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 looked at the therapist from the deep woods where I remained hidden. Friend or foe? Only time would show. I was wild since I had learned from experience to distrust man. He remained silent as I considered my next move. Should I show myself or continue to watch him from the shadows? He looked very relaxed as he sat in his chair. His long legs were crossed at the ankles and he looked like we had all the time in the world. He was looking at the carpet while he waited. I studied him and decided that I liked his face, his demeanor too. He looked wise and patient. And, not one given to sudden movements. I slowly came out from behind a tree and stood before him. He raised his eyes slowly till they met mine and he smiled a small gentle smile. I stopped breathing for several moments and then had to look away. I felt too revealed when our eyes met. A bit dizzy, I sat down upon the ground. I tried, but I couldn’t bring myself to make eye contact again so I just looked at his shoed feet. I felt something stir inside me. A feeling, a new feeling. It had no name. Or none that came readily to my mind. I studied the feeling. I decided that it felt good. And then, a word entered my mind. “Safe”. Yes, that was it. I felt safe. I reached out to touch the ground but instead felt carpet.
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.
The rain has been persistent all day. It’s been dreary inside and out this morning, but I have finished all the chores and it is only one o’ clock. I turn on the lamp by my overstuffed reading chair now. It casts light on the window panes behind it. The rain is trickling down them. A whole afternoon to myself. Free to do anything I want. I start by putting a record of Debussy’s music on the stereo. The Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun fills the room that is lined with books. Then, to the fireplace. Kneeling down on the hearth, I place a log and some kindling inside. After opening the damper, I light the kindling and watch the bright flames flicker. My cheeks redden and warm from the heat. The room has transformed from dreary to cozy. The light from the fire glows in the cut glass of the decanters on an old table. “What a good idea.” I think and pour myself a sherry. Grabbing my latest mystery novel, I sink into the chair and sip the sweet wine. Dinah, my tortoise shell cat, pads into the room and throws herself down on the braided rug in front of the fireplace. I sit, well content, and listen to the music. After the last piece on the album has played, the silence and the sounds of the rain are all I want. And, I have taken the precaution of taking the phone off the hook. Neither the cat, nor I, will be disturbed on this fine, rainy afternoon.