I still have not begun taking the Lamictal. Still too afraid of experiencing the possible side effects.
I had an appointment this past Monday with my psychologist. This is the same psychologist who, by either the first or second visit with her, decided that I have Bipolar disorder and need to be medicated ASAP.
By the fourth visit, I asked why she kept pushing for me to take meds, when she is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. She claims she went into the wrong field and SHOULD be in psychiatry, as she knows enough about meds.
Uh-huh. I see.
Anyway, I saw the psychologist this past Monday, as I said. On this particular day, I had awakened to a 99.8°F temperature, but still went in to work. I experienced low uterine pain and low back pain for much of the day, and generally was highly emotional all day. By the time I got to my shrink appointment, it’s what we ended up talking about was the fact that I was PMSing and in a bit of pain.
The psychologist – I haven’t mentioned this before – but there are two things I really, really dislike about her. One, she flutters her eyelids and often goes on for entire paragraphs worth of talk with her eyes closed and/or fluttering. Two, she rambles and doesn’t let me get a word in edge-wise, often talking about something meaningless to my situation, or trying to relate something to my situation that doesn’t relate at all. I finally have to say STOP! loudly to get her attention, so that I can TELL her that what she is saying holds no meaning for me whatsoever.
The last example of the meaningless is when she told me for the third time that she knows for a FACT that *I* will not experience side effects on Lamictal, because she has first-hand experience, seeing her daughter on Lamictal, and she was FINE.
Okay, number one, it’s SECOND-HAND EXPERIENCE, because it’s your daughter, not you. And number two, your daughter does not have endometriosis. She has a seizure disorder. So you cannot tell me for a FACT that *I* will not experience any bad side effects.
She of course wrote me off when I boldly spoke up.
So there we were, talking about my PMS and cramping and my ongoing major depression, when she mentioned that I try to get on disability. I told her I tried that already and was rejected by both federal and state.
This woman sat there and tried to convince me to play the state and federal governments! She told me to miss more work so that I *can* qualify for disability! I told her flat out that I will NOT play sick JUST to get disability pay, because in playing sick, I commit to routine check-ups and drive-bys from the state and federal government, who will make sure that I am in fact, truly disabled.
When they photograph me at the grocery store with a basket on one arm, or photograph me driving in my car, or photograph me going to the gym or whatever – I will lose my benefits. Then what? I have a stain on my record as someone who was a fraud. I may be fined or worse. Then I have to try to get a job again.
The disability insurance people do ‘spy’ and take photos – it is part of their job. I worked for an insurance company which provided disability benefits to auto workers. I had to be the one to make the pay cut-off phone calls after people were caught on film doing things they said they could not do. It’s just part of the job in that industry.
So I told the psychologist that going down that road meant playing sick ALL THE TIME, and I will not do that. I told her I have my precious 7-14 days each month where I am active and can get shit done, and I’m not going to give that up just to collect some disability pay.
She kept making a point to stress how much pain and suffering I’m in, and how SHE doesn’t like to see me in so much pain, and wouldn’t it just HELP if I went on disability?
I told her NO, it WOULDN’T help. I told her about the joy I get from the children at work. I told her about how much I love to be able to get on my bike to go to work or run errands. I told her I like roller skating and going dancing – when I am able to do these things, I DO them. I told her that if she takes these things away, I WILL go ahead and kill myself.
When I left the psychology appointment, I was MAD. I went home, changed into my workout clothes, and went to the gym for an hour, despite the low-grade temperature and the uterine pain and low back pain.
Then I walked a half mile to Walgreens and back again to pick up my refill of Lorazepam. I popped two on the walk back home. When I got home, my husband was home from work. I collapsed on the couch in tears, and told him about the visit to the shrink and how I’d rebelled by all the exercise I did. I said the exercise made me feel better, but overall I was more depressed because of the psychologist.
My husband was hopping mad at this woman, of course. He held me and sided with my every reason for not wanting to go on disability. I love my husband.
I stewed over the shrink all of Tuesday, and then on Wednesday (yesterday), I was feeling outright rage. I called on my lunch break and left a message for her.
She called me back and left two voicemails. I could not answer the phone because I was in a meeting with my school director, who wants to place me at the other school location. I’ll go more into detail about that later on, if the move happens.
When I finally had time to listen to the voicemails, the psychologist sounded shaky and emotional, and repeated herself no less than four times about how she never meant for me to go on permanent disability – she was only referring to my post-op, and going on temporary disability.
I called her back or she called me back last night, and I told her in so many words she was full of shit. I brought up my pet peeves with her, and rehashed how the convo in session had gone. She apologised again, and said she’d had an excruciating headache for two days, and should not have come to work that day. I rolled my eyes. Excuses, excuses.
At the end of the phone call, we agreed to meet again next week to give it another chance. But actually, a day after my phone conversation with her, I’m still feeling really pissed off.
These psychologists – they’re more mentally ill than I am! I swear! I’ve not had one yet who I can endorse!!!
I’ve made up my mind. The psychologist is fired.
This leads me to the psychiatrist. I saw her a total of three times; once in January, once in February, and once in September. In-between that time, she was on maternity leave, and then I’d forgotten to reschedule with her. So the third visit counts as #1 all over again. A do-over as it were, since much had changed since February. On that first re-visit, she reviewed my history, and got caught up with my new history, including the cannabidiol incident (documented here and here). The psychiatrist told me there are several documented cases, including some of her own patients, who experienced depersonalisation and bi-polar-like symptoms after using marijuana or any form of cannabis. She assured me I am not crazy or alone in this.
And yet she wanted to prescribe Abilify, which is an anti-psychotic, often prescribed to schizophrenics and people with Bipolar I.
I asked her if she feels I am Bipolar. She said she’s not sure, based upon the fact that cannabis was involved. So I asked why she wanted me on Abilify. She said I should be on some kind of antipsychotic or mood stabiliser to get back to a baseline.
Up til this point, I had told myself I needed mood stabilisers. Now that the psychiatrist, on the first visit, wanted to give me antipsychotic medication, I began to get The Fear.
I told her I’d research the side effects and get back to her.
I called her a few days later and said no to Abilify and asked what else she could recommend.
Lamictal, the same thing my psychologist had suggested, was mentioned. So I said yes, and the prescription was filled.
I went so far as to cut all the pills in half as instructed.
But I haven’t taken one pill, yet.
I have The Fear.
It’s the fear of exactly what happened to me on Yasmin happening all over again (read more about that descent here).
I just don’t want to take another chance. I am convinced that the major depression and bipolar like tendencies I’ve had since the end of July are *because* of a medication (cannabidiol), and therefore I am convinced that taking *more* psychotropic medication is NOT the answer.
Let me work through this. Specifically, let me be active and work out the anxiety and the inner and outer restlessness.
I have been to the gym only 9 times this year. I have bicycled to and from work 17 times this year.
Ten of those 17 times have been within the current school year (which began August 31, 2010).
It is my personal expert medical opinion that I need to up the gym time. I need to become an exercise fanatic. THAT will manage my mental imbalance.
Give me some time to see this through.
If it doesn’t solve the issue, I’ll stare at the bottle of Lamictal again.