Tag Archives: mental health

Holiday Blues

What is it about the holidays that brings out the worst in me? I don’t know about you, but my constant black cloud is most prevalent during the holiday season. When December comes, I don’t get excited about Christmas anymore, I get excited about tax season (when I get a check worth about 3-4 times my weekly paycheck in one day!). Speaking of money, I am certain that part of my holiday blues stems from the fact that I didn’t get a Christmas bonus this year. Every year since I’ve been at this job, I got a bonus. So this new president fills the post and screws everyone over. Personally, if I took over a company right before Christmas, I’d make damn sure not to cause any disgruntled employees, I’m just saying. And don’t even tell me that there wasn’t enough in the budget. My facility makes mad cash. So yes, finding out today that there is no bonus coming was pretty upsetting. My company always talks about “employee appreciation”. Total BS!

Alright, now that I’ve ranted, I’m going to get serious. Lately, I’ve been pretty darn depressed, as you could most likely surmise by the title of this post. I’ve spoken of depression frequently, but right now, it is almost swallowing me up. I’ve been taking my medication. Hell, I’ve taken practically every medication; Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, Buspar, Seroquel. I’m currently on Wellbutrin, Effexor, and Lamictal. I know that list doesn’t encompass every medication, there must be hundreds of psych meds (I work at a hospital, I see patients’ medication lists).

I see both a psychiatrist and a therapist. I’ll be seeing the therapist at the end of this month, he can’t prescribe meds, however. I won’t be seeing the psychiatrist until mid-February, unfortunately. I’m not looking forward to switching meds again. She’s mentioned Lithium several times in the past. I’m afraid that Lithium will be my next step. I also want to ask about Adderall or Ritalin, because I’m concerned that I may have attention deficit disorder. But I’m concerned that she will think I’m med-seeking. I’m sure you are all aware, those stimulants are often sold illegally for recreational purposes.

Lithium is a bit intimidating. I’ve read several articles in which it is considered the “gold standard” of mood stabilizers. However, there can be a great deal of side effects and it requires frequent lab monitoring. I believe that after the first dose, it is necessary to have levels drawn within 12 hours. There are several timed labs after that initial screening. I may consider giving it a try if I’m still in this pit when I see my psychiatrist.

Continuing on my discussion of depression, have you ever experienced it? If so, have you ever noticed how there are so many people who don’t get it? I’ll elaborate, people may say:

  • “You just want attention.”
  • “Why don’t you just be happy?”
  • “Be thankful for what you have.”
  • “You don’t need medication to be happy.”

It’s so frustrating! I want to explain to these people that being happy isn’t that simple; I am thankful for what I have, but those things I’m grateful for don’t take precedence in my thoughts at this moment; I’m sad and hurting inside, but I can’t put into words why I feel this way; and yes, I do want attention, I want a hug and I want someone to tell me that everything is going to be okay.

Buzzfeed is a website that caters to “generation y” IMO, (it also is a source I turn to to relieve my need to procrastinate). It touches upon pop culture, current events, nostalgia, issues, etc. It’s quite entertaining! The site often posts in an easy-to-read list format. Recently, there was a list that left a profound impact on me, 21 Comics That Capture The Frustrations of DepressionIt seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? “Comic” and “Depression”. But to me, these comics so accurately depict the mental illness. I cried while reading them. You might too, I’m just warning you. It is a very uplifting feeling though, to know that there are others who understand what I am experiencing. Please check it out.

I’m back, for a little while anyway. I’ve had every intention to write for quite some time and I’ve just never gotten around to it. For once, I have a little extra time and I’m going to take that time to do something I’ve missed.

I have been busy. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been back in school. I’m taking two online math courses from a community college in anticipation of going to grad school. You know what? It feels great to be exercising my brain once again! For me, it is very rewarding to come up with a solution to a math problem. I realize now, that I am a nerd, but I take great pride in that. Though I still feel lost, I feel like I’m slowly but surely discovering what I want to do in life, as well as, who I am. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Maybe I’m entering my second puberty?

Like puberty, there are setbacks in my life. In my last rambling post, I talked about how my weight hasn’t been changing. This is still true. I am not gaining, but not losing either. It’s not realistic anymore to think I will reach a 40 pound total weight loss by the end of 2013. I do have hope though, that I will surpass this rough spot, somehow. I really want to go to the Y, but I am so afraid of how I will be received, that it keeps me from getting there. It’s an irrational fear, I know. I’ve always had this hang-up about going to a gym. What if people point and laugh at me? I hope that very soon, I can walk in there and work out and be happy with myself.

My love life still sucks. I temporarily deactivated my okcupid account because I cannot get over Steve. I’ve also deactivated Facebook for the same reason. I want him to talk to me, but he won’t and I can’t deal. I can’t sit there, staring at my Facebook chat, and hoping for him to say “hello”. All I can hope for is to lose weight and be hot and put up a new picture of myself with someone fantastic so that I can make him jealous. Maybe he’ll remember me then? Anyway, until I’m healthier mentally, I can’t be faced with him, I can’t have any reminders of him. Someday I will be stronger and able to cope. I’m working on it, I really am.

 

 

 

I’m a Picker and a Puller

As I wrote out my title, I was singing that Steve Miller song, The Joker, in my head.  However, this post is not about music.  It’s about some issues that became clear this week.

I see both a psychiatrist and a psychologist.  They work out of the same office, but unfortunately, due to health insurance restrictions, I can’t see both on the same day.  On Monday this week, I saw my psychiatrist.  On Tuesday, I saw the psychologist.

Patients at this office fill in a sheet prior to each visit.  The sheet has a list of symptoms, (depression, anxiety, hopelessness, etc.), and a ratings scale.  At the top of the sheet, is a code representing the patient and some numeric codes, corresponding to the patient’s diagnoses.  So, imagine my surprise, when I picked up my sheet on Tuesday, and there was a new diagnosis.  My psychiatrist had added obsessive compulsive disorder to my list.  It was a surprise to me because although I have been showing some O.C.D. symptoms recently, I didn’t think these symptoms (which I shall soon discuss) would qualify me for a diagnosis of O.C.D.

Have you ever heard of Tweezerman tweezers?  They’re super sharp and are hand-filed. When you purchase a pair, the company promises that you can send the tweezers back to them and the company will sharpen the tweezers for free.  They are pricey ($22), but in my opinion, totally worth it.  They are fantastic and I won’t buy any other tweezers.  TweezermanBut this post isn’t about tweezers, or beauty tools, or beauty of any kind.  This post is about what led to my newest diagnosis.  About two weeks ago, I began plucking again.  When I was in middle school or high school (I can’t quite remember when), I would use dull tweezers to yank out the hairs on the inside of my lower legs.  More recently, my mother told me that when I was in pre-school, the teacher told my mother that I would sit and scratch myself until I bled.

Approximately three weeks ago, I pulled out my tweezers and started yanking out ingrown hairs on the inside of my lower legs once again.  This time, it’s a combination of dermatillomania (compulsive skin-picking) and trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling).  You may find the next part gross, so I’ve hidden it, but you can read the text if you select it.   I can’t explain it, but I get such satisfaction out of digging into my skin with the sharp point of my tweezers, finding the dark line of a new hair, and yanking it out.  It is especially satisfying for me, when the hair I pull out has a wet bulb attached.  And of course, once a scab has covered the wound, I just have to pick it off.

It’s crazy, I don’t know why I do it. I can become so fixated on getting those hairs out. I’ll be sitting, maybe in front of the computer or the TV, and I’ll just grab my tweezers. And once I start, I keep telling myself that I need to stop because I’ve made such a mess of my legs, but then, I’ll see another hair, and I just have to dig and pluck. I’ve found that I lose track of time doing this. The other day, I did it for 45 minutes when I could have been doing something productive.

I’ve linked to the picture of my legs, because I realize that some readers will be disgusted. And I agree and understand, my legs are disgusting.  But I promise, I’m not posting this to gross readers out, I’m posting this because I want to find people with similar experiences.

Tell Me When This is Supposed to Make Me Feel Better

I just came back from “therapy”.  I’ve always imagined therapy to be an appointment in which the patient discusses her issues and the counselor listens and provides insight.  That is true.  However, I’d also believed therapy would be helpful (ie. therapeutic) and after the session, the patient would feel a bit better, lighter, having lost a great weight off her shoulders from talking about her issues and gaining the insight of the counselor.  If I judged it by the session I had this morning, I’d have to say that my second belief about therapy was a giant misconception.

I left today feeling more upset than I did when I went in.  I was looking forward to my session, I’ve been feeling really lousy lately.  I wanted to talk about my recent Facebook deactivation.  I needed reassurance that maybe Steve just didn’t get my message.  I didn’t get any reassurance.  I can’t quote my counselor verbatim, but his response was basically “Chalk it up to him not being into you and move on.”

I’ve read the book, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, and I must say that it was eye-opening and insightful.  I still have the book and perhaps I should read it again.  I think it’s imperative for a woman like myself, one with a history of failed relationships (or in my case, “un-relationships”),  whose self-confidence is destroyed because of her consistent failure with men, to read.  It needs to be understood by women like me.

However, having heard this from my counselor today, I don’t feel better or stronger or smarter.  I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.  It hurts.  I really thought that maybe, for once, this guy (Steve) was into me.  Having heard it from my counselor, whom I shall now refer to as Dr. BadNews, I know it’s the truth.  I’ve been trying to avoid admitting it to myself, but I can’t anymore.  What used to be, isn’t anymore and I need to stop dwelling on it.  Deep down, I know I need to move on and meet someone who will love me as much as I love him.

That brings me to my other dilemma.  How do I meet someone I like?  I joined OKCupid and I put up a revealing picture of myself, one that was taken a year ago.  By revealing, I don’t mean that I was wearing lingerie.  (I’m sorry to give you that visual).  I mean that it was a picture that showed my face and body as they are now, unfortunately.  The picture showed me in all my fat glory.  I guess it makes more sense to be realistic than to put up a picture of myself from 8 years ago, when I was semi-approachable.

The pickings are slim though.  The men who emailed me, all three of them, do not do much for me.  Forgive me if you think I’m being a jerk, but one of the biggest turn-offs for me is a man who responds to my profile with an un-proofread email.  I can’t stand grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.  It’s a huge tip-off to me that he isn’t intelligent.  But as I’ve said, there are slim pickings out there.

The only men who respond to me are probably doing so in desperation.  No one wants to date someone like me.  Do I settle?  Or do I keep looking for someone with whom a mutual attraction is shared?  I’m running out of time, part of me thinks I should just settle.  Whatever happens, I want to date someone soon so I can get Steve out of my mind.

Have you ever seen pictures of people trying to be “bad-ass”, in which they’re flipping the bird at the camera?  I’ve never been one of those people.  But I do keep seeing this image in my mind of myself flipping the double bird at the camera.  I want to post this as my Facebook profile pic if I lose those 120 pounds and end up with a wonderful man and move out of my parents’ house.  I want to caption it with, “This is to everyone who gave up on me.”