I’m sitting in my psychiatrist’s office in an overstuffed beige wing chair. It reminds me of Archie Bunker’s chair. My mother is near me sitting on an overstuffed red pattern that reminds me of William Morris. I wish my mother wasn’t here. This is the downsize of my bout in November with shut kidneys and bladder- she is treating me like I am 16. It’s getting on every last nerve I have, and like a teenager, I want to rebel. Smoke or drink, or do something to irritate her.
My mother is talking to my doctor; I cannot get a word in edgewise. Something about me sleeping the day away. I try to tell her it’s from the kidney/bladder medicine, but she isn’t buying it. Not now. I’m lazy.
She’s talking pills. The only pill she recalls me taking is Cymbalta, and she wants the doc to put me on that. I get upset. I don’t want to go on that drug. I was on it three years ago and the side effects after the first 2 months were horrible. It's because of Cymbalta I developed agoraphobia, not to mention a dozen other side effects like severe bloating, confusion, twitching in my arms and face, impossible to read a book, constantly thirsty, itching, a feeling like bugs were crawling over me (I had that one with Prozac too), and the worst, when I went off cold turkey on the doctors suggestion, I had brain zaps for the first time in my life.
The doctor says she will look into it, call my kidney doctor and get back to my mother. Mom is adamant I need to be on something. I’m depressed.
“I’m not depressed mom, I am sad, in pain and frustrated”, I tell her. My father doesn’t want me to be on any meds. But my father is going downhill. My mother is calling all the shots now in their marriage. In any marriage there is always a dominate partner, even if it’s 50/50 it’s always 51/49.
My mother looks at my psychiatrist. “She needs to be medicated. She needs to get out of the apartment more.”
I look at my psychiatrist. She’s the most petite woman I have ever seen, doll like at 4 8”, and exotic since she was not born in the States, but in India. As a person, she’s nice, she even gave me a recipe for a vegetarian korma.
I will give her props. She asked me a month or so earlier to give her a list of every med I have ever been on. She called the kidney doctor to check which one(s) I should be on. And she knows I do not want to go back on any psych meds, and respects me for that.
Only now it’s my mother telling her, begging her to put me on something. Begging for a script for Cymbalta. Not understanding why I cannot be on an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer.
The doctor does her best to explain I do not need to be on both, and right now, it’s all about the kidneys. My mother goes back on her tirade all I am doing is sleeping and crying.
Yes, I am sleeping too much, but I found if I miss a dose of the kidney/bladder pills I sleep 10 hours a day opposed to 18. I cry because my gynecologist is saying I am perimenopausal and anything and everything turns on the waterworks. I wake up in the middle of the night covered in sweat like I am bringing off a fever, and find for some reason it’s easier to sleep during the day than the night, even with a fan blowing directly on me.
I’ve been on psych meds for about 5/8 ths of my life. I’ve been off them now since November, and I am noticing some things happening to my body, all-amazing. Physically, my body is a wreck. But my brain, the brain that had the photographic memory, the brain that could read a poem once and have it committed to memory, who never forgot a book from the first one I ever read “Pat the Bunny”, to the last one I read, “The Noonday Demon”, when I had ECT. I am watching “Jeopardy” at night and actually can get more questions correct.
There seems to be two camps both on line and in real life. Those who are pro meds and anti meds. Let me state this here and there. I don’t know where I am. I don’t think, any of the psych meds I have ever taken have helped me, and two came close to killing me, one actually had me flat line. Personally, I don’t think they did anything for me, but I stayed on them all these years because of the propaganda; doctors telling me it was like diabetes, I needed these drugs to stay alive. Playing Monday morning quarterback, I don’t they did anything for me. I might have felt good for a very slight time when they started working, but after a couple of months, they always made me feel worse. I was always told to cut the drugs cold turkey and start another one. I was a good girl, I took the drugs, blindly like a sheeple. My parents believed I should be on these drugs, and I wanted to be a dutiful daughter. And I believed the PR, the promises, because all I wanted was to be the person I was when I was first diagnosed.
That person is gone. “She’s dead and gone lady, she’s dead and gone”- but unlike Ophelia I don’t think I am mad. I pray I do not succumb to suicide like she did. Gosh knows I’ve been in her shoes. But I am older and wiser. And I know the only Dane to die for is a Danish. (Preferably Apple Cinnamon). I want to rebuild my life again. True, the dreams I had at 22 are gone, but maybe I can make new dreams, and have a good life for how ever long I stay on this big blue ball called Earth.
ETA: Here is the video I posted a few years ago on Cymbalta and the side effects. I will be showing it to my psychiatrist on why I hate Cymbalta. It’s a keeper.