I remember when I was a kid, my first psych med was lithium. I was taken off of lithium by my mother because she didn’t like the “zombie-like” effect it was giving me. Then I was prescribed Paxil, which I vaguely remember how it made me feel. Fast forward to my late teens, I stopped taking meds altogether when I discovered a new drug that made all my worries, fears, emotions, pain, and problems temporarily disappear. A drug that controlled my whole being, a drug called crack. That demon took over my whole life and controlled my every move and way of thinking. It was my best friend, and ONLY friend!! I wasn’t attending therapy or seeing my psychiatrist to get “legal” medications like I am supposed to be my whole life. A period during my active addiction, I got back into therapy and seen a psychiatrist and was prescribed psych meds, A LOT of psych meds!! In fact, I was heavily medicated with psych meds plus my drug of choice. I decided to leave therapy and come off the meds altogether because I was still active in my addiction and didn’t want the proper help yet, I wasn’t ready. Once I got clean, which was 7 years ago, I started to fall into a severe depression where I didn’t want to leave my bed or the house. I also became suicidal because I felt hopeless and felt I had nothing to live for. I felt alone, very alone!! After a few days of being down, I finally was able to get myself out of the house and get back into therapy and see a psychiatrist to get meds. Well, I was still feeling severely depressed where I missed at least almost a month of work, possible 2. Thank God I have understanding and supportive co-workers and still have my job today. Anyway, I became VERY suicidal and just wanted to end my life more than ever before. I believe this was the worst I ever felt since using. After endless days and nights and weeks of not wanting to leave my bed, and all the tears, pain and thoughts of just wanting to end it all, I wrote a suicidal note that I still have tucked away (hopefully no one will ever have to read it). My medications I was prescribed weren’t working, so I went down to the Mental Health Center crying my eyes out practically begging for help (this must’ve happened at least 4-6 times). To make an EXTREMELY endless story short, I finally got my medications (Lexapro, Remeron) adjusted to where I can at least leave the house and return to work, but I felt VERY overwhelmed every time I stepped out into the real world. Well, that lasted maybe 1 day, I was back to not wanting to leave my bed, severely depressed, severe anxiety set in, and suicidal thoughts came back again with endless hours and nights and days of crying. So, AGAIN, my boyfriend dragged me back down to the Mental Health Center (of course we were begging for help again) and I got my meds adjusted again to a little higher dosage. But only this time, I stopped the Lexapro and was put on Zoloft, which helped better. It took awhile to get my dosage correct but it does make me feel functional and better. I met with my psychiatrist recently to tell her I need something more for my anxiety, so she prescribed me Buspirone. That’s working fairly well. Now I see her in 2 weeks and may need a change in medication or get one added for mania. I know mental illness like the back of my hand, and know the resources to turn to, but it’s just hard getting someone to help you. But I know I definitely will be on psych meds for the rest of my life!!
You can find info here on where to reach out for help if you’re in crisis. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s great to raise awareness, but the problem is, people are still dying. We can talk until we’re blue in the face about why and how people should reach out, and there are […]
While many sources of trauma are time-limited, some occur repeatedly over prolonged periods of time. The term complex PTSD is used to capture the profound psychological harm these people exposed to the latter have experienced, including changes in self-concept, problems with emotional regulation, distorted perceptions of the perpetrator, and impaired relationships with others. There are […]
Recently I did a post expressing my concern about learning that a local police force routinely handcuffs people that they are taking to hospital under a Mental Health Act apprehension. That got me thinking about what it shoulds look like to help people in mental health crisis. The police force in the city where I […]
What exactly are emotions? Well, there’s no easy answer to that; it depends on who you ask and what their theoretical perspective is. But regardless of how we define them, how do we describe them? That can be easier said than done. There’s even a psychiatric term, alexithymia, for difficulty identifying and articulating emotions. […]
So, what is it to be trauma-informed? Trauma-informed practice recognizes the intersectionality of trauma, mental health, and substance abuse, and involves an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they have disclosed it or not. Trauma-informed practice aims to create environments that prevent re-traumatization and promote a sense of safety. The individual client’s safety, […]