A couple of weeks ago I started seeing a therapist for my depression. I've been depressed probably since I was 12 (21 now) or so. I had a rough time making friends in school as well as an abusive home situation that significantly contributed to making me feel worse. My parents didn't really "believe" in therapy (and still don't), so they didn't really want to take me to a therapist due to their belief that it was all BS as well as fears about me getting prescribed medication (which they also think is BS). I was basically told to "cheer up" and to "get over it" -- they probably thought it was some stupid typical adolescent drama crap. I had an incredibly difficult time dealing with stress, because I pretty much had no "safe" place to go: I was bullied at school and had to deal with my angry father at home. My parents got into a lot of arguments, and my dad was always angry after work and sometimes took it out on me through excessive punishment. Around this time I started cutting heavily, but my mom thought I was simply trying to get attention (even though I hid it) and my dad didn't notice/care. At around the same time I started having severe insomnia.
Basically, I can't go to sleep at a "normal" time. I cannot sleep unless I feel completely exhausted which happens at around 2-3am. If I try to force myself to sleep earlier than this I either lie awake in bed or I go into this half-sleep state where I'm semi concious but not actually sleeping or resting. In the morning I feel like I've been getting punched by thugs all night regardless of whether I managed to sleep that night or not. If I don't set my alarm I usually stay in bed for 12+ hours. This has resulted in me getting nearly expelled from school and fired from a previous job.
I haven't been to any sort of doctor in years, so as part of my push to try and improve my overall situation I went to my GP last week to see if he could give me something to help with my insomnia. I explained my sleep problems to him and he said that I probably have anxiety and depression (I mentioned I was seeing a therapist for depression), so he prescribed me "this new type of medication" with barely a word about side effects, method of action, or anything else. The most information I got was that "it will take a while to kick in". Turns out he gave me a month's supply for Celexa and told me to come back in 3 weeks to check in. After 3 days of taking it the 10mg ramp up dose, I had a recurring episode of this anxiety/depression attack I have every couple of months or so:
Basically, it can be trigger by anything or even nothing at all. I suddenly feel cold, get goosebumps, and have waves of chills over my entire body. My stomach feels like I'm in freefall and I have a hard time focusing my vision. The mental symptoms accompanying this are a "sinking" feeling of very deep despair. Also, there's a very strange visual symptom: the color seems to drain out of everything. Everything I look at looks "faded"and almost black and white with barely a hint of color. With this particular episode, I noticed that my pupils were noticably dilated. These kinds of episodes are usually the start of really heavy depression where I can barely function in terms of daily activities. Slowly over the course of a month or so I crawl out of the hole, but a recurring episode is inevitable and I fall again. This kind of thing has been going on for years.
I called the GP's office and the receptionist (!) told me to stop taking the meds immediately and to call them the next week (this was on a wednesday). I called them up yesterday and spoke to the receptionist again who made an appointment for me in a couple of days for another consult with the doc. I explained to her that I wasn't comfortable taking Celexa for my specific symptoms since the top side effects are insomnia and anxiety. Instead, I requested Ambien for insomnia and Xanax or something similar for my anxiety. She said she will relay it to the doc.
I have a feeling that the GP is going to try and put me on another antidepressant and possibly berate me for asking specifically for the meds that I want. I know benzos are addictive, but at this point I'm desperate to try anything. I have constant worries about things such as finances and my future and an overall feeling of unease (angst best describes how I feel). The smallest problems seem huge and intractable. My girlfriend helps by calming me down and helping me think rationally, but it's still very difficult and I don't feel right having to rely on her to talk me down all the time.
It feels like this doc just pushed Celexa on me because of laziness or maybe incompetence. I felt very uncomfortable about the lack of information regarding this medication and how I only found out about the side effects of anxiety and insomnia AFTER picking up the pamphlet at the pharmacy and doing research online.
Sorry for this giant post. I have a lot of interconnected problems that I need feedback on and I didn't want to make a bunch of separate threads.
Can someone specifically comment on my attacks? I do feel kind of "trapped" when I have them, but it leans more towards feelings of just completely falling apart mentally and a sense of despair/"giving up". Are the panic attacks? Something else maybe?
edit: one thing I must mention about these attacks is that they are very sudden, like a switch is being flipped. I thought that maybe I had BP, but I don't get mania or even anything resembling it. I have two states: "depressed and sort of functional" and "ready to crawl in a hole and die"