I was sick of waking up in a panic. Except now, it wasn't just in the mornings or at night —it was all. damn. day. 48 hours after my doctor increased my daily dose of an anti-depressant, Wellbutrin, it seemed that this overwhelming sense of impending doom consumed me. In a previous post, I discussed, my experience with some pretty scary anti-depressant side effects. I thought, isn't this shit supposed to make me feel better? And that's just it —it was making me worse. So I did what any millennial in this type of situation would do —I researched those effects. Per my Google search, I better call the psychiatrist prescribing me these meds. He was nice, supportive and sorry I had such a bad encounter. After the conversation, I learned the side effects were, in fact, outweighing any positive leeway Wellbutrin could do for my depression. I was a little bummed. TBH, I still am. Because I thought the increase was really going to help. But no. No way, Jose. So I went back to my original dose and, "We’ll go from there," he said. A part of me felt like I was taking a few steps in the wrong direction. But I’m trying to remember that sometimes, going back is exactly what we need to move forward. So I did just that. But then, other weird things started to happen. And I call the doc again. At this point, he agreed, the side effects I was now experiencing were not your standard dry mouth. He wanted to see how I'd feel if I stopped the meds completely. Because what I haven't mentioned are two new symptoms —a few somethings my doctor said were indications of a bigger issue. Because now, I was having difficulty swallowing and breathing, which was scary AF. I mean, that shit was serious enough to warrant a discontinuation. So that's exactly what I did. And here's why. Here's what happened next.
Tag: Invisible Illnesses
Living with an Invisible Illness & Mental Health Ish: Because I’m Not The Girl I Used to Be and Here Are Four Reasons Why
I'm sure at this point in your life, you've been sick at least once. When that happens, normally you have two choices. You either go to the doctor for some type of antibiotic or you sleep it off until you feel better. But what if you never got better? What if that cold or flu never went away? What if those temporary aches and pains and feelings of fatigue were permanent? What if it got worse? Like when the winter blues turn into a full-blown state of depression and you can't find a way to see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel? What then? Seriously. Imagine the anxiety of knowing what you have was constant. Imagine what it would be like if that doctor of yours said there was no cure, and that it would, in fact, be a part of your life forever? Now, envision trying to explain all of this to your friends, family, and co-workers. How do you describe this shit in a way they'd understand? Because you look perfectly fine —on the outside that is. How would you cope with having a chronic, invisible illness? Would you be deemed lazy or even crazy? Would you be treated differently? Would you be excluded from activities or on the contrary be so tired that you continuously say no to those friendly invitations? At that point, would it start hindering your relationships, both personal and professional? The short answer, yes. Absofuckinglutely. Because when you break a bone, your physical disability is apparent to the world. Friends, family, and coworkers can see the cast on your arm and know without a doubt that you're sick. “Get some rest,” they’d say in a concerned voice. “You don’t look well.” But that’s the odd thing about not feeling well —you don’t always look the part. So yeah, I'm not the girl I used to be and here are four reasons why.
Everything & Nothing: This is What Depression Feels Like
Do you ever feel flat? Dull. Lifeless. Uninspired. It's like, you're not necessarily sad. Because nothing actually happened to justify this type of darkness. It's just, you're not happy either. For me, when this happens —because it does, in fact, creep up, it literally feels like something in my brain is missing. Neurotransmitters probably. It's like sometimes, I want to cry. But I can't. And I don't actually want too. But it feels like I should. That's depression for you. Because it's not always sadness. I mean, yeah, it is. But it's so much more than that. Because it's not going to fit inside society's box. Because you can be laughing one second and wanting to stay in bed all day the next. It's like you want to do the things you love. The things that used to bring you joy, but you can't make yourself get there. So yeah, depression is misunderstood. Depression is also a serious mental illness that can interfere with a person's life. It can cause long-lasting intractable feelings of hopelessness. A loss of interest in shit you used to like is usually how it starts. But what does it actually feel like? Let's find out.
Freshman, Foreclosures, & Fresh Starts: What It Was Like Getting Evicted From the Only Home I’ve Ever Known During The Most Confusing Time in a Girl’s Life
Regardless of the politics, it was still hard. In short, I hated being home. It was a shocking reminder of how messed up my family life had become and I didn’t want to deal with that or feel any of these feelings. I mean, what teenager would anyway? I remember wishing I was anywhere, but here —be careful what you wish for. At the time, I was a freshman in high school. I lived in an affluent suburb of South Jersey and up until this point, everything was fairly "normal" —except, a few somethings were about to go really wrong. It would later be revealed that my once perfect existence was really all smoke and mirrors. But let's start at the beginning.
It’s Still Not Cool to Judge a Book By Its Cover: What I Wish People Knew About My Mental Illnesses
I always felt different. At least today I know why. It's just I sometimes still fear people think I'm crazy because of my insane insecurities. I mean, on one hand, I am but on the other, I'm just like everybody else. And yet, it doesn't make me feel any less alone. You may think I'm being weak but you never really knew me and you certainly don't know the person I've become. I want you to know but you never ask. If you did, this is what I'd say.
Eating Disorders & Working Out: How Staying Active Actually Helps My Recovery
I was the girl hiding in her closet at 2:00 a.m. doing crunches because I couldn’t sleep. I was private to the point of fault. No one could see me work out and I hated the idea of anyone watching me eat. Except, when I finally made the decision to seek treatment, I knew I had to change my behavior. I needed to alter how I looked at fitness and my relationship with food. At the end of the day, I wanted to not only look good but feel good too. So, let's start at the beginning.
Perfectly Flawed: How Perfectionism Lied to Me & How I Deal With it Today
I don't know why I've always been so hard on myself. It's like I don't expect others to be perfect so why the fuck do I expect this of myself? It's exhausting and makes no sense. Except, recently, I had this revelation that I don't need to be perfect all the time. In fact, I don't need to be perfect at all. Here's how I deal with the devil of perfectionism.
Just Keep Swimming: How to Stay Afloat When You’re Sinking From Self-Doubt
In my last blog post, I discussed how I’m trying to swim through life with multiple mental illnesses but I can’t even float. It feels like I’m sinking with nothing to stop me but me. And so, I pretend everything is okay. And if you're like me, you want to feel normal but maybe you just don't know how. Well, here are three mental health treatment options that can bring you back to the person you were always meant to be.
I’m Drowning: How Mental Health Issues Affect My Ability to Swim Through Life
I don’t remember when, but at some point, I realized what I was feeling and going through was not normal nor healthy. It was hard to admit that I was drowning. But, if I was going to get help, if I was going to feel happy again and be able to stay afloat, I needed to admit that something was wrong. I was not okay.
Diagnosing Type One Diabetes: My Story
I lost 30 pounds in just a few short weeks. Secretly, I loved it. Maybe that was why I waited so long to actually get my symptoms checked out. The thing is, if you listen to your body when it whispers, you won't have to hear it scream. Here's what you need to know about diagnosing type one diabetes.
Chronic Pain & Depression 101: When Others Can’t See Your Invisible Illness But You Feel It Everywhere
Just about everyone gets hurt from time to time. When you cut your finger or pull a muscle, pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. Once the injury heals, you stop hurting. Sounds simple enough, right? Yes. Except chronic pain is different. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible trauma, chronic pain persists —for months or even longer. If you have chronic pain and depression, well —that burden may grow even heavier. The good news is, these disorders are not inseparable. Here's what you need to know.
Because You Can Get Better Too: How I Battled Opioid Withdrawal
I think I stayed on painkillers for as long as I did because I was afraid of experiencing withdrawal. I think that's why most people stay stuck. Detoxing off opioids was in fact, the hardest thing I ever had to do (and the greatest). I remember counting my stash the night before just to make sure I had enough to not get sick the next day. It really is a vicious cycle. You know you shouldn't but how can you not? So whether you're a loved one of an addict, currently addicted, or in recovery, these seven therapeutic remedies can connect the dots so that you can battle opioid withdrawal and actually win.
It’s Okay to be Afraid: 10 Signs You May Have an Actual Anxiety Disorder
Maybe you have no reason to feel anxious. Or, maybe, it's all just too much to handle. The thing is, it's okay to feel your feelings —just don't move in. There are ways to ease the pain of anxiety, and eventually eliminate it. But before you can actually work toward fixing it, you must identify why you do the things you do. This is what you need to know.
The Little Black Book of Poems: Drug of Choice
A blue circular pill, created from a scientific formula designed to take away the pain. But in all reality, it's killing me. On one side, I had the boy of my dreams. The other, the reason my life was falling apart at the seams. On the outside, it looked like I didn't care. On the inside, I was really scared. In short, I used to hush the chaos in my head. Like I said— I was addicted, restricted, and fucking conflicted.
The Little Black Book of Poems: The Storm
There would be no real way of knowing then that I was about to create a storm that would soon ravage all in its line of vision. Everything, my world —up in smoke. Just when I thought I had conquered it all, when things couldn’t get any worse, I found myself lost, alone, and addicted.