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About wren

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  1. I was not diagnosing, only speculating. I welcome anyone here to take what I've said back to their psychiatrist and discuss it with him/her so that they can better understand why they were given the diagnosis they were given... Or to discuss the possibility that there are aspects of the client that have not been shared. These professionals do the best they can with their clients in an office setting, but they really don't ever see us in the real world, interacting with others. And they can't get inside our heads and know us better than we know ourselves. But yes, disclaimer: I am not serving as a medical or mental health professional here and my thoughts as I share them here are not meant to be treated as diagnoses.
  2. Cottonzilla, you sound painfully aware of how others feel around you, despite an underlying desire to connect with them. I realize I am speculating here. Am I accurate? Anyway, if that is true, you do not fit the criteria for schizoid personality disorder. Schizotypal personality disorder is more of what you are describing. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizotypal_personality_disorder Also... And again I am speculating here, but have you ever been evaluated for autism spectrum disorder? Often high functioning autistics are aware that they do not fit in and have an awkward time in social situations as they try to memorize ways of behaving that do not seem natural to them. Enough with my analyzing. Please forgive my morning brain on top of a cold and medicated sleep. I am so impressed with your ability to articulate your perceptions and how difficult it is for you in social situations. I know that written communication is often easier for those with social phobias and the fact that we are anonymous here may make your expression and vulnerability easier as well. After reading your feelings, all I wanted to do was get to know you better! You sound like a fascinating person. Also, you sound like a very different type of person than the neurotypical. It's possible that you will never conform to society's expectations. My thoughts are... Accept that you are unique and that there is a place for such uniqueness. You see things in such a different way that you could probably blow the socks off those conformists who have attuned social abilities and an easy manner--if they knew what you were thinking. Have you ever tried to communicate with others in an unconventional way, like only through writing or texting? This is not to say you must avoid speaking altogether, but it may be a relief to you if you wrote a note (or had a business card printed!) that said simply, "Hello, my name is _____. I have a severe social phobia and prefer to communicate in writing. Please text me to converse. My number is ______. I am a sensitive person, so please be gentle with me. I would like to get to know you." Or something along those lines. Doing so would likely generate a good deal of compassion from those around you. I realize that this would mean opening up and being a bit vulnerable, but often ones vulnerability is the very attractive quality that brings others closer to us. I say, turn this into a social experiment for a week and take the chance. Really, what do you have to lose? Have you ever watched Ted Talks with Brene Brown on vulnerability and shame? I highly, highly recommend!
  3. I've used moodtracker. It's rudimentary, but absolutely better than nothing. I think Hal has some good ideas. It would probably calm your anxiety over new meds if you take notes, track your moods, and write down a list of your questions and concerns so that you can address ALL of them with Pdoc.
  4. There is debate regarding the use of blue light as opposed to blue spectrum. You definitely do not want blue light close to bedtime, unless you are trying to shift your bedtime later. But this is also true of the full spectrum light close to bedtime! Full spectrum contains ALL colors/wavelengths of light mixed together, so it includes blue light waves. Also of note: the angle at which the light hits your eyes matters. The light must shine from above you in order to stimulate the bottom of your eyeballs--because that is what triggers the release of "wake up" hormones. The sunrise light by Philips: You program it with your desired wake time, which is the time it will reach full strength light. You also program it with the duration you want it to begin the light (sunrise). So, if I want the sunrise to happen over a 30min period (default standard), then the light will begin 30min prior to when I actually want to wake up. The light starts as a very deep orange and then gradually shifts to yellow as it gets brighter, then shifts to white at its brightest. At the end of the light shift, you can program it to have birds chirping or a beep-beep alarm, whichever you prefer. Obviously, I use the birds. The birds song starts out softly and gets louder and louder. This has been my favorite alarm clock EVER! It is the most gentle and it is effective. It also sets my circadian rhythm daily. Often (or always?) people who are unipolar or bipolar depressed also have circadian rhythm problems. Getting appropriate light at the right times of day and having a set bedtime AND set wake time makes a big difference. Note: BIPOLAR should use caution with light therapy boxes. Consult with a psychiatrist before using, as it can trigger mania--and not in a good way, if there is a good way. Just don't do it. Headaches are a possible side effect to light therapy boxes. If this happens, turn it off and cut back on the amount of time you are using it going forward. Also, make sure the box is at the recommended distance from your eyes.
  5. Yeah, I thought it was odd for her to say that Lexapro has pretty much no side effects for most people. Maybe most of her patients don't complain about it as much as I do? I was also disappointed that she did not have a ready list of other meds to try with the Lexapro to see if it would address the sexual side effects. She pretty much gave up after Wellbutrin did not work to effectively alleviate that side effect of the Lexapro. Meanwhile, I am able to do simple google searches and come up with a list of no less than a dozen medications known to counteract this side effect, including the one that works for you, Remeron. Knowing how easily I get sedated, I have been reluctant to try Remeron without trying some other meds first. I also worry about the weight gain associated with Remeron. I will consider it, though, if the Lamictal/Lexapro combo does not pan out and, also, the stimulants I want to try do not work. Thanks for your advice on this!
  6. Thank you to all the people who have responded to me! It means so much! I really appreciate it! in response to Hal... I have tried Wellbutrin XL by itself, without any other meds. At the time, I was at a 150mg dosage and had a return of my depression on this. Instead of increasing the Wellbutrin, another SSRI was added instead, as my Pdoc thought that I should have shown some sort of improvement on 150mg Wellbutrin. Not sure how true that is. I have complained loud and clear about my hoo ha being broken. LOL! But seriously, I think I must be one of the few people willing to speak up about every stinking side effect that I have on these meds (restless legs at night, increased jaw clenching, dry mouth (Wellbutrin at 300mg), increased thirst, apathy, inability to concentrate, fatigue, anorgasmia, loss of libido...) That there was a list of all worst side effects of all the psych meds I've been on. So... Pdoc told me last week that she thought I was highly sensitive to meds because of all the side effects I keep announcing to her. She said that she thought I would have side effects to all of them, since I have side effects to Lexapro, which she said pretty much no one has side effects on. Because of this, she saw no point in trying me on any other SSRI than the three I've already tried (Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro) and that I should just pick one. If it weren't for the anorgasmia with the Lexapro, I would love this one. If it weren't for the sedation on Zoloft (and consequential inability to concentrate or even stay awake), I would love that one. And Prozac is a question mark. I was also taking Valium while on Prozac, so I do not think that I should write it off as completely sucking--despite that, on it, I experienced my life as a zombie for 8 weeks. My latest idea is to see if I can get by on a lowered dose of Lexapro (maybe 7.5mg?) with the augmentation of Lamictal (150-200mg). I am not fine on just one or the other, but maybe with lowered Lexapro, I can find a happy place where I am both *not depressed* and can still experience sexual arousal and orgasms. Lexapro does a kick ass job on my depression, so I'm reluctant to mess with that too much, but I'm willing to edge down slowly and see if I can make that work. I think I might have a chance, since in my latest attempt to get off Lexapro, I had a return of sexual arousal at 10mg, 7.5mg, and 5mg... And did not get a return of depression until I hit 2.5mg. (I was on 200mg Lamictal during this time.) Previously, when I was on half that dose of Lamictal (100mg) and tried to get off Lexapro, I had a return of depression at 7.5mg Lexapro. So, I can tell the Lamictal is doing *something*. I just can't use it as a monotherapy at 200mg.
  7. I've tried both blue spectrum and full spectrum lights. I did not notice much difference with the blue spectrum light. The full spectrum light helps energize me and lifts my mood--but this is a subtle shift. It doesn't take the place of meds or therapy, but it does improve my quality of life in the darker months. I am able to get more work done at my desk. I am more motivated and can concentrate better. I use both a 10,000 lux white light therapy box and also a Philips wake up light, that mimics the sunrise. I think any 10,000 lux light therapy box would do, but here's the one I own: Day-Light Classic 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy Lamp https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009MFUWC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_XMTVxb5F8G0MX
  8. If you don't like your therapist after 3 sessions, get another one. If you try three therapists and don't like any of them--and you feel bored and disliking if people in general at the moment, then stick with that last one for a minimum of 3 months to see if you can start to see any shift in you: your mood, your functioning, your habits, etc. Definitely come up with goals for therapy! Otherwise, what's the point? Your therapist should be helping you with this! Write down all things about your mood, your habits, your health, diet, life, etc. that you wish were different and then circle the top three that your mind keeps going back to the most. Those are the ones you want to focus on. (Or, they are the ones your subconscious wants to focus on.) Those can be the basis of your therapeutic goals. I'll take a guess here: You want your aching sadness and guilt to lift (ie you'd love to feel joy and desire again), you want to have the energy and motivation to move and get things done (to clean your house, go on a walk, prepare food besides cereal, and be present with your kids again), you want to connect with friends. Those are just examples. Those are some of my own goals. I have accomplished some of them. And I do feel better for it! You do have hopes and dreams, otherwise you would not have written this post. Remember to focus on that. That is YOU talking, pushing past what your Depression would say if you lied back down and let it have its way. I absolutely agree that this feels like running a marathon. It is f'ing exhausting! I really wish your therapist had not told you that your mood was not going to shift as the result of therapy. It is not true. The combination of therapy and medications is FAR more effective at alleviating depression than either one alone. Other thoughts: In the worst episodes of my depression, sometimes my goals were broken down to what I could accomplish in the next 5 minutes. I had to figure out a way to get out of bed in the morning. Otherwise it was going to be Groundhog Day every day. I focused on what would motivate me enough to help me sit up and put my feet over the side of the bed. Usually, it was that I had to pee. Ha! Then, I figured out that I like checking Facebook first thing and if I do that for 5-10 min, I wake up enough and feel slightly better enough that I will get out of bed. I also learned that as painful as it was to drag myself out on a walk, it helped me tremendously if I listened to podcasts or audible books--and the simple act of walking for even 20-30 minutes was enough to make me feel slightly better. Which was better than nothing at all. my favorite recent book: "Get Me Out of Here" is a woman's memoir of she worked her way through severe depression and borderline personality disorder. I particularly liked her accounts of how she interacted with her therapist and how that shifted her thinking--and her mood. my am I chatty this morning I'm also wondering what your reaction was to the SSRI meds you are no longer taking
  9. Not sure if you are directing this question at me. If you are, my answer is that I have been frequently seen at my doctor's office over the last couple of years for issues of fatigue. When they take my blood pressure, it is always on the low end. I am often at the verge of falling asleep. Additionally, 100mg of Caffeine is not enough to raise my heart rate or cause heart palpitations for me. If I take 200mg or more at a time, then it does give me mild heart palpitations, which is somewhat uncomfortable, but not damaging to me health wise. My doctor and my psychiatric nurse have both approved me to be on caffeine instead of a prescribed stimulant due to the fact that caffeine generally has fewer side effects and is easier to tolerate.
  10. I haven't had cable in years. I watch Netflix and YouTube. After your initial period of missing cable (maybe 6 weeks?), it will seem far less important to you. I love how easily I can flip through ideas and shows on YouTube.. By searching for whatever I'm interested in and then learning about it. In random news, these are the things I have learned about recently: ADHD brain imaging, ADHD in women, Chinese foot binding, how to paint cat eye eyeliner, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, fashion trends in Japan, Aspergers in women, how to cut layers in my hair at home, how to highlight (weave or balayage) my hair, how to use Photoshop to make unwanted objects disappear from the background of a photo. I have also watched comedy: Stuart on MadTV, Amy Schumer, SNL... I love YouTube!
  11. Like others have said above, I don't know the reasoning behind why you would not be admitted to the hospital. I will only make some suggestions that might be of help. I have found it a HUGE help to me to be able to contact my primary care nurse and my psychiatric nurse via email, MyChart messaging, or text. It is soooo much easier to type out a question or concern than it is for me to pick up the phone if I am anxious. I recommend finding practitioners who provide this option for communication and will get back to you within 24hrs. I don't know what the psychiatric hospital experience is like where you live, but where I live, it is something to be avoided at all cost--mostly because even the doctors do not consider it a place of healing. Yes, they will adjust meds, but most effective therapy work happens in outpatient services and that is where most of the healing takes place. I am so sorry you've not found the right fit for outpatient treatment. Do not give up! If you haven't left your house in months, I'm guessing that someone is delivering food to you. Would that person also be able to deliver you to an individual or group DBT appointment? From your description of your symptoms, I suspect you might do well with DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), which is a mindfulness-based therapy. It helps you observe your feelings from a new perspective and make different behavioral choices than you have previously. This makes it easier to start an upward spiral of thought and behavior. Whatever you are imagining you would gain from hospitalization, try to brainstorm ways to make those supports happen with outpatient services--and ask for help in making this happen--from a friend, family member, or social services.
  12. I realize this is an old topic, but in case someone is searching for the same Q/A later, I'll contribute to this. I am not dx ADHD, but suspect I might be ADHD-inattentive. In any case, I have been taking 100mg of caffeine OTC (split 200mg pill) approximately 3x/day for almost 2 years. I dose at breakfast (8:00am), lunch (12:00pm), and late afternoon (4:00pm). I occasionally substitute a pill dose for half-caff coffee (half caffeinated/half decaf), but this does not work as well as the pill and I suspect it may be because of the variation in the amount of caffeine in coffee--by type of coffee and the method of brewing. 100mg caffeine has no side effects for me in the way of jitteriness or heart palpitations. If I cut off taking it at least 6hrs before bedtime, it does not affect my night sleep. Caffeine pills begin to work within 20min and they reach peak at 1hr. The effectiveness of them lasts about 4-5hrs for me, or sometimes as long as 6hrs. I take these for the purpose of giving me energy (combatting fatigue, which may or may not be SSRI-induced), and assisting in motivation and focus. They do not have any negative side effects for me at this dose and I have never developed tolerance. The main annoyance of them is having to take them 3x per day. But really, that's nothing, all considered.
  13. Thanks! I'll look into Remeron. Also, I'm checking out stimulants as an option.
  14. I agree with the above comments. Start weekly therapy with a counselor you get good vibes from. Be honest with your psychiatrist, including your reservations about having a worse outcome with med changes. It is quite possible (probable even) that there are better meds out now than when you got locked into your current cocktail. Perhaps I have been fortunate, but my worst side effect was sedation (being a zombie) and apathy. From there, pretty much every med change I've done has been an improvement--or just didn't work at all. I say go for it and get some new meds! You'll be a better parent for it.
  15. After trying to get off Lexapro three times and each time experiencing a return of depression (or discontinuation syndrome?), I have been worried about how these SSRIs have been altering my brain chemistry. I know that my Major Depressive Disorder (and probable double depression) is organic and genetic, not just situational, and for that reason I was willing to get on the meds in the first place. I had tried every conceivable holistic/alternative option I could think of and nothing was working... And my irritability/sensitivity and sadness had seeped over into every area of my life, causing me to not be able to function: get a job, show up to places on times, leave the house... Daily back and jaw pain, IBS, insomnia, emotion-based chest pain, feeling of overwhelm, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, frequent thoughts of death and dying. I was damaging my relationships, the most painful of which was my relationship with my two young children. So I went on Prozac... And so started my journey with psychotropic meds. I am still recovering from my latest attempt to get off Lexapro. I lasted 3 weeks with the return of my depression this time before starting to titrate back up again. (I say this because this may be my Depression talking.) In my searches on "discontinuation syndrome" and trying to see how long it might take for the symptom of depression to resolve, I came across such answers as "up to 6 months for brain chemistry to return to the pre-medicated state." What? And then these people go on to say how they wish they'd never gone on the SSRI (or other psychotropic med) in the first place because now they can never get off. And I'm like, I don't even think I'd still be alive if I wasn't on these meds! I may never be able to come off them. And I need to be ok with that and not give credence to my guilt that I should somehow be able to white knuckle it through my life without medications. As if the meds are somehow destroying me. Ugh! Of all the things to feel guilty about, why do I need to take on feeling guilty that I am reliant on meds? There have been some meds that have made it more difficult for me to think, as you said was your concern. I got off of those ones and switched to ones where I felt better, able to think, and much more motivated than I was pre-medication. I think you just need to monitor yourself and realize if the meds side effects are tolerable/intolerable. If you are dulled or sedated by a med, hopefully you have a friend or a therapist who could give you some gauge as to whether this perception is accurate. My mom told me that Prozac had turned me into a zombie. Lexapro has not sedated me at all. Keep searching and keep trying them out until you find a med that works.
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