Assertion

Dear Reader,

So today was D-Day, or as any normal person would call it, Doctor day, in fact no. They would probably just call it Thursday. 

I have been weirdly nervous about this appointment, I guess it’s because I haven’t seen my regular doctor for a while and I had a long list of things I needed to discuss with him. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this appointment.

It all started about 1AM this morning, I was lying in bed, unable to sleep as has become a bit of a regular thing recently. And suddenly, all my ridiculous fear about my appointment, work, being late for this appointment, fear of being sectioned culminated in the worst panic attack I have had for about 10 months. I genuinely thought I was going to die. My heart was racing, I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out. I was too scared to sleep in case I chocked on my vomit. I was slightly breathless. I remember trying to check for my pulse and being unable to concentrate long enough to count it. And that was scaring me more. When the symptoms finally surpassed, my only thought was “great! Now I have something else to talk about tomorrow!” I slept poorly and woke early to get to work for 8:30. I wanted to finish as early as possible. My mental clock works weirdly, I am always early. Like an hour early. I wanted to be home by 1PM to get ready for my 3:20PM Appointment.

I crashed today, I had been feeling kind of numb, I thought I was happy but I guess not. I was pretty sad most of the day and it was painfully noticeable. People kept asking if I was ok. Luckily I made jobs for myself in the stock room and didn’t have to leave the area.

I wrote my list of things I needed to talk to my doctor about: My increase in depressive symptoms, the return of my panic attacks, my self harming, my inability to sleep and my pain in my shoulders. I told my doctor all of these things and in all honesty, I feel a little more sad now than I did when I went in. I don’t think there is anything that can be done to help me. The doctors seem to really want me to go into therapy, any kind of therapy. But in reality I doubt it will help me. I struggle with talking at the best of times, especially to strangers.

So, I had my Citalopram increased to 40mg, I am not particularly happy or excited about this, I don’t think Citalopram is the drug for me. I think I may have to make an appointment for two weeks time just to cover myself. I don’t want to do anything stupid. Citalopram has made me fairly volatile. It was suggested that I could possibly start taking beta blockers for my panic attacks, whilst I have never heard of them being taken for this purpose, there seems to be a fairly mixed reaction online. To be honest, I would prefer to go back to taking Fluoxetine and taking something that can stop my panic attacks. My doctor seems so positive that I can be fixed, I do not agree. I can take the despair, its the hope I can’t stand.

We didn’t talk about my back pain, we didn’t talk about my self harm, in fact, he didn’t even ask to see my cuts. Although, he did see some of them when he checked my blood pressure. We mostly talked about panic attacks. I told him about my terrible panic attack, how I felt like I was going to die. I said “I thought I was going to die, I know it sounds stupid now,” he told me it wasn’t stupid and explained what a panic attack was which, whilst made me feel slightly better did in fact make me feel a little worse. I told him I had been writing because it made things better for me and how writing had made me feel both better and worse, he seemed confused, but when I explained that it made me see things I hadn’t seen before he seemed to understand.

So I have decided to start taking the 40mg from Saturday. I have two days off so if I get any strange symptoms at least I am home. Maybe my lack of sleep is a withdrawal from the Fluoxetine, I came off of it rapidly. Infact, I just stopped taking it and started Citalopram the next day.

So who knows, maybe this increase will help me. Maybe I need something entirely different. Maybe I need to be more assertive and tell the doctor what I want. I’m feeling too down to really focus on concluding without saying something dumb about people not needing me, or me not being here, so I guess that’s it.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room

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10 thoughts on “Assertion

  1. So, therapy is not so very different from your writing. It can make you feel both better and worse. But so often, when I feel like I am just broken open in therapy, it also makes some of that weight on my chest lift.

    The difference between talking with someone therapeutically and writing therapeutically is you have an objective person to help you take the next step. You know what you’re feeling and experiencing. What a great first step! A therapist can help you figure out what to do with that. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s really, really okay if you don’t think you will be any good at it. You don’t have to be ANYTHING.

    For me, I have trusted each of my therapists from almost the first session. They weren’t strangers after five minutes, but I know people sometimes take time to trust their therapist – and that’s okay, too.

    What if you gave yourself permission to just try? You could say anything you like. You could say, “I don’t really like talking to people,” or “I don’t think this is going to help.” Or you could say nothing at all.

    Medication really does work best in conjunction with therapy – and you don’t have to jump into it all at once. I found one (when I most needed it, when I most resisted it) just searching “therapists hometown” and browsing results. It took me another week or two to call.

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  2. U got through today so that’s an accomplishment. Maybe stopping the fluoxetine has caused the lack of sleep and good idea to start the increased dosage when u have time off. I used citalopram for about 6 months and it did help but therapy is what helped me the most. I did a course of cbt and yes it was hard, the second session was mostly spent in tears but with the support of 2 close friends who had been through it themselves meant I finished the course with strategies to deal with my anxiety and depression for the future. Writing is a great form of therapy until u find the right place. Just keep breathing. Hugs xxx

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  3. I totally get the aversion to therapy. I’m the same way. I get all nervous and have a hard time feeling at ease enough to talk about what’s going on.
    I used to think it was just a problem I had going to confession (I’m Catholic) but it turns out it’s a problem I have in general.
    But I force myself to suck it up the first few times, and before I know it I’m totally at ease with the therapist and I discover that it is actually helping me.

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  4. I’m sorry you didn’t get much satisfaction from this doctor visit. Seems like he could have at least addressed the issues you did bring up. The panic attack sounds terrible. It is examples like you describe which make me think that it is a rare thing to find someone who fits and can really help with mental and emotional issues. You got through it, though, and got a little bit of help. I hope it is a start in the right direction.

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  5. Totally get how you feel about therapy. It wasn’t for me either (hence the title of my own blog). When you know that certain things about you aren’t going to change no matter what, then dredging up the past is a waste.

    Good luck to you in the coming days.

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  6. As someone who is still going through therapy I really recommend it. But it is important to find the right therapist. I love my therapist and have found it extremely helpful, but it isn’t for everyone. I would suggest maybe trying it out. You never know what might happen!

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  7. I’m sorry that you had mixed outcome. But as anxious as you were about going you can give yourself a pat on the back for keeping the appointment. I’ve heard folks say that therapy doesn’t work for them. It took me years to start therapy! One thing I learned quickly is that there are different types of therapy. Psychoanalysis may not be right for you. And I think that it is this type of therapy that many people think of: laying on the couch and giving your life history. Goodtherapy.com will walk you through the different types of therapy and their approach. It may be a good starting place =) Hugs!

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  8. I understand the panic attacks completely. I have had many, and one or two of them even sent me to the ER because my BP was so high. The feeling that you’re going to throw up, rapid breathing, racing heart, I’ve had it all, but not as frequently as I used to. I could not take the Citalopram because it made me too nauseated. But it does get better. And I wouldn’t knock therapy. Eventually you will find the right therapist that you feel comfortable with and will be able to talk about everything. It has brought me a long way, just in the past 6 months, and I had just started with this therapist about a year ago, after the one I’d been seeing retired 6 days before my mom died.

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