Anyone with Depression or Anxiety or Depression and Anxiety knows that when you take medication and it really works for you there are going to be times throughout treatment when something happens to fuck it all up. Be it, a doctor who thinks it’s time to change things up, you forget a few doses, or something as silly as you suddenly believe you’re cured and get rid of those pesky medications that keep you from having a break down of epic proportions.
I’m not sure how many people are actually cognizant of their mental illnesses or how much thought they put into their own mental healthcare. Myself, I do a lot of proactive work to stay stable. I know when things aren’t quite savvy with myself. I can feel this stranger inside me. I don’t have Schizophrenia. I don’t hear voices. I have Major Depression with Social Anxiety – severe type. I take a couple of medications on a daily basis to help normalize my behavior and stay a functioning adult in society. My anxiety is such that I break out into hives in public situations where I feel attention is being forced onto me. It can be as simple as someone asking me “How in the hell can you even tolerate the taste of Guacamole?” I try extremely hard to never forget a dose of medication, I try extremely hard to never put myself in situations that are too uncomfortable for me to deal with in a mature, sane manner. Mostly, I do this because I don’t like making others feel badly about my condition.
Recently, a specialist I see decided he would like to change things up for me to “see” how I do on a new medication. It’s not working out. Let me preface this by saying I was on a medication for about 8 years that worked for me, it really worked for me. I felt normal. I felt like I could handle my emotions. I felt like I could face anything calmly. I felt peaceful. Within two weeks of changing my medication I became irritable to the point of rage over simple things that I knew should not be setting me off. I’m cognizant of what’s happening and it’s as if I can’t stop it. I feel myself becoming irritated, depressed, edgy, anxious, and annoyed. I have a fast trigger and that’s just not who I am as a person. I have utterly felt Off The Reservation.
What do you do when this happens to you? Do you cut yourself off socially? Do you still go out and just apologize, expecting your friends and family know and tolerate it? Do you have a dark trespasser?
I myself stay home and read or write. I watch a lot of television. I play with my dogs. I try not to interact with my husband or friends a lot because I know me lashing out at them or getting hyper focused on issues is not their fault. I don’t make excuses for who I am without medication but I do make it clear that I do KNOW who I am without medication and I don’t feel like that person is really me, not the best me I can be. That person isn’t the one who likes to sing while she creates in the kitchen. That person doesn’t stick to any sort of schedule. She doesn’t try to make anyone happy, not even herself. This person cries at nothing and gets enraged at everything. She stays up late and then only sleeps a few hours at a time. She doesn’t engage proactively. She is a stranger to me and I don’t want to get to know her because like I said, she isn’t the best version of me.
I did go see the physician who made the switch and he didn’t seem bothered at all by my complaints. He told me to give it more time. At this point it had been a month of just feeling off. I scheduled an appointment to see my family physician. I had a good visit with him and he did this test, it’s a DNA test that tests your DNA against every medication available. It basically tells your doctor which medications are going to be genetically more compatible for you personally. It tells them which ones you will tolerate better metabolically and otherwise. I am awaiting those results and expect I’ll be as good as new soon. Fingers crossed. Until then I continue to write and basically stay away from anyone I love and care about because I’m a ticking bomb.