Today started out okay. I was in the abyss yesterday. Today I got up, did laundry, even showered for the first time in almost a week. (Gross, yeah, yeah, meet depression.) I made a trip to Hel-mart aka Wal-Mart to get my kid’s tablet for Christmas, then I stopped a couple of other places to get some VHS tapes since we’re going retro with an abandoned dvd-vcr combo and Spook asked for more tapes. I even managed to get back to the shop early and continued feeding wet clothes into the dryer. I had a TV dinner for lunch.
Then I took my meds.
Lamictal and Wellbutrin, no problem.
Lithium and Trintellix: HUGE problem.
Now I am nauseous, my stomach is churning, and my head aches almost as if sleepy. THIS.
Anyone willing to keep taking medications that make them feel this sick multiple times a week, without warning…this is commitment to getting well. Admitting that meds that help you function are more important than a few hours of abject side effect misery.
Now my psych nurse apparently fails to see what a problem the side effects are. She is utterly disinterested and it angers me. After the last appointment when I was mid meltdown, wearing the same clothes I’d slept in (and spilled stuff on, so combined with not bathing, it’s amazing she could smell the alcohol on me.) Once I admitted to imbibing, her “do you want fries with that” indifference almost seemed to morph into dismissive disdain. Especially when I said I wasn’t ready to work and she asked “How will you know when you are ready?” Maybe the right question to ask when someone is stable, but for someone having a stress induced meltdown..It was cruel. As if saying I’m not trying hard enough. As if one bad choice during a particularly bad period in my life means I don’t want to get well or work.
That really stung.
And sad thing is, her notes go into my file and there will be no mention of her inexperience, or how they fed me to the wolves by sending me to her instead of keeping me with my original wonderful doctor. Her attitude, or at least my perception of it, will not go into the file. My trust issues which do impact my path to wellness won’t come into play. It will look like some poor choices during a dark time mean I’m not committed to getting better and everything is behavioral as opposed to influenced by my ever cycling bipolar disorder.
I realized how hopeless it is when I drove by what used to be the counseling center and it’s now called a ‘behavior center’. Um…NO. Implying mental disorders are behavioral is negligent and ignorant. One more reason I don’t want to go there. If someone is to help me, they need to recognize the huge role my disorders play. It’s not an excuse, it’s a legitimate explanation. But the tides have changed and counseling isn’t therapy anymore. It’s ‘flavor of the decade’ whatever is trending treatment. 80’s it was Prozac Nation, 90’s it was bipolar, then it was borderline personality disorder, now it’s all behavioral and cognitive-is-the-only-therapy other than useless mindfulness.
Yet here I am, taking meds that make me feel like death and I keep taking them because I am committed to getting well. Because they may make me feel hopeless and have no faith in them but I still have faith in myself, even when I make poor choices or fail to be mindful at times. I believe in me.
If the professionals can’t recognize this, I don’t think I am the entire problem here. It’s about time the mental health professionals realize this. That often, they are part of the problem and while so eager to tell patients to change their behavior, be this, do that…
What do they do about failing us?
Their commitment to helping is what I question more than anything.
Maybe they have a behavior disorder.
Maybe that’s insulting.
It’s insulting to everyone and especially to people taking harsh medications in an effort to get better.
Still…I’m betting on myself. No one knows me better than I know myself and considering all of the personal growth and progress I have made, often without benefit of ‘counselors’…
My commitment is strong and I will not be defeated by psychiatric trends. Few years from now anyone who likes chocolate might find themselves labeled with a disorder.