Right now there are snipers watching my three windows waiting for me to walk past so that they can shoot me. There is a man in my stairwell waiting for me to unlock the door and open it so that he can get me. He probably wants to kidnap me, rape me, torture me, and murder me. There is some sort of monster in the yard that will attack me when I take Sheriff outside for the last time tonight. There are people waiting around the yard with the same goals as the man in the stairwell.
This is what my brain tells me every day.
How does my brain react? Sheer panic dealt with in irrational ways. A friend of mine made a wooden shield for part of her Halloween costume last year. She gave it to me several weeks ago to use as decoration in my apartment. Currently it sometimes functions as an actual shield as I use it to block views of my head when passing in front of my windows. Sheriff is trained to go through doors after me or if wide enough, with me. Currently, I encourage him to go out the stairwell door first with the hopes that he will alert to any intruder. This scares me further though because if there is an intruder, they will kill my dog. I have to sacrifice this dog who means the world to me in order to keep myself safe. And every time I send him through that door first…my brain tells me I am sending him to his death. more…
When talking to a psychiatrist, nearly everything is question/answer format with little room for conversation. That is how I interpret it at least. Maybe some people out there are able to strike up an engaging conversation with their psychiatrist but I can’t figure it out. They ask questions that have very concrete answers. They don’t seem open ended.
“Which of your symptoms would you most like fixed?”
“The anxiety and the paranoia cause they make each other worse.”
“Okay, well I think we need to work with your anti-psychotic some then.”
That means change the dose. In my case, make the dose higher. I’ll be taking 16mg of Fanapt, a super new atypical anti-psychotic, a day. The maximum dosage is 24mg a day. It only has to be increased two more times before I will be at the maximum dosage. Then, if it isn’t working (which it currently isn’t), I have only two or three more options before the old anti-psychotics are tried. Things like Haldol, Thorazine, Navane, and Prolixin. I know that I still have Clozapine and Zyprexa to try but both are rather notorious for weight gain, sedation, and causing diabetes. Further, taking Clozapine and a benzodiazepine can cause respiratory arrest…hey that could be me. So really, I’m not open to even trying either of those medications. Which leads me back to the first generation anti-psychotics. They of course come with their own host of adverse effects such as acute dystonic reaction, stiffness, tremor, akinesia (decreased spontaneity), akathisia (restlessness…which I already have), weight gain, fainting, photosensitivity, Tardive Dyskinesia, and Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. None of those sound very worthwhile and are the reason that I will not hesitate to tell a doctor that I have no faith in anti-psychotics of any generation. more…
A few days ago I got released from a local psychiatric hospital after a 6 day stay. I admitted myself because I could feel my brain spiraling down…down to where I do not make rational decisions. I was also suicidal.
The first thing the doctor did was change my medication from 1mg of Xanax to 1mg of Klonopin. The day he did that, I became psychotic. I was absolutely convinced that every person in the hospital wanted to kill me. Up until that point, I had been trying to interact with the other patients. I’d been trying to socialize and ignore the delusional thoughts running through my mind. But that afternoon, I just snapped. I became filled with panic. I fled to my room and climbed into bed, hiding under the covers. I refused to go to Activity Therapy. I refused to go to the dining hall to eat dinner. My brain told me that if I got out of that bed, someone would come kill me. So there I stayed. My roommate, who has a similar diagnosis, recognized something was wrong after a couple hours and alerted the staff. They came to check on me which almost sent me into a panic attack because I was terrified that they had come to kill me. more…