Thursday, January 26, 2017

Don't Try This at Home

As I mentioned previously, I've been in kind of a funk lately. 

Take as instructed!!
As I also mentioned, I was exasperated by my psychiatrist's decision to do nothing to change my medication.

So, a few weeks ago I did something dumb:  I took matters into my own hands.

I was on two different kinds of medication for OCD, and I decided that I didn't want to take one of them anymore.  (I'm leaving out their names because I don't want anyone copying my stupidity and thinking they will get the same result.)  

I had started this second one and loved it.  It gave me amazing amounts of energy.  I felt so much BETTER.  Not just with OCD, but in general.  I was ready to tackle the world! 

Unfortunately, this was just a side effect that wore off after a few weeks.  Then, even though I stayed on the lowest dose possible, I think another common side effect took over... and this one was much less pleasant: weight gain.

See, when I was on this pill I rarely ever felt full.  This isn't a huge deal until you put me in front of a bowl of mindless snack food, like chips and guac. Imagine being able to eat chip after chip without any signal from your body to stop?  It's almost like a super power, but with unfortunate consequences.

Now being a girl is hard enough.  Being a girl with OCD?  Very hard.  But getting chubby on top of it?  No.

So my funk had hit and I decided since I was on the lowest dose just to stop taking it.  It didn't seem to do much for me besides potentially prep me for a food eating competition.  

I didn't tell my psychiatrist.  I didn't tell my mom or my boyfriend.  I didn't want any naysayers.  I figured I'd tell them when it was already done and my transition off was complete.  I ignored the fact that I had stopped taking other OCD meds before and had total freak outs weeks later.  I didn't even Google what might happen.  Just did it.

And in the following weeks I saw no change to my mental health.  With a strict diet, I very quickly lost 8 pounds, but who is to say if the pills had anything to do with it.

I finally told my mom, who went straight to the internet to find out what horrors I may have risked.  Turns out, they were pretty big.  People experience drastic side effects coming off this medication, including seizures.

I somehow was lucky, and consider this a triumph over my own stupid choices.  I made it out unscathed, but I beg you, do not try this at home.  Don't let some weight gain make you go rogue.  Consult your doctor first to come up with a plan if you want to get off a certain medication regimen.  That way, you will make sure you do it safely.

You will also make sure your mom doesn't waste hundreds of dollars on refills that you don't plan on taking.  Yikes.  Sorry mom!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


A comfort after a cry.
I've been in a major funk lately, and not the cool Uptown kind that Bruno Mars sings about.

To top it off, I just discovered that my feelings of awful might not be OCD or anxiety disorder related.  They may just be normal.


I go to my psychiatrist and I tell her about my current life situation... how my business has not been picking up and I may have to find a new job and how my boyfriend has moved to Dayton. (Her response to my boyfriend moving away was just one word: "Yikes."  I hadn't heard that word since like '96.) 

I also tell her how I've been feeling.  I explain how my energy is so low it's hard to get out of bed in the morning, how I have a lack of motivation to do basically anything, and how I've put on weight.  I just generally feel anxiety and eugh all the time. 

I expected her to recommend something different for my medication.  Instead, she reflected that there was a lot of "uncertainty" in my life right now, and then made no change to my drug regimen.


So, I go to see my therapist yesterday and tell her all of this.  I explain how I thought it was weird that we weren't making any changes to the meds when I feel this bad.  Surely something should be done. 

That's when my therapist put things in perspective.

She told me she wanted to "normalize" what I was feeling.  This anxiety wasn't because of the OCD or other anxiety issues: This was anxiety that made sense in my situation.

I've read before and recently talked to my mom about how with OCD, or any other mental health issue, you tend to pathologize everything.  It's easy to blame the OCD for any anxious or bad feelings.  But the fact of the matter is that yucky feelings happen to everyone.  

Now, I don't often like the theory of "normal."  It can serve to make us feel like we don't belong, or we're crazy, or we somehow don't fit a made-up standard. But sometimes we need the concept of normality.  It keeps us in check.  Plus, we all have times where we need to just feel "normal."

So now that my problems have been qualified as not just in my head, I'm left to fight on and figure this out. Triumph or Tragedy? Still unclear.