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Ana's girl..


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I had a messed up Xmas. I had previously starved away 2 and a half stone (which aint easy on Olanza-blobby-pine). Over Xmas my bulimia came back, I was drinking and I lost total control. I am obsessed with Ana. I have read books, novels, done courses on eating disorders. I want to go back to how I was when I was 17 and starved myself to 92 pounds. I'm even thinking of giving up Zyprexa as when I give it up, I can't eat a bite. I have formulated a rigorous exercise and diet schedule. I'm making myself sick. I gave myself anorexia on purpose and now I'm doing it again. I think if I starve myself the voices will go away and I won't be obsessed by the nurses anymore - only food. I remember when I was very ill watching cookery programmes nonstop and practically masturbating over cookery books. I don't advocate this to anyone but I think I'd rather be obsessed with food and starving than hear my dead father's voice, think the nurses are reading my mind and plotting to kill me and having continuous command voices. Being obsessed with food will be a relief in comparison so I succuumb to Ana.

blackbird x

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Okay, BB, you're starting to worry me a little.

Who is Ana? When do you see your pdoc next? Please don't starve yourself, and if you're living with Mum can you clue her in on what's going on? The drinking thing, as you knowis so not good for you. I hate to think of you doing things that are hurting you. You are such an amazing and wonderful woman. Can you nip this one in the bud and get some help, like right away?

Your friend,

S9

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BB,

What if there was a way for the voices to go away without you having to starve yourself? Would you take it? Because if you see a doctor, that can happen.

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All the doctor recommends is clozapine but if I went on it a) I'd have to go back into psych hospital and I am terrified of psych nurses and b) my mother would probably have a heart attack. It just seems at the moment I am obsessed with anorexia, looking at pro-ana forums, reading books about ana - I feel like it will magic me away to a safer place, a time before my brain went screwy. I won't let my weight get too low but I want to lose about 4 stones.

blackbird x

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If the pdoc knew what was going on and the way you are considering ana he might have another option that you don't know about yet. You need to speak to the pdoc. Ana is not a good or healthy way of solving the problem you have here.

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All the doctor recommends is clozapine but if I went on it a) I'd have to go back into psych hospital and I am terrified of psych nurses and b) my mother would probably have a heart attack. It just seems at the moment I am obsessed with anorexia, looking at pro-ana forums, reading books about ana - I feel like it will magic me away to a safer place, a time before my brain went screwy. I won't let my weight get too low but I want to lose about 4 stones.

blackbird x

Why would you have to be hospitalized to begin clozapine? From what I've seen people usually don't go in the hospital to begin it unless they required rapid titration to a high dose. This happens a lot when someone misses it for more than 2 days and has to retitrate back up. However I don't know that it would be a good idea to start it it unless all other antipsychotics have not worked for you. It is a pain in the butt because of all the required blood work.

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Well, some countries have a general policy, as it turns out, of starting clozapine for patients while either inpatient or in day hospital only. Even in the US, an active eating disorder would probably merit some hospital involvement for the initial start.

It's between blackbird and blackbird's psychiatrist to figure out if it's a good idea or not to start it. The suggestion is not tossed around casually, and I really doubt that blackbird's psychiatrist would have suggested it if she or he thought it was a bad idea, especially given her (bb's) concerns about psych nurses and hospitalization.

blackbird, it sounds like you've been having a really hellish time of things over the past several months. I hope you can find an option that gives you some mental clarity and peace and lets you remain physically healthy and strong. Your brain needs fuel to function, and I worry that starving it of glucose and nutrients to make things 'quieter' is no more helpful, ultimately, than starving it of oxygen.

Maybe something like the clozapine would let you get the clarity you need to figure out how you can handle this in a sustainable way over the long run?

--S.

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Your brain needs fuel to function, and I worry that starving it of glucose and nutrients to make things 'quieter' is no more helpful, ultimately, than starving it of oxygen.

This makes a WHOLE lot of sense, don't you think, BB? At a minimum?

You are so gifted, we want you to be healthy. Or at least as healthy as is possible for you. So check in and let us/me know what's going on, okay?

Sending thoughts and a prayer your way.

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BB, i know you say your mom would go up in flames if you went inpatient for clozapine, but is that in addition to or substituted for some of your other meds?

i'm worried because somewhere else on the board you wrote that your mom wants to wean you off your meds. but, if the clozapine is a substitute for most or all of the others, that may help her see the clozapine in a more positive light. (because i know you're trying to cut down on mom drama)

but still, you eventually have to do what's best for *your* health, not what makes your mom happy.

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My mother is in denial about my illness. She can't bear the 'schizophrenia' or 'schizoaffective tag' as she thinks it is the worse thing in the world and she 'would rather have any physical illness except schizophrenia'. She calls my psychosis 'OCD' and post-traumatic stress disorder when the fact is I'm as schizo as schizo can be. She blames me for going on to antipsychotics. She said 'You did two degrees, lived alone, worked a full time job without antipsychotics then you took the worst one of all - olanzapine'. I used to look after a schizophrenic woman who took olanzapine and had severe TD and eventually threw herself off a train. My mother thinks if I have the dreaded S word this is the way I will go. She refuses to believe I have psychosis. She accepts that I need to be on an antidepressant but wants me to go down to 20mgs and is weaning me off it with liquid Prozac. She stopped my topamax because I went on a binge and threw up and she found out and she said 'These aren't working'. She thinks olanzapine is the worst drug in the world and that I'm not sick and can manage without it (I was unmedicated for 6 years). So she is lowering the dose by 2.5mg every 6 weeks. She won't give my my haloperidol for similar reasons. Meanwhile I get progressively more nuts, hide it from her and starve myself more.

She had a very difficult childhood. When she was young her mother was in and out of psychiatric hospitals. The doctors told my mother there was nothing wrong with her and she was faking. Eventually my grandmother had legitimate reeason to go to a psych ward - Dalmane withdrawal when they banned it here - she went nuts. My mother says she has had enough psychiatry in her life. She had a major nervous breakdown in the 1980s and survived it without drugs or psychiatrists and kept going 'for my children'. She says to me 'Your grandmother was a burden on me for 50 years and then she dies and now I've got you - you're my burden now'. I don't blame her afterall it has been a litany of things from I was 15 - Anorexia, bulimia, drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, self harm, overdosing, being psychotic. The last time I was in hospital and took the overdose of dipenhydramine and phoned her she thought that I had flipped my lid altogether and was never going to come back to normality. She says I ruined 2008 for her and now she has to take lexapro after she herself got clinically depressed and I had to fucking beg her to take it.

So she's in denial with me, she's fed up with me always 'doing something stupid' and she believes olanzapine is inherently evil. I have told the psychiatrist this and he wants to speak to her but she won't go. He says 'Move out'. But I have an elderly dog I love and I do really love my mother and need her help. If I didn't live in the house with her I'd probably be doing stupid borderline things like drinking and overdosing and self injury. Mum keeps me on my toes. I like to behave as it pleases her. And she would be so lonely if I left. Anyway, I am too sick to work a fulltime job and she financially supports me in a lot of ways (though I do give her $400 a month). She means well and I can't leave her - she'd be too lonely and have nothing to do (caring for me is her life and I am her favourite daughter).

So meanwhile my head is telling me all sorts of crazy things and I starve myself so I won't have to think about them - I won't think my dead father is communicating with me, that the nurses are performing black magic rituals on me and control my body parts and know everything I do, I won't hear the command voices that order me to do things a certain way or they'll kill my dog - I'll just think about food and how hungry I am and it will be a relief. I'm not planning on starving myself so I have to go back to the hospital. I'm 11 and a half stone. I lost 2 and a half stone by strict dieting last year. I plan to weigh 8 and a half maybe 9 stone. Just enough to keep my mind busy with food and hunger and not have these awful thoughts.

blackbird x

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The thing is Blackbird, I don't think that you can just set a limit and stop there, saying that once you get to nine stone you'll stop. Mental illness isn't logical or rational, it doesn't work that way. Anorexia doesn't have limits you can set on it, it just consumes you totally until you waste away.

You say that your mother feels you are a burden and that your mental ill health stresses her out, how bad will it be when you start to become anorexic? Substituting one bad coping mechanism for another is not going to help you or her. What you need is the right medication, and as an adult, you are going to have to take steps to protect yourself and make sure you get it. Living with your mother is not your only option, I am sure that social services would have something to say about your mother restricting your meds against you best interest and will. I am sure they could provide housing for you if you needed it.

Ultimately, if your mother wants you to be well, she is going to have to let you take medication to get there. You need to focusing your energies on sorting that side of things out, not getting into another mental illness as a distraction.

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BB,

God knows, I KNOW what it's like to live under the grip of a strong-willed, well meaning Irish mother. I really do. Your story breaks my heart. I know there are no easy answers. Is there any way at all you can implore Mum that you HAVE to have your psych meds or you will deteriorate to a point that is life threatening? Whether you are living in or outside her home, BB, your thinking is really messed up on many levels.

Obviously the first step is how can you convince her she has to go with you to see your psychiatrist?

Substituting anorexia for psychosis is just not a workable plan--not at all.

Hopefully Silver will have some ideas for you. Meanwhile, please eat. Please.

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Blackbird, you are truly caught between a rock and a hard place. i will truly pray for you that you find a better solution. i'm sorry, i don't have any constructive advice to offer right now. i'm just a bit overwhelmed. i will support you as much as i can no matter what, though, even if i don't agree with your choices. that's all i can do at this moment.

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This is my first post to one of these boards. I run my own blog which is basically focused on finding alternatives to all the medications I am on. Your story was brought to my attention to point out that not everyone has the luxury of going med free. Reading this post reminds me of why I have been on meds for over 14 years now.

I was always 'depressed' and anxious as a child and in my teens went into anorectic behaviour, became alcohol in my 20s, did a lot of cocaine. was suicidal in my teens, early 20s, began having mini psyotic breaks after i quit alcohol in my mid 30s and a full blown episode which resulted in my diagnosis as MDD, borderline, psychotic depression.

Neither of my parents believe in mental illness. As I read your diary, I remembered one of my biggest fears when I regained my sanity through medication... that if my parents found out they would take custody of me (then married with a young child) and institutionalize me to get me off the meds!!!

Today, I went to pick up my refill of effexor xr and ativan and asked for a printout of my prescription expenses for 08 for tax purposes. And I realized that I have to submit this information to our family's acountant in order to qualify for the $16,500 needed to claim my medical costs as deductions. These accountants will see the meds I am on, will see that i see a psychiatrist regularly, will see my diagnosis. AND this means that my father who gets to see all these final filings will see this information. I AM 57! My father is 83. This is insane.

So I write all this to tell you how well I relate to what a difficult situation you are in. Yes, there is also a history of mental illness in my family but these were the 'weak, failures' and scoffed at.

So i still feel intense guilt over my diagnosis. I have worked as a journalist throughout my life, but have not been able to find work for 2 years now. The only income I have is funds from real estate my family owns jointly, thus the family accountant does the returns.

I wish you so much luck. I wish that your mother will open her eyes and become educated about the problems you face. And I am so grateful for reading this post. It reminded me of what lurks beneath my medications and about how careful I really have to be about protecting my ability to function.

My mother is in denial about my illness. She can't bear the 'schizophrenia' or 'schizoaffective tag' as she thinks it is the worse thing in the world and she 'would rather have any physical illness except schizophrenia'. She calls my psychosis 'OCD' and post-traumatic stress disorder when the fact is I'm as schizo as schizo can be. She blames me for going on to antipsychotics. She said 'You did two degrees, lived alone, worked a full time job without antipsychotics then you took the worst one of all - olanzapine'. I used to look after a schizophrenic woman who took olanzapine and had severe TD and eventually threw herself off a train. My mother thinks if I have the dreaded S word this is the way I will go. She refuses to believe I have psychosis. She accepts that I need to be on an antidepressant but wants me to go down to 20mgs and is weaning me off it with liquid Prozac. She stopped my topamax because I went on a binge and threw up and she found out and she said 'These aren't working'. She thinks olanzapine is the worst drug in the world and that I'm not sick and can manage without it (I was unmedicated for 6 years). So she is lowering the dose by 2.5mg every 6 weeks. She won't give my my haloperidol for similar reasons. Meanwhile I get progressively more nuts, hide it from her and starve myself more.

She had a very difficult childhood. When she was young her mother was in and out of psychiatric hospitals. The doctors told my mother there was nothing wrong with her and she was faking. Eventually my grandmother had legitimate reeason to go to a psych ward - Dalmane withdrawal when they banned it here - she went nuts. My mother says she has had enough psychiatry in her life. She had a major nervous breakdown in the 1980s and survived it without drugs or psychiatrists and kept going 'for my children'. She says to me 'Your grandmother was a burden on me for 50 years and then she dies and now I've got you - you're my burden now'. I don't blame her afterall it has been a litany of things from I was 15 - Anorexia, bulimia, drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, self harm, overdosing, being psychotic. The last time I was in hospital and took the overdose of dipenhydramine and phoned her she thought that I had flipped my lid altogether and was never going to come back to normality. She says I ruined 2008 for her and now she has to take lexapro after she herself got clinically depressed and I had to fucking beg her to take it.

So she's in denial with me, she's fed up with me always 'doing something stupid' and she believes olanzapine is inherently evil. I have told the psychiatrist this and he wants to speak to her but she won't go. He says 'Move out'. But I have an elderly dog I love and I do really love my mother and need her help. If I didn't live in the house with her I'd probably be doing stupid borderline things like drinking and overdosing and self injury. Mum keeps me on my toes. I like to behave as it pleases her. And she would be so lonely if I left. Anyway, I am too sick to work a fulltime job and she financially supports me in a lot of ways (though I do give her $400 a month). She means well and I can't leave her - she'd be too lonely and have nothing to do (caring for me is her life and I am her favourite daughter).

So meanwhile my head is telling me all sorts of crazy things and I starve myself so I won't have to think about them - I won't think my dead father is communicating with me, that the nurses are performing black magic rituals on me and control my body parts and know everything I do, I won't hear the command voices that order me to do things a certain way or they'll kill my dog - I'll just think about food and how hungry I am and it will be a relief. I'm not planning on starving myself so I have to go back to the hospital. I'm 11 and a half stone. I lost 2 and a half stone by strict dieting last year. I plan to weigh 8 and a half maybe 9 stone. Just enough to keep my mind busy with food and hunger and not have these awful thoughts.

blackbird x

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It's up to you and your psychiatrist.

I guess I just worry that when your mom interferes and messes around with your meds, she interferes with your decision-making process and your ability to make rational choices.

So it seems like an option that lets you get treated to the point of clarity and no voices / command hallucinations - at which time you may still elect to come to the same decisions anyway and return to your current strategy and situation - would be worth exploring. You always have the option of changing treatments.

You're in a tough spot, as S9 and RD have said. As an idealist, I'd love for you to be making choices for the health and welfare of blackbird, because you're not actually responsible, as it turns out, for your mom's mental state. You have enough work tending to your own. I realize things don't seem that clearcut, though.

Dunno. Can't read your post without getting quite upset about the home situation you describe, which I really, really hope you've described to your psychiatrist. But that's not the central topic here. So the above's all I have about the original topic.

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I'm so angry at my mother but at the same time I want to please her and not upset her. She wants me to have a baby and knows that topamax is damaging to unborn fetuses. She calls getting me off meds as the 'blackbird baby plan'. She is desperate for grandchildren and because I don't have children I feel like Im a big disappointment still living with her in a crappy part time job with no man at age 30. She took away my topamax and my bingeing and purging has gone back to full-blown chaotic bulimia proportions. I just ate a box of shortbread and couldn't regurgitate it. My throat is bleeding from pushing my fingers down it to touch my gag reflex. I drank a glass of salt water and still couldn't dislodge the shortbread. If I was on topamax this wouldnt have happened but I cant tell her about it or she'll go mad. I want to please her so much and make up for the disappointment I have been to her. She expected me to be married with 2 or 3 kids by now.

blackbird x

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