me. At this point, I don’t know how I view the situation.

I’m trying really hard not to feel sorry for myself. Something’s gotta give. I don’t know if that means going on Klonopin again or on something else. Or what. I can’t remember whether Klonopin worked when I first started taking it. The reason I got off it was because I felt that I was overmedicated, and because I hadn’t felt anxious in a while. It didn’t seem to be doing anything.

Have you ever had such crippling anxiety? What did you do to combat it?

Lithium and Hair Loss

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Photo credit: roger_mommaerts on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Recently, like in the last week, I’ve noticed that my hair’s falling out: there’s hair in the sink that wasn’t there before. I’m not going bald nor is my hair thinning, but it’s definitely falling out.

So I did some research about lithium side effects and hair loss. Apparently, lithium affects the thyroid in such a way that causes hair to fall out. Wonderful. I don’t want to take yet another medication to combat this particular side effect, like I do with the tremors. I think I’d rather shave my head than take more medication. Seriously.

I am less than thrilled.

What side effects — if any — have you experienced from taking lithium?