When medicine works it can be a great blessing. But when it doesn’t, it is frustrating. I had been doing really well on Abilify, but it really messed with my blood sugar levels and after many years on it, I became diabetic. At 30 mg., it took some time to titrate me off of it slowly. Then, I was prescribed Rexulti. Initially, I felt good on it. But, then midway through the first month on it, I began laying in bed a lot because my head felt so heavy. With this came irritability. By the end of the month I had become suicidal and had started researching how to kill myself with different medications. I even impulsively downed 600 mg. of Trazadone one night. Alarmed, I made an appointment with my psychiatrist who recommended I go to a mental hospital till the Rexulti left my system. The day before I went in, she prescribed me Latuda. Each day in the hospital improved my mood and I stopped feeling suicidal. The day after I was discharged though I began to have severe anxiety attacks which lasted all day. I was prescribed Vestaril three times a day. Thankfully, it relieved my anxiety. But, I then became depressed and listless. I realized that the Latuda wasn’t doing anything to stabilize me. Back I went to the psychiatrist and begged to be put on Abilify temporarily for the next month since I had a trip planned to Chicago later in September to attend a friend’s memorial and had agreed to watch another friend’s animals while she went on vacation. I needed to be functioning for all this and knew from past experience that Abilify was great at stabilizing my moods. I am happy to report that it is working and I feel a great improvement in my spirit and no longer lie endlessly in bed but, instead getting a great many things done and making up for so many weeks of lost time. Another thing I realized was that I had been having more bad days and feeling depressed as my dosage of Abilify was being lowered over many months. Now I am on 10mg. of Abilify. But what do I do in October? I can’t stay on Abilify because it makes me diabetic. What drug will I be put on next? Does anyone have any ideas or have had good results with any other mood stabilizers or antipsychotics? I’d really appreciate some feedback.
I have been trying for the past couple of days to try to develop a more positive attitude in the mornings. I still think this is worth the effort and may be helpful to some degree. But, after reading this quote today (from Grace to Survive), I realize that at the same time I must not condemn myself for feeling badly. This is what I was doing. Seeing it as another shortcoming in myself. Seeing it as a sign of weakness. I am not hard on other people; I need to stop being so hard on myself. Compassion is not pity. It is empathy with understanding I think. So, tomorrow morning I will not berate myself. Instead, I will remember that the pain is not my fault and accept it, yet gently invite myself to think upon the good and even wonderful things that life has to offer.
It is hard to find people in this world who will try to understand just what PTSD is, let alone how it impacts your life. Even people who love you are apt to know more about the president’s dog than PTSD. Even if they read up on it, they may not understand it in an empathetic way since it is not something they experience. There are days that I feel more understood by the cat than a dear friend. (Of course, this is anthropomorphism — but heh, whatever gets me through the day… 😉 ) But, here at WordPress, I can find others who walk my path — who “get it” — because they are walking it too. It may not be PTSD, but instead depression, anxiety, OCD, DID, bi-polar disorder, or any number of mental and emotional health challenges. But, we can understand each other because we have shared experiences. Some days, we write a post and feel heard when we see a “like” on it. We press “like” when we find a post we can relate to. Sometimes we even comment on each others blogs and share a thought or two. We see others on the path sharing our journey. The loneliness abates. Other people’s ignorance is easier to bear. There are others who understand and whom we understand and this is a very good thing.