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New to the forum, but sufficiently crazy

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Hey everybody,

I just thought I'd post an introduction with a little info about myself & why I decided to join the forum. Anyways, I'm an 18-24 y/o male who has struggled with mental health issues since I was about 12. At first, I primarily had anxiety issues, but I quickly developed a fairly severe case of depression at the age of about 13, as well.

I started seeing psychologists when I was 10 years old, and eventually started seeing a Psychiatrist right after turning 14 because talk therapy wasn't helping me at all. I was put on 100mg of zoloft after a standard titration, and at first it seemed to help. However, my anxiety was still pronounced and difficult to deal with, especially during the first couple years of high school.

In the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school, I fell back into my depression worse than ever, and was riddled with anxiety over the smallest events / problems that came up. My appetite became essentially nonexistent, and I pretty much just stopped eating. To make a long story short, I went from weighing 125 pounds at 5 ft 11" during May to 75 pounds by November.

During the period, I knew I was losing significant amounts of weight, but didn't feel inclined to do anything about it. Eating was difficult - not just psychologically, but also physically due to the lack of an appetite. I also have severe IBS which made eating just always seem like a risk (IE - "If I eat this sandwich my stomach is gonna kill me and I'm either gonna be constipated or sh*&ting piss for the next 12 hours.

The depression was so severe that in many ways, I felt like death was inevitable and almost comforting. During October, when I was at my worst / lowest weight, I realized that I could very well die from anorexia. That realization wasn't a scary one, seeing as at that weight, your brain essentially stops working as it should. I was so numbed to the outside world that opinions of others meant nothing to me at all, and would kind of "float" around feeling as if I was ghost.

Up until the end of October, I didn't experience any serious physical side effects due to my weight loss, but that all changed very quickly. Within about 10 days, I went from being able to run up the stairs 2 at a time to having to physically lift my legs with one hand from stair to stair while my other hand fraily held onto the banister to prevent falling. Essentially, my body started to eat through my muscle, primarily in my thighs.

After a few days of this, horrific scenario, my parents admitted me to a state-run Psychiatric hospital, where I spent 33 days. I was placed in the adolescent eating disorder unit, where I did meet some fascinating individuals, but also was subjected to the horrors of being at an inpatient Psych hospital. From the day I was admitted, I knew my options were to either be fully compliant and get out quickly, or put up a fight just to get an NG-tube stuck through my nose and esophogos to fill my stomach with Ensure 24/7.

It wasn't at all difficult for me to start eating again, which was kind of bizarre and shocking to everybody on staff, and I actually would BEG for them to give me more food during rounds every day. The problem was, because I had been eating so little beforehand, I developed refeeding syndrome almost immediately, and had to be monitored very closely for about 10 days. Refeeding syndrome is something that occurs after the body has adapted to very low daily intake of nutrition, and essentially causes your body to process larger amounts of food as poison. In turn, I had to keep my legs elevated above my chest at all times to prevent a heart attack. I can remember the Edema in my feet causing them to swell to about 2 times their normal size, which was kind of funny for me to see while in that fucked-up state of mind. My vitals were surprisingly stable for somebody in my condition, but my blood levels were pretty out of whack during that time, so I was under CONSTANT supervision to make sure I didn't die.

Anyways, I demanded as much food as possible, used the most caloric optionable condiments for anything I could (butter on EVERYTHING!), and would finish every single edible scrap served to me - regardless of how disgusting it tasted.

During my time there, I was started on lorazepam as a PRN med, but due to my anxiety being so severe, they decided to make it a standing 3x per day medication. Problem was, I F-ing HATE short acting benzos, so I demanded them to switch it to clonazepam asap. The klonopin helped greatly, mostly because SSRI's are not effective without a certain amount of body fat, so it was pretty much my only option in terms of anti-anxiety meds.

I was thankfully able to avoid atypical antipsychotics, which I personally have problems with (I think they're SUPER overprescribed, especially in psychiatric hospitals for the sake of sedation,) since I still could function intellectually at a level that shocked all of the doctors on board.

After 33 days of living in what felt like a more strict version of "Girl, Interrupted," I was released. I had gained 55 pounds within 33 days, and had no feelings of guilt, self loathing, or remorse due to the weight gain.

Life since getting out of the hospital has been difficult, and I've tried dozens of medications to try to deal with my diagnoses. Currently, the diagnoses that've stuck through the years are social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, treatment resistant major depression disorder, chronic insomnia, Psoriasis & Psoriatic arthritis, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder. I've also recently had some problems with alcohol, but have been diagnosed or described by doctors as more of a "problem drinker" than a typical "alcoholic." Diagnoses that haven't stuck / have been dealt with have included anorexia nervosa, bipolar disorder (the new ADHD, it seems), borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and being a self-harmer [Due to occassionally high-risk behaviors, but I've never cut myself, burned myself, injured myself, or risked my life deliberately beyond the eating disorder episode.]

Currently, the meds I'm on include.....

-150mg Zoloft (Sertraline) daily

-5mg Valium (Diazepam) 3-4x daily

-30mg Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) daily

-10mg Ambien (Zolpidem Tartrate) nightly

-250mg Antabuse (Disulfiram) every other day

-50-100mg Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) nightly PRN for sedation

-45mg Stelara (Ustekinumab) Injection every 8-12 weeks for Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis

Past medications I've tried / been on.....

-300mg Welbutrin XL (Bupropion XL) daily

-.5mg Ativan (Lorazepam) 3-4x daily

-.5mg Xanax (Alprazolam) 3x daily

-.5mg Klonopin (Clonazepam) 4x daily

-10mg Sonata (Zaleplon) nightly

-100mg Trazodone nightly

I'm pretty sure there are other meds I've been prescribed in the past, but it's hard to remember all of them at the moment. I'm very happy with my current medication regiment, but have found that the Antabuse (Disulfiram) makes me feel a bit numb / irritable, and seems to make the benzos less effective. I've only been on it for about a week, but feel that it definitely is reacting in some strange way with my other meds.

Anyways, sorry for the super long introduction, I just wanted to let you guys know a bit about me so you have some background if you see me posting on the forum.

Thanks & be well!!

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Welcome aboard! Your teen years seem pretty much like a carbon copy of my own. I became sick at the same age as you and also suffered a major relapse during my junior year in high school. However, I developed the opposite eating disorder -- I ate too much. I wonder why it is that so many begin to get sick around 12 years of age? Onset of puberty, perhaps?

Anyway, I'm glad you found us. I think you'll find plenty of support here, and I look forward to your posts.

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