the end of the ‘affair’?

What next

What next

T minus 23 hrs. 43 minutes and counting.

I wrote about my last appointment with my psychiatrist two months ago, seeking advice from others about  how to deal with a situation which over the years has morphed into a relationship which at times stretched the boundaries of therapeutic. The focus of my diary was about how the cultural divide which has so dismantled the bonds between families and friends, the viscioius mind-altering rhetoric of the right wing media and Faux News, had extended into the confines of my therapeutic haven.  My therapist expressed her fear about the dismantling of our financial system and the threat the Obama tax policy poses to the life she and her husband have built for themselves.

I was anxious about yesterday’s session, struggling with whether I should discuss with her my feeling that her calling my beliefs “fringe” as well as the feeling that our worldviews were so distinctly different as to be incompatable in terms of continuing ‘treatment.’ Frankly, I felt as if I could no longer trust someone with my mind whose own mind has been so compromised by inundation of right wing talking points that she has lost the ability to think independently.

Our session yesterday, was extremely guarded. Chit chat. And at the end of the 45 minutes, a great deal of which was dedicated to discussion of our changed world, the slipping away of safety nets, and the fear of what lies ahead, she ended the session saying “Well, you know where I am if you need me. I’ll be here.”

On an overt level, this was her acknowledgment of the fact that it is extremely difficult for me to continue paying $200 a month. But the undertone (and as someone with Major Depressive Disorder, I am blessed and cursed by having an acute hyper-sensitivity to the emotions, vibrational energy, and sub-verbal cues)  I believe she was acknowledging that that I have moved on. After 16 years!

After returning home and reading a post on Brainzaps from Adinah about her problems with her psychiatrist in which she linked to a prescient article written in the 90s about the ‘scientification’ of the social science of psychology, I was jolted into an awareness that I have been one of the subjects of this drastic shift in perception of mental illness. I flashed back to the onset of my last and worst psychotic break 16 years ago. It was precipitated just like the previous breaks by a major disruption of my sleep patterns.  As a recovering alcoholic, back in the day when recovering alcoholics where told they could take NO mind altering substances (and when many fervently beleived that even novacaine was taboo), I had always relied on meditation, acupuncture, herbs, nutrition and supplements to regain equalibrium. But my last episode was visious, responding to nothing. It progressed, gaining momentum through sleep deprivation to the point where I was experiencing electrical shocks through my entire body, lost sensation in my outer limbs, visualized rabid wolves chasing my car, and was overcome with horrifying images of bloody suicides and deaths.

I believed I was suffering from major anxiety brought upon by sleep deprivation. But when I finally arrived in my psychiatrist’s office, I was told I had major depressive disorder and was experiencing a psychotic episode. When I said I wasn’t depressed, I was informed that anxiety was a byproduct of depression.

Thus began my 16 year affair with psycho-pharmacology. An affair which has moved me through a wide spectrum of anti-depressents coupled with anti-anxiety meds and the good ole standby Trazadone, to ensure I continued to sleep at night and not risk a relapse.

And so the ‘what ifs’ begin again …. what if I had been able to disrupt the syndrome of sleeplessness before it took on a life of its own? What if I had refused to accept the diagnosis? What if I had trusted myself enough years ago to follow through on weaning myself totally off meds?  What if I hadn’t bought into the notion that my biochemistry, my genetic background, and the fact that I had lived through multiple episodes of psychotic breaks sans drug intervention guaranteed that the damage to my brain was irreperable?

t minus 24 hours and 7 minutes and counting. I am now 57 years old. My life is in my own hands. My therapist has given me license to choose my own course. And frankly, I have no idea where to turn.

~ by boatsie on December 10, 2008.

13 Responses to “the end of the ‘affair’?”

  1. Well, I used to think that my guy was good, but that conversation totally shut me down and made me guarded. I think it’s time that we found licensed MDs who help people get off of these neurochemical fuckers. There are some out there. I was on some website where you could search by area, and I found three in Berkeley, but regrettably I lost the link. I think one was called the Shu Ren Clinic. But check out my draft on childhood trauma and the brain. I haven’t finished adding my own stuff to it, but I think it could really apply to anyone who has a zapped brain- MDD, BP, OCD, you name it.

    • Im gonna research this RIGHT NOW! I cross posted this diary at Kos… You gotta read the comments! Your guy has pissed me off since the ignorance re lamicyl and lithium. And frankly mine has really stepped over the bounds many, many times. And after reading that article yesterday that you posted I GOT REALLY REALLY PISSED at the whole damn system.

      • Me too, I was so incredibly pissed. I had a GREAT session today with my guy, so he’s redeemed himself. I told him how pissed I am at all the Physician Sunshine Payments Act violations and he said it frustrates him too. He helped me think through my job interview with some good cognitive-behavioral therapy. I also like that he doesn’t touch me at all, not even to shake my hand. I get freaked out if/when doctors get too close. Too much PTSD there (which I have NOT mentioned to him, as the last thing I want is to be diagnosed with something else). But yeah, that article REALLY REALLY pissed me off too.

  2. Boatsi,

    You can crosspost your blog to the blog system at crazyboards via RSS. I’d like it if you considered doing so. There are a number of people there who would be interested in what you have to say.

    It would also make it easier for my poor eyes to read the text.

  3. You already have RSS set up.

    Go over there to the blogs and create a linked blog. I don’t think I can do it for you.

  4. OK… I SUCCEEDED. Now we are cross referenced!

  5. OK, maybe I should have warned you ahead of time. This is a more pro-med community. It’s also a leftist intelectual community. You’ll draw in some good comments and a few confused ones because you’re one of the first people to cross-link a blog like this. I’ve been trying to get people to do it with their live journals for a while now.

  6. okay with me … should be very interesting.

  7. I might have just talked you into trolling my own website, but you’re good damn it all!

  8. sigh … we’ll see about that!

  9. I had a couple glasses of wine in me last night when I suggested this. Your more cog-sci related stuff is exactly the kind of stuff I’ve been trying to get people to post more of. If the anti-med stuff becomes a problem for either of us we can always unlink it.

    • That’s okay – I’m psyched we have the administrator from crazyboards on board. Always have loved that website.

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