My brain still struggles to adjust to the new medication. It is something I remember from the past, when I started taking new antidepressants.
Perception changes, things seem to be of a brighter colour, light is glistening. It makes me feel restless and irritable. This state of mind is difficult to describe. I am very sensitive regarding my senses, because they have to compensate for my bad hearing. That’s why any change frightens me. On a positive note, the anxiety attacks decrease.
Hopefully we reach the next level soon, which would be that I finally feel better. I try to go on with my everyday life as good as I can, so I went to the next city, as I always do on Saturday. Going on with life is something that always helped me through difficult times.
These small victories in my fight against the overwhelming adversary depression may be unimportant to bystanders, but it gives me the strength to continue my battle.
I have been taking Milnacipran for a week now. First it was 50 mg in the morning, then 50 mg in the morning and in the evening since Wednesday.
If I had it my way, I would feel wonderful by now, but not a bit of it. I am very aware of the fact it is way too early to say if Milnacipran is working for me or not, but I am just very pissed and tense right now. I suffer from annoying side effects, especially dizzyness (which increases my unsteady gait) and anxiety attacks (of course the scary ones, that seem to come out of thin air – even though I take more anti-anxiety medication).
This makes life more difficult for me, I don’t trust myself to drive a car in this condition. I postponed appointments when possible, and I wasn’t very sad that occupational therapy had to be cancelled this week because so many therapists called in sick. But it annoys me that some things couldn’t be done, for instance my parents’ tax return.
I rely on my safety net right now, and I don’t like that feeling, although everybody is very understanding. It’s a good thing I have talk therapy and my monthly podiatrist appointment tomorrow morning, a little distraction will make me feel better.
Today I had my quarterly meeting with my psychiatrist. We talk about how I am feeling, dicuss therapy options, or change my meds.
I go to the psychiatric institutional outpatients’ department(PIA) of my local hospital. What I like about it
in case of emergency an inpatient stay can be arranged quickly,
a psychiatrist is on call 24/7,
during day shift, it is easy to get a second opinion from another psychiatrist.
What I don’t like aboout it
sometimes you have to wait an hour or so even if you have an appointment, this happens when many urgent cases are brought in,
doctors often change, because they rotate between outpatient, inpatient and day unit.
In the last months I feel very tired, at the same time anxiety attacks and self harming became more frequent. That shows depression and anxiety often are two sides of a coin. So we agreed to change the anti depressant I take in the morning, and to increase my anti anxiety medication. “We”, because I had the final say in this discussion. Talk therapy and occupational therapy will be continued.
And now I need to be patient, because it takes a few weeks before the brain gets used to new meds. This is the worst, waiting while I just want the inner pain to stop. But this is not how it works. Stupid game!
Yesterday evening my good old acquaintance anxiety paid me a surprise visit. We were already lying in bed, everything was quiet, I was about to nodd off, when suddenly a fuse in my head blew. From 0 to 200 in less than a second. My heart pounded wildly, I couldn’t breathe, the thought “That’s it! I’m dying!” made me get up and stumble away from my bed. I have no idea where I wanted to go, I didn’t get far anyway: I broke down sobbing and blabbering nonsense at the door. Meanwhile, my husband had woken up, made me get up and tried to calm me down. I pushed him away, stumbled to the window, noticed that snow had fallen, and stumbled on aimlessly through the dark room. Then, as if a plug had been pulled, it was over. I could breathe again, and my heart rate dropped. We went to bed again and slept. When it’s over, it’s over, and we both are used to these things.
My anxiety has many faces. Sometimes, she comes over for a quick visit, like yesterday. Sometimes, she stays for a few ours. Or she tells her sister agitation to pay me a visit, who likes to stay for a few days. I don’t know when it will happen. I know that some factors, like stress, make it more likely that I suffer from an anxiety attack. Meds make anxiety attacks happen less frequently, and they help me to calm down, but they don’t make it go away completely.
This short and violent anxiety attacks are the worst. I’m fine, and next thing I know I am drowning in a vortex of emotions. No med works this fast, I can only hope it wears off quickly. If an episode builds up slowly, I can stop it with breathing exercises, Reiki or try distraction. But I can’t fight against an attack from nowhere.
I am used to a feeling of dread from my early childhood. My first real anxiety attack happened in primary school during a lesson of physical education. We were sitting on the floor and listening to the teacher, when suddenly everything closed in on me… I saw one of the open windows, and I knew I had to get out. The teacher allowed me to step out for a while. The dreadful feeling soon passed, and I wondered what just happened…
Until my sixteenth birthday, I rarely had anxiety attacks. Then it hit me with a vengeance again, when I was sitting in a train on the way to my grandmother. I cant’t breathe, my heart stops beating, I am about to drop dead. Somehow I managed to get off the train, took a taxi to my grandmother, and called my parents to come and get me. Fear gradually took over all of my life, until I didn’t leave home anymore.
Speak therapy, in-patient stays at Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and living in a therapeutic children’s home for eight months pushed the anxiety back – for now. She reared her ugly head from time to time, but I could ignore her.
Until it came back in 2005. This time it took me of guard, while I was driving in my car. All I could do was pull over and wait till it was over. Luckily nobody got hurt. From this day, anxiety refused to leave my side. No therapy, in patient hospital stay or meds made it go away completely. And anxiety brought her brother, depression.
I have accepted that anxiety always will be a part of my life. I learned not to live in constant fear of fear. I will never get used to it, though.