Anxiety and Depression - Page Two

This page continues from here » Page One (27 July 2018).

» My First Time on Antidepressants

He prescribed for me some Zoloft (Sertraline).

Ball-n-stick model of Zoloft (Sertraline)

Which is a » Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) .. which is used to treat things such as » depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.

» Better Living Through Chemistry

I have never taken antidepressants before. I am one of the few people I know who havent tried them. (I remember that Maria had a hard time getting off of them.)

I could tell that this guy knew what he was talking about .. so I trusted him.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

» Straight to Chillsville

He also prescribed for me some Propranolol (Inderal). I really like this stuff. It takes you straight to Chillsville. Everything smooths right out .. very nicely.

Ball-n-stick model of Propranolol

It is a blood pressure med, but it has all the side effects that I want.

I do not really have problems with high blood pressure, altho my blood pressure was cranked up when I went to see him, and they check your vitals beforehand.

» This is Obviously the Right Place

Going to see this mental health professional was a new experience for me. And I was feeling a tad apprehensive going in. Because I didnt know what to expect.

And I was talking to this 78-year old lady with purple hair in the waiting room who was legit in need of some mental health. She had that look in her eye. "I'm obviously in the right place," I thought.

The Propanalol does make me feel a little more lightheaded than normal, but nothing major. (Sometimes, when I bend over to pick up something, I get the swirlees when I come back up .. but mostly when I need to eat.)

He said that the antidepressant takes a month or so to take effect, but the Propranolol works right from the gitgo.

Thirty minutes after first taking it, I could feel it starting to kick in and thought, "Oh, I like this stuff." It takes the edge off nicely. Beautifully. Dare I say perfectly? I am surprised at how well it works .. for being a blood pressure med.

I take one in the morning and one at night. He said that it might make me tired. I wouldnt say that it makes me feel tired .. just relaxed.

I call them » chill pills. "Look like it's time for another chill pill. Smoothsville here we come."

» I Am So Happy

I called his office today and left a message saying, "Please tell him that I am feeling noticeably better already. I am so happy."

I still have some uncomfortable times .. but they come less frequently now. And they are less severe when they do come.

» You Cannot Overestimate the Value of Such a Thing

Beyond the chemistry, it just helps being able to talk to someone who understands what you're going through. You cannot overestimate the value of such a thing.

» Anna's Extensive Experience with and Approach to Battling Mental Illness

Anna knows what I am talking about. Check out her video on the » Three Fundamentals of Battling Mental Illness.

Anna battles mental illness with 3 fundamentals

Is it just me, or does she not seem to be saying, "I know all about mental illness. I am pretty much an expert when it comes to all kinds of mental illnesses. Welcome to my world .. to my crazy world of anxiety and depression. Pass the Zoloft and the Ativan, will ya? I can feel the ice starting to get thin." ??

Her 3 fundamentals are actually way more than just 3 things. For example, fundamental #1 is five items all by itself.

  1. Wake at a consistent time.
  2. Work out 3 times a week.
  3. Drink 6 glasses water daily.
  4. Eat healthy.
  5. Get plenty of sleep.

She does good work. Way to put those neuroses to work for you, girlfriend.

» Pascal and the Challenge of Meditation

On the topic of meditation, and particularly on the challenge of meditation .. I wonder what Anna thinks about what Pascal (1623-1662) said:

All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone says Pascal (1623-1662)

This quote by Pascal was going to be quote #9 for me .. but I never did get around to doing that .. because these quote pages are actually quit a bit of work .. because I need to include a conversation of why the quote speaks to me.

This quote opens up a large area of things that I could talk about. And once I have a quote-page on a particular quote, on a particular topic, then I am able to link to this page as a way of supporting things that I might say on the topic represented by the quote.

» Dating a Girl Diagnosed with Clinical Depression

Oh, check this out.

Anna Akana | The Voice (10 Oct 2018)

I dated a girl with clinical depression once. It was a very perplexing thing to try and figure out .. because it seemed like she had it all. But she did not feel that way.

» She was Not Able to be There for Me When I Really Needed It

The problem with dating a girl like this .. is that they cannot be there for you when you need them to .. because they cannot even be there for themselves .. because of the depression.

Painting of Ophelia singing before she drowns (Millais, 1852)

I could certainly elaborate .. but I won't. If a girl cannot be there for you when you really need them to be .. then this relationship is not going to satisfy you in a long-term type-of-way.

One of the hallmarks of a healthy, functional relationship .. is the ability to be there for your intimate partner, for your lover, when they really need you to be there for them.

It's a two-way street .. because nobody is on top of the world all the time. Everybody has their moments of doubt-n-pain.

» The Zen Approach and Attracting Unstable Women

The Dog once told me that the reason why I tend to attract psycho women .. is because I am so stable. So mentally and emotionally stable.

He even said that I have Zen approach to life .. which is a major compliment, coming from the Dog.

Anyway, his theory was that these unstable women find attractive in me the thing that they lack in themselves.

I did not accept this when I first heard it. Because I did not really enjoy the idea of attracting psycho-chicks.

I am still am not totally convinced about his theory .. but he seems to make a valid point.

I bet that Ariana knows what I am talking about.

Ariana and Toulouse, the most stable part of her twenties (22 Dec 2018)

I found his comment food-for-thought. I am still thinking about it today.

» Being Heard for the First Time by Somebody Who Actually Cares

When I talk about the value of being able to talk to someone who is able to hear and understand what you are saying .. I bet that Mark Rozzi knows exactly what I am talking about.

Pennsylvania Rep Mark Rozzi describes the feeling of vindication

When he says (at t=0:30) » "It was like, for the first time in your life, you're being heard by somebody who actually cares about what happened to you."

I bet.

» Marathon Naps

Update: I have been sleeping more .. a lot more. I just could not seem to stay awake.

I slept away most of the weekend .. taking one power-nap after another. Marathon naps.

It feels good .. like I needed it. Like I needed the rest.

A few times I woke not remembering that I had fallen asleep. One time I woke and thought that it was morning, when really it was dusk. That was disorienting.

When I am feeling stressed, I push myself physically .. by going on long walks (45 mins) .. as a way to try and burn off the stress .. which I had been doing.

» The Elusiveness of Feeling Fully Rested

One of the defining characteristics post-treatment has been that I rarely feel completely rested.

It is difficult to describe, and I dont fully understand it myself ..but I normally wake feeling less than fully rested, like I could sleep a few more hours, and I go to bed feeling pretty tired. Sometimes I go to bed feeling downright exhausted.

So I normally try to spend a little time each day trying to rest as fully and completely as I can. This helps.

Now this feeling of not feeling completely rested is not so bad .. because I am glad just to be alive. More than just glad, actually. And I enjoy the feeling of being amp'ed up on a strong cup of coffee. Vrrrroomm, vrrroom.

I mention this now because, for the first time since treatment ended, I am finally starting to feel really rested. And it feels good.

But I have been sleeping and napping a lot.

< end update marathon naps >

» Not Enough Energy for OCD

The shrink asked me some probing questions to determine if I might be OCD.

OCD guy cleaning fanatic

I thought about his questions for a minute and said, "No, that doesnt ring true."

I dont recall if I said it or not, but I was definitely thinking, "I dont have enough energy to be OCD."

OCD desktop

The #1 thing that I have been dealing with post-treatment is simply the fatigue. I fatigue much more easily now and, if I push myself physically and I get over-tired, then it takes me a long time to recover. My ass can be dragging for days sometimes.

Now, periodically, from time to time, I will intentionally push myself beyond the point of fatigue .. just to gage and measure and to try and determine exactly where I am at physically speaking, and see how I respond to physical activity that stresses me beyond my comfort zone.

Here is where I am trying to better determine exactly what I can do and what I can't do. (Some days are better than others .. though I am not entirely sure why this is.)

So when he asked about these OCD types of behaviors, I kind of wished that I had enough energy to be OCD. "Wouldnt that be nice .. having that kind of energy."

» Anxiety Can Provide Energy

I may not be saying this correctly, but you feel me what I say that anxiety can provide energy. It can provide fuel to burn .. like a strong cup of coffee.

Whereas depression tends to suck the energy out of you, anxiety tends to crank you up. In the past, I have used anxiety as fuel to burn.

Even during this latest anxiety-inducing thing, I was using it as fuel to burn. But it sort of got away from me. It grew too big for me to handle. Or at least, this is the way it feels.

» Easier Said than Done

Scripture specifically instructs the believer not to be anxious about anything. Easier said than done, my friend.

Life in our post-modern society involves a degree of anxiety .. does it not?

The Son of the Living God Himself once said, "Now my soul has become troubled."

He also said, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death."

Scripture also instructs the believer not to be anxious about, or worry about, the future. (Tomorrow is the future.) Each day has enough trouble of its own. You have enough shit to deal with today. True that.

» Security Blanket

I like that this shrink also prescribed for me some more Ativan. (Lorazepam.)

Ball-n-stick model of Lorazepam (benzo)

Now, Ativan is a controlled substance .. so he didnt give me 30 pills like Moores did.

But he did give me 5 .. for the month .. when I see him next. I thought that this was very understanding of him.

I mean, I obviously dont abuse the stuff .. because I still have 10 pills left over from three years ago. (I also have some opioids left over, too.)

I said to him, "Thanks so much. It feels like a security blanket," .. because I know for a fact that they work for me when I really need them. They work remarkably well .. and fast, too.

» Hydroxyzine is an Antihistamine

My primary care doctor, when I had seen her a week earlier, prescribed for me some Hydroxyzine, which is not a controlled substance.

Ball-n-stick model of Hydroxyzine

It is actually an antihistamine, along the lines of Benadryl.

Back when I was working night shift, one of my bosses said that he would take a Benadryl and drink a glass of wine to help him fall asleep in the morning when he got home from work.

But the Hydroxyzine made me feel groggy the next day, and it worsened my sense of dry mouth, which is an issue for me following the radiation to my salivary glands.

The dry mouth is worse in the early morning hours before I wake. Some days it is worse than others, though I am not sure why this is.

The best thing that I have found to combat dry mouth is cream cheese. There is something in cream cheese (which I spread on a toasted bagel) that helps lubricate my mouth and throat better than anything else.

I dont mean the cream cheese itself, but rather, I mean an hour or so after I eat it, my body uses something in the cream cheese to make something in my throat that coats it beautifully.

» Ativan is Not a Long-Term Solution

When I first brought up getting more Ativan, he said, "Now, let's talk about that."

He is very straight-up and forth-coming. I appreciate his style. I can feel myself trusting him.

He proceeded to tell me the reasons why Ativan is not a great option for me in my particular situation.

I had already read about (online) many of the things that he was telling me about Ativan and my particular situation.

"Yeah, I read that online," I said a number of times. (Antidepressants represent a workable long-term solution.)

Ativan is not a long-term solution .. for a number of reasons. But the period between when you start on antidepressants and when they actually begin to start working for you .. this period is often supplemented with Ativan.

» I Love This Guy

Update: I didnt know if I would be getting any more Ativan, but when I went to the drugstore to refill my antidepressants and Propanolol, the pharmacist also gave to me another 5 pills for the month.

When I saw the bottle, I thought, "I love this guy."

I had taken 4 of the previous 5 pills during the month. (I can tell you exactly the things that trigger me.)

The idea of living without any Ativan makes me uncomfortable. He does not want me using this stuff all the time .. but rather, only when I really need it.

When you really need them .. these things work remarkably well. Like nothing else.

I see him next week.

< end refill update >

» Everything is Wonderful on Ativan

Ativan makes you feel like everything is wonderful. Life is wonderful. People are wonderful. Everybody is wonderful.

Benzotopia. I should probably pop a benzo right now .. while I am writing this section here on benzos. For the sake of authenticity.

I am very much into exploring the world of trying to be as authentic as possible .. because it can be so challenging. Ariana knows what I am talking about.

So it is not difficult to see how people could get carried away with this stuff .. which takes you straight to benzotopia .. from a psychological standpoint. I dont think that it is physically addictive .. like opioids are.

It says here that, in 1977, benzos were "globally the most prescribed medications." (Valium is a benzo.)

The song Mother's Little Helper by the Stones is about Valium.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on July 27, 2018 7:27 PM.

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