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Everything posted by CirclesOfConfusion

  1. I've been told the bare minimum is 6-8 weeks of just taking the med in the first place, but might still feel transition-y and still fluctuating if at that point the dose is still in the process of being increased/adjusted. It seems like enough time to at least find out if it is worth continuing to spend time and effort refining stuff like dose quantity, dosing schedule, version of the med (some have several formats like instant release, extended release, liquid, etc.) or if it has just become an obvious dud and maybe it is time to move on to something else. In my experience, getting to 6-8 solid weeks at the actual target dose and dosing schedule is really the better time for making decisions with more informed insight into what the longer term experience might be like with that particular med. Understanding that side effects often subside once the adjustment period is over is one thing that helped me be patient with months of dizziness and brain zaps. Really, the most constructive thing to do is just observe yourself as fairly and objectively as possible and then take those observations to pdoc. For me, brain zaps are certainly an unpleasantly disruptive side effect but not a start-up period deal-breaker. I consulted with my pdoc to get her opinion on things like whether the zaps were damaging in any way and she said they were not, as far as she knows thus far. So I just continued to put up with them as we made various adjustments to see if we could find me a sweet spot where the dose was helpful but produced less side effects. Also keep in mind that at any given moment there are so many internal and external variables at play besides the meds that can affect how we feel and act. Whenever I talk with my pdoc about my observations of the effects of my meds, I also let her know if there are any new/changed situational variables that may have a particularly complicating effect on how much we attribute how I feel to the med or to other things happening in my life or to my body. There have been times when we put off making decisions about med changes until after a major work deadline stressor or a lingering physical illness (like bronchitis, etc.) have passed.
  2. I've always been told by both docs and peers to give new meds at least 6-8 weeks to settle into a "steady state" blood/brain concentration before we can really evaluate what it is or is not doing. The exception being obvious allergic reactions or other unquestionably severe problems. 2 weeks is not nearly enough time for your body chemistry to have adjusted to the presence of a new medication and allow any sustained benefits or side effects to clearly identify themselves. If you want sustained benefits you also have to be patient with sustained trial periods. A lot of meds are known to commonly produce temporary start-up side effects that can subside or even completely go away when given enough time to figure out and then settle into the most ideal dose for you as an individual. If you don't give it a chance to get past that uncertain start-up period then you'll never really know enough about it's effects on you as an individual to make a fully informed decision about that med. For example, there is one med that gave me a couple hours each day of brain zaps; which meant hours of lightheadedness and the sensation of electrical jolts to the head several times a minute. It took a few months before that subsided to a less distracting, less alarming, and more easily tolerable level. The brain zaps finally went away when an unrelated decision to change the dosage of a different medication happened several months later. Eliminating brain zaps was an unexpected benefit of that change. Now I have zero detectable side effects from the med that caused the daily brain zaps. But it took over a year of uncertain fiddling and patience and some luck before that happened. We're all different. We all experience each med differently from each other. Unfortunately the reality we live in is that we are each our own personal beta-test guinea pig and apparently that will probably not be changing anytime soon. The only way a med is guaranteed NOT to work is to never follow through with your doc's recommended trial period. But nobody can guarantee what will work well for you. You never know what will or will not work specifically for you until you give it an honest, good-faith try.
  3. Similarly, I was also thinking that it would be a good idea to tell her basically what you wrote in the original post ^^^ Even if she thinks that the behavioral activation is a good overall approach for you, maybe she'll have some useful ideas for temporarily adjusting therapy goals and methods to better suit your current needs and mood state. Then later on you can just let her know when you're feeling ready to switch back to the original game plan.
  4. I, too, am neck deep in the academic world. So I just wanted to point out how so much of the culture of hard-core academia plays into entrenching invalidating messages from others and our worst beliefs about ourselves. Of course there are so many other complicated contributors to feeling like hell and feeling guilty about it. But I just wanted to validate the fact that it seems you're in a tough life situation that is a major struggle for virtually everyone who wades into it. So no matter what, there are factors at play that are certainly not your fault. That's not to say that things are hopeless or impossible, but that you didn't create those problems and are not at fault for the fact that they suck.
  5. I haven't encountered that exact scenario, but something similar. When I first started with my current therapist I came across an archived video of his 30 minute locally televised interview regarding an association he's involved with and the kind of policy and outreach work they do. When I let him know that I had seen the video and he saw my affirmative response to it, he smiled and relaxed a bit. He said that that just took care of some basic personal and professional disclosure from his end and my response to the video gave him an idea on where I stand on those issues. So in our case it turned out to be helpful indirect communication of some useful things that may otherwise have taken a while to come around to actually asking/telling about.
  6. A few months ago I had tendinitis in my shoulder and bicep. I saw my GP and physical therapist who put me on first RICE and ibuprofen, then some light physical therapy after that initial week of rest and care. Hopefully doing the RICE care you've already started will be a good head start on whatever the doc might recommend next?
  7. Holy shit, SYS! First of all, I'm so glad that you got out of that toxic situation by whatever means necessary. It is inspiring to hear that your recovery process has led you to be able to take charge of that situation in your life..... and strengthen your resolve to be in charge of your life in general. Thank you for sharing such a personal story for the benefit of everyone struggling with self-worth issues.
  8. I had brain zaps and dizziness after every buspar dose (10mg/3xday) for several months. They became somewhat less frequent after about 6-8 months. They only finally stopped recently after a very small dose of an SSRI was added (10mg/day fluoxetine/prozac, this time around). I'm not exactly sure how that works...? Back when I discontinued lexapro I had horrible brain zaps and vertigo that kept me flat in bed or the couch for several weeks. So with the history I've accumulated so far, at least my current pdoc knows to go light and slow on any changes involving serotonin. Have you had your side effects before with any other meds or med combos? Just wondering if maybe it's possible to identify any sort of pattern or commonalities within your med history that can help guide you and your pdoc in deciding what to do next.
  9. ​Argh, I can't use the new CB format on most of the device platforms I own. For me, in Safari everything is read-only. None of the reply/entry boxes function at all. Many of the drop-down menus don't open either. I also can't use CB on my phone anymore either. I can't update my browser on both devices without a wholesale change to a new OS (I've maxed out the updates available on my current OS and I've researched options as much as I can), which would wipe out all my laptop's software that I need for work like Adobe CS and MS Office, which of course my job doesn't pay for. So it would personally cost me $1000+ to buy new software that works with a newer OS. The only way I could figure out how to post at all here was to switch to Firefox. Which I don't like using for a bunch of functional reasons, including the way it seems to be rougher on my processor. My computer overheats much faster and more often when I use Firefox compared to Safari. I completely understand why CB needed to be updated and appreciate the complex decision making necessary to balance so many moving parts and so many peoples' diverse needs and preferences. But I just wanted to put it out there that some user difficulties are not just idle 'bitching'. I cannot afford to buy new devices or software plus there are work-related reasons why I cannot risk OS updates that affect the usability of old software that I need to do my job. My job doesn't provide me a work-use computer and I don't make enough money to afford to keep up with every single new technology release. Really, thank you VE for everything you've done for so many years to keep things going here. I just needed to express some user difficulties that I'm having that I have not seen anyone else post about yet. If the update is working great for most other people, then updating is definitely the right thing to do. Personally, though, I'm struggling.
  10. I'm barely 10 years older than you. Most of my career has focused on working with teens and young adults so I get to know new groups of dozens of 15-25 year olds every year. Like Dianthus also mentioned from her experience, in my own work experience encountering younger people in 3+ year relationships has not been rare at all. I don't intend for that information to make you feel bad about whatever prompted you to ask about peoples' relationship durations. (You didn't explain any purpose for the poll. Some context helps people to understand how their responses will be used by the poll/thread creator.) I'm just putting out there an alternate POV from your stated statistical assumptions. Just for the record, I'm in a relationship that just made 12 years this month.
  11. Oh man, I wish the kids I was supervising in a summer boarding program (a few years ago) were required to bring their meds in that format! I was one of the two supervisors responsible for holding and supervising access to their prescription pill bottles. About half of any given multi-week group had something or another, not all were psych meds though. (allergies, juvenile arthritis, etc.) It would have been so much easier, and less chance for human errors by both them and us, with the blister pack format. I totally agree that it would be much easier to double check that each of them got the right amount of the right thing.
  12. Before this thread, I'd never heard of any pharmacy blister packing meds for customers. I'm in the US and have used pharmacies in different states in very different parts of the country. Like JT's experience, I've also regularly had to wait 20-60 minutes just for 30 pills to be counted into a bottle. I've also experienced so many errors in filling my orders that the idea of asking for anything that adds complexity is the last thing that would occur to me.
  13. Emphatic YES. Definitely. Very similar to everything you said. Nearly identical to this part:
  14. Grrrr. Apparently TurboTax doesn't think that April 15, US federal tax filing deadline day, lasts until midnight in all US time zones??? And, yes, I live within an actual US state. Not a foreign country, not a US territory, one of the actual 50 states. The TurboTax software forced me to input that my return was filed on April 16 (late!) even though the sun was barely setting here... in other words, nowhere near the start of April 16 at some locations within the US. WTF? If I get slapped with a late fee I will be supremely pissed off. I can't possibly be the only one who got that rude surprise in the various locations affected by their poorly calibrated electronic timestamp.
  15. Larkspur, I also just recently started actively dealing with something similar to what you describe. Kate's suggestion to "break the ice" or do a trial run at difficult conversation topics with the other doc first is what I've ended up doing too. I've found that approach to be helpful so far. It's a new coping option for me because I've never before had separate but simultaneous pdoc and tdoc help. It had mostly been either a solo do-it-all p/tdoc arrangement or only one or the other type available for whatever insurance/logistical/financial reasons. In my case, my tdoc was actually the first one to bring it up. He broached the subject to me by saying that over time he has sensed a significant amount of self-censoring, people-pleasing, and abandonment-avoidance in my interactions with him. After several sessions of continuing to work through some of that with him, I finally managed to start a conversation about the same thing with my pdoc just yesterday. I last saw her just after tdoc called me on that behavior but was nowhere near ready to talk about it until yesterday's appointment. I was totally freaking out about it, but knew I'd feel even worse afterward if I didn't just walk in and take the plunge. Like you, I actually have a more difficult time with the peer yearning and compulsion to make a particular kind of favorable impression on her (pdoc) than with him (tdoc). It is definitely not romantic transference with either of them, very clearly much more similar to what you described as "yearning to be seen as a peer". And I'm personally thankful that you did post about it and phrase it that way. I've been struggling to come up with accurate language for describing this distressing thing that I had NEVER talked about before. So, thank you. And sincere good wishes for your own tdoc conversation on Thursday.
  16. The only certainty in life is uncertainty. (And death. And taxes. But those are separate conversations...) If you want to wait around for guaranteed sure things then you will be waiting for a long long time. Do you really want life to pass you by while you passively wait? Or do you want to become a stronger, happier person? That does invariably require of all people (not just you) to be courageous and try doing seemingly scary and difficult things. You already were courageous and took big risks of being hurt and offended when you posed your many recent questions to this internet forum full of anonymous strangers. How is this any different than taking a chance that the next therapist or doctor you encounter will be a better fit than ones you had in the past? Most doctors and therapists are vastly more trained and experienced in helping people with mental illness problems than most of us here. But they do not, and SHOULD NOT, offer guarantees of specific outcomes to patients. Also, they are only responsible for HALF of any treatment. You and your actions are the other half. If you reject everything, essentially guaranteeing that your half of the treatment effort will fail, then why should any clinician feel obliged to go out of their way taking their own risks to try and help you? Therapists and doctors are not cold, heartless, mind-reading, omnipotent robot monsters out to get you. They are human beings, often overworked and stressed out human beings, with vulnerabilities and past hurts and fears of their own. And they can't even begin to help you unless you choose to open the door enough for them to see inside and try to figure out what you need and want. If you reach out and try, of course there is the possibility of disappointment. But there is also the possibility of success. Not trying at all pretty much guarantees disappointment and staying stuck where you are now. Are you happy where you are now? No? Then why be so stubborn about trying something else? You are entitled to your opinions about anything I say. But I will not argue with you. If you argue with what I have offered then I will not offer anything more.
  17. I don't know where you are, but universities and community colleges here have non-credit non-graded courses offered through "outreach" and "continuing ed" programs. Try searching under categories with names like that, similar to the header "adult education" that crtclms also suggested. Some are very low cost and low commitment, maybe $60-200 for 1-2 week workshops, depending on time and resources utilized. Some ore on a more sustained basis, for 6-10 weeks. Where I live the offerings run the gamut from technical skills development-oriented (such as various levels of photoshop and video editing workshops/tutorials) to intellectual enrichment-oriented (drawing, poetry, etc.) to certification-oriented courses like motorcycle licensure and CPR training. Would something like that help to meet your needs without undue commitment or pressure?
  18. Definitely can relate. I see in your sig that you say you're getting referred for therapy. Has that happened yet? Therapy hasn't yet put much of a dent in how often those thoughts arise for me. But frequent therapy has already been helpful for better identifying and making some sense of the various things that seem to underlie and provoke such reactions. It is also helpful for support with the difficult trial and error process of figuring out which particular means of awareness and regulated responses work for me.
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSKhIyQ5PpY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9ecR5b8yc4
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRyolzoi13Q&mode=related&search= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VLS-P9m0BM
  21. ^^This is definitely helpful. I've done this too. Saves a lot of time and can be stashed in odd spaces within the transport vehicle.
  22. True. The person below me is pretty good about bringing reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. (or any shop for that matter!)
  23. First of all, you don't "get" or "have" a woman. We aren't objects to be acquired and owned. Second, how do you know what all women are looking for in a person they'd like to have a relationship with? It isn't some fixed set of income numbers, only certain kinds of jobs or looks, or anything like that. If someone's top criteria for a relationship with you is how much money you make then it could be likely that THEY not worth your love and attention. It goes both ways. Third, relationships develop organically. Not when you want them to or just because you want them to. There are two people's needs, desires, and feelings involved. If you are understanding, compassionate, and kind to other people then they are more likely to be that way to you too. But nobody ever really knows in advance who, when, and where your understanding, compassion, and kindness will connect with a special someone who feels the same way toward you. As Water said: chemistry. It is a mysterious thing. Nobody can just go out and "get" a relationship. But everyone can develop their lives in ways that can better encourage the potential for good relationships to happen. Work on being the best person you can be. Take care of yourself so you have the capacity to care for others. Go out and participate in things where you might meet new people with similar interests, beliefs, or whatever you feel is important enough to spend time with. Butterflykisses suggested volunteering. Definitely a good way to meet new people in a socially supportive context. Being ready for a relationship isn't about simply wanting one. It is more about feeling that you have the capacity to sustain a relationship with another person over time.
  24. Hacking up an unwieldly couch can be satisfying We did it once, mostly using a sawzall for the frame, utility knives for the upholstered parts, and a small bolt cutter for the springy metal parts. If you can borrow/acquire some milk crates those are awesome for moving books. Not too big, very sturdy, some have handles on all 4 sides, and they stack well. I also reduce the overall number of boxes/containers needed for moving by immediately emptying as many as possible when they get to the new place and taking back the empties on the return trip to the old place. Most things don't get totally put away at that time since that would take too long. But some sort of reasonably categorized piles of things seemed to be ok. If other people are going to be helping I find it can help to pre-label things with what room different things go to and what is fragile and therefore shouldn't have other boxes piled on top of it. Reduces stress for everyone. Reduces potential for confusion, misunderstanding/miscommunication, and missing/broken things..... all anxiety triggers for me, anyway. That blue low-tack painter's tape is awesome for that. Kind of the post-it note of the masking tape family
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