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


Monday, February 16, 2009

Darth Vader, Chloe from 24 and Tony Soprano

Apart from being moody and melancholy, the three fictional characters in the title of this post have all come under suspicion as having Borderline Personality Disorder. I know there are more, a lot more, but those three came up in a Google Images search I did for BPD. I wanted to change my Facebook profile picture to something suitably dark and depressive. I ended up with a picture of Lucy from Peanuts in her 5c Psychiatry booth (see above).
I'm finding it hard to posit myself in the BPD spectrum. If you think about the 3 characters listed above, it's hard to remember them smiling, laughing, or experiencing genuine mirth that wasn't at the expense (often physical painful lol) of others. I consider myself to be pretty damn hilarious and light of spirit...sometimes...and most of the things I've read and seen about BPD seem to focus on the dark side. Old Darth should be the poster child... Maybe that's going to be where I find my niche in all this psychiatric BS, to be the Borderline Personality Comedienne. There were a couple of cartoons I liked in the BPD Google Image library, which I will probably post on here sometime. One was a guy buying a t-shirt that said "Ask Me About My Borderline Personality Disorder" and his friend asks "What's on the back?" and the guy shows him that it reads "Or I swear to God I'll kill myself". Fark I thought that was hilarious. Does that mean I DON'T have BPD???? Luckily I've still got my sense of humour and my self-relflexivity...I think those are more successful weapons against mental illness than these darn drugs.
Speaking of which...
Dr A saw me last week and I was super agitated and cranky. He recommended I go in for an inpatient stay in the PC (Clinic) to get me off the Effexor (aka "SideEffexor"). Two weeks. Uninsured, costs about $2500 a week. As much as I would love to leave the comfort of my kingsize bed, my stocked fridge, my computer and my 2 cats (yeah right), I thought there had to be a better way. Cut a long story short, I am in Day 2 of Zero Medication. I know, it's crazy to just stop. To be honest, I took 150mg, then 75mg for a few days, and now am on nothing. No Valium, no mirtazapine, no EffexorXR. The withdrawal is nowhere near as bad as the freakin drug, which was amplifying everything and making me nauseous and headachy. But it's there... some of the electro-impulses I've read about, and the sluggishness. I saw Dr A today and he had a minor hissyfit about me going pretty much cold turkey off the meds, but had to agree that I am "noticeably" less agitated and clearer. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the withdrawal stays at this manageable level... I hated the Effexor SO MUCH. Zoloft was nowhere near as weird for me, it blunted me but no excess anger or mania or mood swings. Dr A asked to see my mom today in the session, to help her spot any "withdrawal" psychosis, etc - as I live with my parents currently I guess he thought she was the person who'd have to ring the psych unit if I flipped my lid haha. Anyway, having her in the session INFURIATED me (so much for the anger being subdued haha). I hate sharing lol!! I didn't want to emote or be honest with Dr A with her there, and I know that I could easily get fixated on the paranoid delusion that they are both against me. Intellectually, I know that's total BS. But the feeling was still there...


Wandering Coyote said...

There is a lot of alarmist literature out there about BPD, something I discovered as soon as I was diagnosed and started reading everything I could. The best book, that is gentle and realistic and not alarmist in the least, and the most helpful to me, is called Lost in the Mirror by Richard Moskovitz. I highly recommend it.

I never got the impression people with BPD were humourless, or could only be funny when hurting someone else...I have BPD and I have a great sense of humour...The two have never been mutually exclusive for me.

As for the Effexor...Um...I take it and am tapering down now due to night sweats. Effexor has some of the worst withdrawal effects of any drug out there, so be really careful. Cold turkey could be a really bad idea; it's best to go slowly. But, everyone is different. I'm glad you have some support around as you do this, because that's really important. A third party observing you as you withdraw is a very valuable asset.

Take care!

Last Chance Lil said...

You're so right WC, that a lot of the literature about BPD is alarmist, and it seemed to be to be really negative (like the fact that there's a book called "Stop Walking on Eggshells" for those poooooor people who have to deal with us folks with BPD - I got so mad cause nobody EVER walks on eggshells around me, I would get even madder if they did hahaha!). I was so happy to find your blog, and Jena/Violet's, and some other stuff that is lighthearted and funny while still being informative about BPD. I will look out for Lost In The Mirror, I've heard a lot about it. So far so good with me and the Effexor withdrawal, but I was only on a small-ish dose and only for a month. I am definitely keeping watch on myself, and luckily am able to stay at home and have my folks watching out for me. The electro-shocks are the worst side effect so far. I get this noise like the Bionic Woman in my head - so hard to describe!!

Wandering Coyote said...

Oh, Stop Walking on Eggshells was one of the worst books I read about BPD just because it was so negative and alarmist. I think it did more to stereotype and stigmatize the illness than anything else.