Sunday – End of the weekend, a last hurrah before we return to office drudgery. Its gloomy outside. Last night, My beloved Jayhawks fell in Elite Eight to Oregon, ending what up until then had all the makings of a championship winning season. Also, the Wild flavored wings I ordered last night finally caught up with me this morning.
In my last blog post, I detailed how I went to a psychiatrist a few weeks ago to get a formal evaluation done. The initial working diagnosis consisted of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Mixed Obsessive Thoughts and Acts, and Persistent Depressive Disorder. The diagnosis was considered working, as the psych wanted to review my blood work and complete the evaluation before making the formal diagnosis.
Well, the blood work came back and outside of slightly elevated cholesterol, I’m healthy. We finished the evaluation this past Monday and the diagnosis didn’t change. The course of action was to start me on a low dose of sertaline (commonly known as Zoloft), wait a week, come in for a med check and tell her how I’m doing, and bump up the dosage. We’d continue doing this until I was at a therapeutic dose. Having taking a SSRI previously, I knew the possible side effects….nausea, headache, sleep problems, inability to, ahem, “perform” (this is a common side effect that is inherent to the SSRI family of drugs.) Still, feeling better mentally and emotionally is my goal, so after brushing my teeth Tuesday morning, I popped a half of a pill with some water.
Cue the ominous music.
The next three days sucked. Mentally, I felt like I couldn’t concentrate and felt “out of it.” Physically, I had a low-level headache that wouldn’t go away for longer than a few hours at a time. Also, I spent a lot of time rotating between the bathrooms in the house and destroying them. We should buy stock in Glade Plug-Ins.
The worst was the insomnia. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of your body telling you that it is tired, laying down, and your mind rousing you from sleep a few hours later. My mind wasn’t preoccupied or stressed out about anything, I JUST COULDN’T SLEEP…FOR THREE NIGHTS. On Thursday, I broke down and called the psychiatrist and told her that I wasn’t adjusting well to the med. She agreed, told me not to take another dose, and said we’d try something else. In my research, I found another med that piqued my interest and I offered it up as a suggestion – escitalopram. As another SSRI, it has a similar side effect profile as the sertaline, but is less “activating” and a little more tolerable during the initial stages of taking it. I took one this morning, and honestly, so far, so good. I go in to see the pysch on Tuesday for a med check and hope that I have nothing but positive things to share.
This is the shitty reality of mental illness: It’s not as easy as bandaging a wound or seeing a broken bone on a x-ray. Sometimes, the solution requires a bit of trial, error, and tinkering. Sometimes, it requires patience and determination to ride out the initial days and weeks of a new medication. Sometimes, its a willingness to accept when they aren’t working and to try something different. Above all, it requires a hope and a faith in that our struggles are temporary and look forward to something better, in brighter days ahead.