A Quick Hello from the Inside

Look who has internet access! There’s so much to talk about, I don’t know where to start.

So, it’s been a week since I’ve been at the Menninger Clinic – it’s a psychiatric hospital in Houston. They’ve done a lot of psychological and cognitive testing and it turns out I’m severely depressed and I have anxiety. Duh.

Testing has also shown that I have a horrible memory, I have a hard time dealing with my emotions, I have no coping skills and my quality of life is at 25 percent. I knew the other things but when you see the results of a psychological test tell you that your quality of life sucks, and sucks bad, it makes you even more depressed. If that’s possible. And I’m here to tell you that it is.

I have a “team” that guides me through my journey here that includes a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, therapist and social worker. We all agreed that ECT was the way to go but what I didn’t expect was that I would have to be weaned off all of my meds. ALL OF THEM.

That’s:

Lamical
Topamax
Wellbutrin
Zoloft
Rexulti
Trentellix
Vyvanse
Klonopin
Ambien

That’s a lot. I’m surprised I haven’t exploded yet. Or maybe I should’ve exploded when I was put on all that crap. I’ve had little withdrawal except for the fact that I cry at the drop of a dime. I’m not all too sure that’s not normal at this point.

It’ll probably be two more weeks before I’m off most of the meds, then I can start the ECT, which I’m excited about. Some of the girls here have done it and said they’ve felt some improvement. My doctor said he hopes he can get me back to where I was before I had my little breakdown in 2017. That would be lovely. But I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket. The program I’m in asks me to go to classes, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, self compassion, grief journeys, chemical dependence education and more. They don’t depend on biological therapies only, they make you work. And teaching you how to mentalize and employ solid coping skills is a big part of the program.

My brain is super foggy right now, so I’m going to sign off.

I hope ya’ll are staying well. I’ll try to keep up the my blog as best I can.

Oops

Oh, hey. It’s been since September since I last blogged. My apologies. It’s been a hard few months since. First, I was busy with the holidays and since the beginning of the year I’ve been depressed and haven’t felt like talking despite everyone’s urging to do so.

That’s the thing about depression, even when you need to talk the most you feel like you just can’t do it. I can say that I’ve been going to therapy on a regular basis but my meds have stayed the same despite me feeling like crap. Because I’m treatment resistant, there’s really nowhere to go from here medicine wise. My psychiatrist has suggested ECT but I’m just not ready for that. Yet.

I have been getting ketamine infusions which helps with my moods. It doesn’t last very long but thankfully we have the money to get them. I don’t know what I would do if we couldn’t afford it. If you’re poor and have MDD, you’re screwed. My medicine alone costs hundreds of dollars. So wrong.

My therapist and I started Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Basically, you identify your negative behaviors and teach yourself positive behaviors. Seems like common sense but it’s really helpful when all you’ve been doing your whole life is practicing negative coping skills. So far, so good. I’m working in a workbook, which I would recommend to anyone.

I’m also going to try the new ketamine-based nasal spray, Spravato. It was approved by the FDA in March. The doc that did my TMS treatments called and wants me to be her first patient. You have to be in the office and monitored for two hours after receiving the spray and I think you go twice a week for six weeks at first. I hate stuff going up my nose so we’ll see how this goes down. Waiting on insurance to clear my first, of course. It’s always insurance.

That’s my update for now. I’ll try to be more consistent with everything and I’ll definitely keep you updated on the Spravato.