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    living better through chemistry

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  1. I use a pill organizer too, for my AM and PM meds. Taking those is just part of my getting up or going to bed routine. It sits on the counter in the bathroom next to the sink, so basically, whenever I go to the bathroom, I check if I should take my pills after washing my hands. I've never been on something so sensitive that a couple hours one way or the other (to account for varied sleep schedules) was a big deal. When I've had to take meds in the middle of the day, I used a keychain pill case like Melissa linked to combined with alarms on my phone. I also tried to tie the mid-day dose to something like a meal that I was likely to do at close to the same time every day (e.g. I eat dinner at pretty much the same time no matter when I get up). Try not to worry too much about withdrawal symptoms. If anything, it will train you to be more aware of the time of day so you take your med earlier. Usually within half an hour or so of taking the med (often sooner if you take it with food), withdrawal symptoms will go away.
  2. Open wounds will take longer to heal, are more likely to get infected, and will result in bigger scars. However, your wounds cannot be closed now (e.g. through stitches or steri-strips) because the risk of (worse) infection is too great. You don't want to seal that into your body. Use pressure and a sterile bandage/gauze or a clean cloth to stop bleeding. Elevate the wounds. Don't pick at or scratch them, which will become harder as they heal and scab over (likely will become itchy while healing). Wash them gently with plain saline (1 tsp salt dissolved in 8oz warm water - saline won't sting like plain water will), don't use peroxide or alcohol, they're too harsh. Wash the skin around the wounds with a mild soap, but avoid getting the soap in the wounds, it's irritating (source - Mayo Clinic). If you can acquire bandages that would be best, wounds heal better and faster when covered. What did the doctor who prescribed the antibiotics say? Ask them for dressings and direction on how frequently to change them (it depends on the type of dressing). I would expect an uninfected wound to close over and stop weeping within around 24-48 hours, but it depends on the depth/size. I don't know how the infection would change things. How fast the wounds heal depends on a variety of things including size and location (e.g. near joints or areas where it gets pulled on). If you leave the wounds open, you should expect 2-3 weeks to heal to the point of a scab coming off, 6 months to 2 years for the scar tissue to flatten and fade. Take note, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. Just another self-harmer who's read a lot of wound care information online. These are all good questions to ask the doctor you've been seeing for antibiotics. They can give you information that more certainly applies to your wounds.
  3. It stopped working as well, I was still depressed and suicidal despite the combination of Parnate and ECT. My pdoc wanted to try something different. Once I was off it, we realised it had been helping more than we knew.
  4. I have tried both - I took Parnate (an MAOI) for over a year. It worked better than anything else I've tried, including ECT. I found the diet surprisingly easy to adhere to. I think people are overly worried about the drug and food interactions - I found it very easy to deal with. A bit of a pain, but the diet becomes second-nature very quickly and the medication interactions are easily managed. It is so totally worth it, to me, and definitely something I'd recommend trying before going the ECT route. I am now taking Imipramine (a TCA), and have been since November. It has had no effect on my mood. I get bad headaches when changing the dose. I also find I'm sleeping a lot, which I think is from the med but I'm not positive. My pdoc doesn't trust me with a full month's supply of meds because of the toxicity in OD, she prescribes a 2-week supply at a time, which is held by a friend who fills my pill box on a weekly basis. It's embarrassing and I can't wait to get off this med and stop having that be a concern. My pdoc has some ideas for off-label meds to try next but I'm thinking of pushing to try Nardil (another MAOI) because so far I've had the best luck from that class of med.
  5. Buprenorphine has been shown, in a few limited studies, to have success treating treatment-resistant depression at very low doses. It has been suggested that people don't get addicted to Suboxone because they can wean themselves down to very small doses (0.5-1mg/day), to where the pain relief is going to be minimal at best. It may be that in fact, those people are (unknowingly) using Suboxone to treat their depression instead. Suboxone is a controlled substance in the US that requires a special DEA number to prescribe, which doctors can only get after going through additional drug abuse treatment training. This means not all doctors can prescribe Suboxone, which means it's a very unusual treatment for TRD. My pdoc happens to have a DEA number from work she did a while ago, and we've run out of "in the box" options for treating my TRD (I've tried all major classes of antidepressants, with adjunctive AAPs, and failed TMS and ECT). The other medication my pdoc is considering for me is Vraylar, which is not approved for treating MDD, but rather for treating bipolar depression. She's had good luck with it though and says that while I do not have bipolar disorder, my depression sometimes looks more like a bipolar mixed state. I think I'm going to push for that instead of Suboxone/Buprenorphine, but I don't know.
  6. Honestly, this is what makes me skeptical about my pdoc's plan to have me try the buprenorphine... I, too, have never experienced a high or anything from opiates, just pain relief while I needed them. We'll see I guess.
  7. I occasionally experience this. I'll have 2-3 weeks where it's on my mind all the time, limited satisfaction from masturbating, etc. Usually once I get my period my sex drive returns to its more normal low to non-existent state for a few months. I don't have any suggestions, unfortunately, just wanted you to know you're not alone. It's kinda weird to be turned on and depressed as all hell. Be safe. Remember that diseases are transferred through fluids, so you need to be careful and use barriers when having sex with someone regardless of their sex. Keep toys clean, and use gloves or condoms if you must share but it's better to not share toys at all. I hope someone else has something more helpful for you.
  8. I'm so glad it's working out for you! My pdoc brought this up with me last week. She thinks it's worth a shot while I wait for a ketamine study being done in my city. I have a cold, so she didn't want to start anything new until after I'm feeling better from that. Anyway, it sounds like she's on the fence between buprenorphine and Vraylar, leaning towards the buprenorphine. I'm supposed to do some reading/research about both of them and we'll discuss more next week.
  9. My migraines feel like someone is pushing a sharp pointy object into my left eye. I also get nauseous. Darkness makes a noticeable difference. Computer screens always make it worse. I haven't had a full-on migraine since I was in college (6+ years ago). I've never had them bad/often enough to bring up with my GP. Usually what I've done is take a Dramamine and an excedrine migraine and then try to sleep it off.
  10. Yup, me too (though it's my CAD program open rather than pubmed, but still). I think the only reason I haven't been fired yet is because there's been a lot of turnover in the department and so they don't want to lose what little institutional knowledge I have.
  11. Do you prepare for therapy? Do you go in with a specific topic to discuss or having spent time thinking about questions your tdoc might ask and how you would respond? I mentioned to my pdoc (who does long, 30-minute appointments with a taste of therapy to them) that I felt like I was wasting her and tdoc's time because I've been coming to my appointments unprepared/with nothing to talk about. She said she was surprised that I prepare.
  12. I've experienced this. Or a variation on it. I am treated for a mood disorder, I don't have psychosis, so I hope it's okay to contribute to this thread. It's something I'm struggling with now in therapy. How I appear to be doing from the outside does not match my experience of my illness. These conversations tend to come along with being told I'm a perfectionist. If I would only lower my expectations/standards of myself, I would be happier, because really, I'm doing well - a lot better than I give myself credit for, they tell me. I don't argue that I'm a perfectionist, or that it's a problem. I know that. But there's a difference between a minimum that I know I'm capable of doing and the perfectionist goals. I'm not even hitting the lower bar that I am (or was) capable of and no one else seems to be worried or alarmed. They just say look, you still have a job that's happy with your output, be happy with that. Out of curiosity why is this invalidating? For me (and I'm not iaa, obviously, so her experience may be different), being told that tends to come with a lack of understanding of the amount of effort truly required to accomplish the task. It tends to come with being told, essentially, that I'm not as sick/depressed as I claim because if I was I wouldn't be able to do the work I'm doing. It's like... if I were an olympic figure skater and hurt my knees and couldn't spin or jump anymore but everyone said "you can still lace up your skates and move on the ice, so be happy with that". There's something wrong, but because my starting point is atypical (ie, most people can't skate at the level of an olympic figure skater), people are only looking at the end point (I can still move on the ice without falling much), not the fact that there's been a change.
  13. My experience has been that as I've grown older (and am a self-sufficient adult, no longer a teenager dependent on my parents), my doctors are less likely to lose it over self-harm. Then again, I've been seeing progressively more experienced doctors. I've been burned, though, by not knowing where the line is. As a result, I err toward the side of sharing less, even after having straight up conversations defining boundaries. Good job talking with your tdoc about this, it's not easy to confront someone who is being unclear.
  14. Yes, lots of mental illness in my family. Mostly outside of my generation it's not treated though. My parents don't believe in anything but "lifestyle changes" for treating most mental illness, and that it's not real (except when they're talking about each other - the other one has "serious problems" and they pity them. They're divorced and don't get along). My brothers got treated for ADHD since they were children. My depression, anxiety and ADHD have been issues since I was a teenager but weren't treated until I moved out as an adult, same for my brother's BP2.