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How I learned to smell the roses
Been a while since I've written. I guess a lot has happened since Thanksgiving (my last entry), some of which I have mentioned through posts other people have made about weight gain and Seroquel and other topics under antipsychotics.
So yeah - late November I had been off my AAP for about a month and I continued to be med-free until the beginning of January, when I didn't sleep for 3 days and was beginning to notice changes in the way I perceived my family's behavior. This perceived difference was like night and day, and it actually happened over the course of a day - one day I was fine with my family's behavior and the next I paranoid. It was at this point that my pdoc and I decided it was a good idea to start a low dose of Seroquel.
Things however started to escalate rather quickly. I was having ideas of reference, paranoia and started to even have visual hallucinations and didn't trust anyone in my close circle because I thought they were all out to get me. Some small part of me thought that this might be the psychosis hitting again, but mostly, I was pretty convinced of all the things I started to believe.
Another major problem at the time was that I was very afraid of having the AAP-induced anhedonia that I had suffered from for the 2 years that I had been on various meds after my first episode. I thought if I stayed at the low dose, I would keep off the anhedonia. But my family couldn't handle seeing me lay in bed all day because I was suspicious of everyone and they couldn't handle my defiance towards my pdoc and them when they suggested I up my dose. So then I was once again sent to the hospital where I was forced to raise my dose.
The hospital stay was fun on some days, terrible on others as I was still symptomatic and highly suspicious of the hospital staff. As it turns out though, I ultimately ended up increasing my med dose to 600mg and had no anhedonia. I participated in a partial hospitalization program and walked out with more optimism than I've had for a long time, ready to live my life again.
I still have a lot to work on - living like that for two years definitely does something to you, makes you question the validity of it all - why do we put so much pressure on ourselves, does it really matter? These are questions I ask myself sometimes, but when I'm not doing that, I am enjoying the little things - the smell of the breeze, the entertaining songs on the radio and a laugh or two with my sister - and to tell you the truth, for some reason, I was terrible at enjoying those smaller things prior to having the anhedonia set it. I went on a date with a guy around Thanksgiving and after explaining to him my psychiatric problems, he asked me if it was worth it, and well, a significant part of me thinks yes actually. In a lot of ways, those were a wasted two years, but it taught me how to smell the flowers and that's actually a pretty big deal, isn't it?