One sign of when I am in a serious depression is I can no longer write. It’s been since Dec. 30th that journaling words have come out of these fingers.
I went to the Psych today and sobbed about how frustrated I am about this post-mania depression. He said it just takes time. I said I am losing time by sleeping and losing LOTS of money by not working.
Blessedly, no suicidal thoughts or ideation. Still have visual hallucinations, but meh on those.
Last thing we did was up the Wellbutrin (of which I have even worse Tardive Dyskinesia now). Now we’re upping the Cymbalta from 60mg qd to 90mg qd. He said he is giving it 4 weeks to change things before he considers upping it again.
I feel like cutting my tongue out. I swear someone is using a course-grit sandpaper, rubbing it over and over and over, while I sleep.
What’s sucky, too, is the Tardive Dyskinesia is doing overtime even while I am awake. Unless I am purposefully monitoring my tongue and jaw action, my tongue is scraping across my molars or my front teeth. Continuously.
Thank the Universe no one is noticing.
I am lost over what to do about the TD. I would need to cut down or quit the Wellbutrin and I feel so, so much better on it. The prospect of stopping it terrifies me. (And the TD might not go away after stopping the medication anyway!) I see the Psych in a week and will talk to him about it, but the decision is 100% mine about what to do: stay on it OR go off of it and try yet another medication that might cause TD even worse, and possibly permanent symptoms, than this.
I cannot work. I can barely write. I am sleeping 100 hours a day.
Yet ANOTHER Visit to the Psychiatrist
Over and over and over I go, like on a loop, sitting in the Psych’s office, trying to form words that explain how I feel:
Premonitions of Agoraphobia
Infinitely sad (made worse by Aleppo)
So, so, so tired
And words I do not share because they will toss me in the hospital if they fall out of my mouth. We’ll just let them sit in there and rot.
Another change in meds. Lowering the Risperdal, upping the Wellbutrin. Will it make one iota of a difference? Can’t I have some speed, please? “We don’t want you having those horrible hallucinations again, do we?” (Yes, please. If I can stay awake.)
Apparently I am really sensitive to medications, especially Psych meds. Over the last 2 years, I have tried 6 meds (not all Psych) that I eventually had to quit because of (what I would consider) intolerable Tardive Dyskinesia. I know that many others have it worse, have to take the meds that cause TD and that, for many, it never goes away. I have been lucky that mine generally went away.
Except the last time.
My Recalcitrant Tongue
The first time I experienced the TD, it took a couple three weeks to figure it out. My tongue kept burning… then I would wake up with blood in my mouth. I couldn’t figure it out. My teeth? They all felt fine.
So I meditated on it, talked to myself about paying better attention, slowing down the movements so I could figure it out.
I began paying attention as I fell asleep, honing in on my mouth.
A couple of nights after this new mindfulness thing, I relaxed and let my mouth do its thing. And boy did it ever.
Scraping is the best way to describe it. My tongue, clearly having a life of its own, pushed through my teeth, first pressed upward, then pulled back, my top teeth sliding against my raw tongue. Over and over and over again. Apparently, all. night. long.
Oddly, it didn’t do it as much when I was awake. I realized it did some, but not a lot. It was at night that my teeth assaulted my tongue. And holy fuck did it hurt.
I Googled “tongue scraping” and TD came up. Medications were the culprit. Sometimes ones a person had taken for many years.
I’d recently started some medication or another (cannot remember and for whatever crazy reason, I didn’t note it or write it anywhere), so went off and within a week, the TD had disappeared. The doctor tried another one to replace the first. Same thing, but this time I figured it out a lot sooner. Went off, it went away, and tried a third medication. This time it was fine.
Fast forward to this recent Manic Episode when I had to go on Risperdal for the hallucinations, then when I fell a tad too low, increasing the Wellbutrin… a med I have been on for several years. I hadn’t an issue with the Risperdal, but began noticing some light TD symptoms after upping the Wellbutrin. No blood this time, but the scraping had begun.
I lowered the dose of Wellbutrin for a couple of days with no changes, so upped it back to the 300 mg my doc agreed to (after I’d upped it myself). It didn’t get worse, but was still annoying.
I seem to be in the place where the TD isn’t going to go away, but it isn’t going to get any worse, either.
It is definitely worse when I am tired or sleeping. I wake up with a very sore tongue and can feel I have been rubbing it against the roof of my mouth. I am happy that I am not waking up with a bloody tongue or enormous sores from the vicious play of teeth and tongue while I am unconscious. I am also quite lucky I do not have the serious symptoms of TD that include protruding tongue or uncontrollable facial tics that are obvious to anyone looking.
Still, my TD is annoying. It gets in the way of my work at times, having to make adjustments to my speech because of my involuntary mouth and tongue actions. But so far, nothing has been irreparable.
So, I shall just keep being Mindful and do my best to stay on top off the Tardive Dyskinesia, maybe lessening it over time.
I keep seeing what people are going to do on Election Night.
Getting drunk seems to be a common theme and, while I do not drink often anymore at all, I thought “That sounds like a dandy idea!”
I mentioned it to NetFriend, who is a non-drinking Muslim, and asked if it was wrong for me to get drunk on Election Night. His answer was classic:
if there is ever a time
Then he said:
please drink carefully though
I said I would never drive drunk and he says:
what about Your meds?
I didn’t even think about my meds. Or the precariousness of the Bipolar stuff going on.
Crapola, I cannot drink.
Thank goodness my friend reminded me. How could I forget?
Now I have to figure out how to deal with the rising anxiety level I am feeling. I am not even watching or reading the news, but am seeing a tad of stuff on Facebook and a tad on Tumblr. I would be a shaking puddle of nerves if I was absorbing the news, too.
I am so scared of the outcome. I represent everything Trump & his minions despise.
When I went to the Psych a few days ago, he changed my Wellbutrin from 100 mg once a day to 100 mg twice a day. I asked if we could do 3 times a day. (You know, if 1 is good, 10 has to be better, right?) He said no to the 3 because it could send me back into Mania… and I wouldn’t want that would I?
I said what he wanted to hear, but began calculating how many Wellbutrin I had at home to be able to take 3 a day.
Just for a few days, you know. Just to get me over this sleeping 18+ hours a day thing.
It’s Working, Too!
Probably the bad part is it’s working. Not sending me to Mania that I can tell, but boy howdy, when I start to get that overwhelming sleepiness, I take a Wellbutrin and perk right back up for several hours.
I really am only taking 3 a day. I promise. (If I was going to confess this, I might as well go all the way, right?)
Not sure when (or if) I will lower it. Then I have to decide if I am going to tell the Psych when I see him again in 2 weeks.
Hallucinations have shifted. The tactile ones are all but gone, the olfactory ones haven’t returned since starting the Risperdal and the visuals are much less… smaller… less intense. The last nasty one was when a roach crawled out of my Diet Coke can onto my face (it was not real) and I threw the can across the room. That was… 2 nights ago? 3 now? Otherwise, the shadows are pretty small… more translucent. I haven’t had an auditory hallucination in over a week.
Even though all those horrible hallucinations have all but abated, I am sad I am not filled with energy like I have been. I feel like a sloth now… it taking inordinate amounts of energy to do anything. Still not sure if I am dipping down into depression or not. I see the Psych in the morning and will run it by him.
Medications At the Moment
Risperdal 2 mg at bedtime
Meds from ER Visit & GI Doc
Bentyl – finished (not sure it did anything)
Cipro – finished in the morning; feel MUCH better in my abdomen, diarrhea gone, suspected UTI gone
Lomotil – haven’t picked it up from the Pharmacy yet, but didn’t need it after the Cipro
Probiotics bid – helps keep the yeasties at bay with the Cipro
Work & Sleep
I’ve been back to work 2 days in a row now. Luckily, we can log in and log out whenever we want/need to, so when I get tired, I just log out and take a nap. I spent 3 days barely able to function as things slowed down. I felt like my brain was stuttering and I never knew, from one minute to another, whether I would be able complete a call or need to crash asleep, so I pretty much listened to music, did some work writing and watched Netflix or Amazon.
My hair-trigger anger seems to have settled some as well, but when I get upset, it is over-the-top, but simmers down quicker than it would have a week ago.
I’ll write more after seeing the Psych and my therapist tomorrow.
The last 2 weeks have sucked even worse than when I wrote on July 13, 2017. Tears. Tears. Never-ending tears. The suicidal ideation is coming more often and is more vivid than when I started the Paxil. And the damn hallucinations are back.
Almost all of my time is in bed, either curled in pain (another post), staring at the ceiling or sleeping. I leave I Love Lucy on in the background. Sometimes Friends. I’m listening to Mists of Avalon (a book I love), but when I listen in bed, I fall right to sleep. I’ve replayed Chapter 6 four times already.
An Odd Sorta Depression
When looking for images about depression lying, I came across several pieces like this one below:
Not sure if I’m just more familiar with my depression than when I was younger or if it has really shifted, but I do not hear the lies the girl in the image does… nothing negative about my body, how alone I am in the world, how fat/ugly/sick I am. I did when I was younger, but not anymore.
I just feel sad. An overwhelming sadness. A pall of melancholia that separates me from the rest of you. I cannot even touch what I am sad about except for the endless distress I have about our country because of 45. But this joylessness is deeper than the fear-for-our-lives kind. I feel like I’m under the thick glass of my Nana’s cake pedestal, so close to others, but unable to penetrate the barrier of dreariness to make a connection.
The psych doc upped the Paxil to 30mg after 2 weeks on 20mg. He said he still might have to increase it when I see him in 2 weeks. For fuck’s sake, can’t this stuff take effect already? I hate this waiting part.
I have weaned off the Cymbalta. Is that the reason for this huge dip? Who knows anymore. He wanted to increase my Risperdal, but I refused; the eating is out of control with more Risperdal… can’t abide by that.
An aside: I despise the new packaging that seems to be taking over the medication world. I am not stupid, can follow directions, but they are incredibly difficult for me to get into. I’ve asked the Pharmacy to open them for me and then I rip the inner blister pack out, throwing the outer box away. If you haven’t see them, let me introduce you.
I’ve had lots of suicidal thoughts. A friend stayed with me one night when they were especially bad, reminding me every few minutes that Depression is a Liar. Hearing that, knowing it for certain, is what kept (keeps) me going. Hearing that so-and-so loves me doesn’t do much for my mindset because I rationalize that away easily. Depression Lies, however, works wonders.
The thoughts of suicide are so enticing. They call to me seductively as if they were sirens on the ocean’s rocks.
“A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. People who take their lives don’t want to die—they just want to stop hurting.”
When I had my first serious clinical depression in my late teens, I didn’t understand the “wanting the pain to stop” aspect and teetered really close to the edge of death.
As I got older and had some decent therapy, I was able to verbalize the inner turmoil and excruciating emotional pain that was drawing me towards dying. Understanding that I didn’t really want to die, but just to stop hurting… a pain that went so deep as to injure my soul… I was able to cling to those brief seconds of “medication will help remove the pain… hang on a little bit longer.”
Medication and therapy have not failed me yet.
Work has been nearly impossible the way I feel. I can do one call, then need 2 hours off to regroup. The calls are easy, mostly with regulars, but the energy expenditure exhausts me. Even writing this post has taken 4 days so far. Ugh. I need to be able to work!
Okay, I need to get this out to you all. It is not a cry for help, I promise. I will not hurt myself, have no plans to. It’s just those random thoughts that flow through my mind… sometimes like heavy cinder blocks and others like wafting vapors. As long as they continue moving on the conveyor belt, I think I’m okay and headed towards healing.