Two weeks of semi-functional hell

October 24, 2009

Why am I unmedicated?

At first, it was because I was switching from Depakote to Lithium.

Then, in the mild mania presumably triggered by going off the mood stabilizer, I started a blog and began to question my diagnosis and my treatment.  I thought that treating my anxiety might be the way to go, since it’s the only diagnosis I felt confident in.

Then the mania turned into a few terrible days of mixed state — an activated, jittery, but negative place.  I was very irritable, and flew into several rages at my partner, after which I felt consumed by self-loathing and the desire to hurt myself.  I took some Seroquel during these days, because it was just too unbearable, and I was worried I would do serious damage to myself or my partner.

My horrible mixed state helped me accept that I have an illness — my partner pointed out, as he often does, that I would never choose to feel or behave like *that*.  It’s hard to distinguish the illness from myself — this mostly genetic, maybe environmental, uncurable, somewhat treatable disorder sometimes seems like all of me and other times seems so alien.

Having accepted that I need medicine to treat my illness, I called my psychiatrist.  I proposed staying off meds for another few weeks and documenting my moods, to give both him and me a better sense of my symptoms. He seemed to like the idea, and we made an appointment for November 13th.

Since then, I’ve been in a mild depression.  Showering is hard.  Going to work seems impossible, but I am still able to do it.  Everything seems hopeless and worrisome.  I’m tired all the time, but I can’t sleep well.

I think I might have rapid cycling, but regardless of my diagnosis, I just want some treatment. I’m going to call my pychiatrist on Monday and ask what I should take.


4 Responses to “Two weeks of semi-functional hell”

  1. D said


    I found it really difficult to distinguish between what was me, and what was the meds, and what was just situational, and what was the withdrawal period or the uptake period or the etcetera etcetera etcetera. Too many variables.

    I kept a spreadsheet, tracking what time I went to sleep and what time I woke up and my mood on a scale of one to ten three times a day and my coffee and alcohol and pot intake and how often I had sex and all sorts of other data; I made bar graphs and pivot tables and time lines. Most of it was ultimately useless — the mood graph helped, sort of, mostly by forcing me to introspect three times a day and try to decide objectively where I was at.

    And I got a lot better at using Excel. So that’s something.

    • janusjana said

      So was the main purpose of your spreadsheet to distinguish you from symptoms/side effects? For me, the goal is to get a correct diagnosis and/or better meds… and just to try to document what I’m like without meds.

      Alas, I’m not even using Excel! (Google spreadsheet, so I can use it from work.)

  2. D said

    Yeah, basically. I was going through a bunch of different meds, and having a hell of a time figuring out what any of them were doing, if anything; remembering which was which, etcetera.

  3. janusjana said

    Guinea pig time sucks so bad. I had the same experience – charts I tried to keep during med experimentation were pretty much useless. That’s one reason I thought I’d try to rough it with no meds for a while.

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