Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Monday, February 9, 2009

And They Say Information Is Power...

All I've done since my visit with Doc A last week is read about SSRI medications, anti-psychotic medications, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy and Borderline Personality Disorder. It's made my head spin. Okay, so the head was already spinning due to the depression, anxiety, impulsivity and emotional irregulation haha. But now it's even worse! The first doctor to suggest to me that I had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) was during high school, and it's been mentioned in an offhand way since then, but never with any serious attempt to diagnose or cure. Doc A seems pretty certain, and all my reading has confirmed that I have all the recognisable symptoms.
  • Turbulent and idealised relationships
  • Impulsivity in self-damaging ways (binge eating *who me???*, shopping, stealing)
  • Difficulty compromising or viewing "grey areas"
  • Intense outbursts, often short-lived, of anger, depression, anxiety

One of the downsides of this diagnosis (and there are many, let me tell ya), is that traditional methods of treatment for depression often don't work, which could explain why I've had no relief from my SSRI (Zoloft) recently, and the new one Efexor is not much better. I'm so wary of SSRI medications now, having just finished the book Dying For A Cure - a biography by an Australian woman who was diagnosed with a range of mental illnesses, and prescribed a number of harmful medications, after presenting with mild postnatal depression. Basically, the meds made her very sick, and encouraged her to self-harm... thankfully she is now off medication and entirely well.

I don't think I was prescribed SSRI antidepressants for nothing. I have a large number of stories from the age of about 5 - 25, depicting varying instances of self-harm, depression, anxiety and hypomania. The medication didn't really change those thoughts or feelings, but seemed to "numb" me toward them. BPD has one major "cure" or treatment available in Perth, which is a 2 week Cognitive Behaviour Therapy course. By all accounts it's hard work, and intense, and involves yucky touchy-feely type "group work" hahahaha. Sharing and bonding and all that hippy junk!! But it will be worth it if I can learn how to regulate my emotions and moods and maybe start to live life on an even keel.

I'm shallow enough to worry about the effect of medications on my weight loss. Efexor is not known to be majorly fabulous at combating depression, BUT it supresses the appetite. One of my other on/off meds is Mirtazepine, an old-fashioned trycylic antidepressant, which can cause weight gain. I know, I know, I know...I shouldn't even care about that side effect. But damn it, I do. I've worked hard and paid well for this weight loss surgery, and I want it to continue working for me. Call me shallow...Call me Ishamel...Don't call me the white whale LOL!!!


Jena said...

Hey sweetie, thanks for coming to my blog!! It's always nice to have new faces & meet new ppl :)

Its interesting you bring this subject up, because I was just talking to a friend about this yesterday. What I've noticed is that people who aren't noticing a difference with medication usually don't need it because a personality disorder that requires therapy such as CBT like you mentioned is the culprit. Sometimes an atypical (new) antipsychotic medication like Seroquel can help settle the anxiety and can really level out moods for some people. Antidepressants in some cases can make people worse- only because if mood troubles are up and down, then while they treat the "down", they trigger the "up" by irritation and anxiety. That's why sticking to a low dose antipsychotic is most effective, combined with therapy.

I'm not sure where you are from, but usually CBT is available pretty much everywhere because it's the most common/popular kind of therapy used so widely.

I hope this info helps smooth out some of all that head knowledge that was overwhelming you!!! I work(ed) in psych which is why I know, but I usually don't talk about the whole med thing too much. Everyone has different diagnoses, different reactions to meds, different relationships with doctors, different situations in life... and I understand all of that. So please don't let my take influence you in those ways- just take whatever you can benefit from and leave the rest. :)

Looking forward to getting to know you better!


Last Chance Lil said...

Thank you for the info and the support Jena! I'm from Perth, Western Australia (same place as Isla Fisher was brought up actually, love your profile pic!) and we have a great clinic that does CBT. I am hoping to find out today when I can start, I really think CBT and an antipsychotic will be more successful for me than antidepressants.