First off, I am sorry this post is so long, and if you do not have time to read it all, or don't want to, I totally understand that.
I am feeling really irritable right now. I'm not usually like this. I feel on edge, anxious, and ready to smack somebody if they come near me. I'm not a violent person; I wouldn't actually smack anyone. I'm just really annoyed with life and I think part of the reason I'm feeling like this is that my Lamictal dose was doubled, up to 50 mgs, starting last night. I'm sure there is a correlation.
Yesterday, I went to see my psychiatric ARNP and she wasn't there; she had her own doctor's appt. So I saw another doctor, who actually was my first doctor the very first time I ever went to the community mental health center here, back about 14 years ago. He thought he remembered me. He is now the medical director, and no longer usually sees patients. I like him a lot; he seems sharp, intelligent, and on the ball. He immediately stated that I'm on an awful lot of medication, which I know is true. I also know how I feel when I am not on this medication, and it really sucks to be me then, so at the same time I am reluctant to say, "Hey, yeah! Let's take me off some!". But I DO want to go off Seroquel forever, because it caused me the biggest weight gain. So he further decreased my Seroquel, and soon I won't be on it hardly at all.
He also decreased my Wellbutrin, because for some time now I've been on 450 mgs, which is the most they usually would ever prescribe for anybody. I knew that before he told me that, and I was fine with reducing that antidepressant since Lamictal is supposed to be helping me with the depression now.
He asked me why I was on an injection (Risperdal Consta), and I explained that, years ago when I was first put on injections, it was in the hospital after I had been psychotic for years and never stayed on pills even when they were finally prescribed. Then, I stayed on injections because they work for me, and every time I go off the Risperdal shots, the psychosis returns.
I'm not sure he totally understood my history in this brief visit, because he started to say that I seem more Bipolar than Schizophrenic, as of course Schizoaffective is a mix of the two, and he seem to be thinking perhaps I actually am Bipolar. I know I'm not Bipolar. I know my history, and I know my life. Psychosis has been a big part of my life for twelve years. It happens when I'm not depressed. I don't get manic; if I get hypomanic, which I actually may be right now (not sure), it is not a severe thing and I haven't actually been manic as far as I know since around 2003-2004.
In any event, I don't think it could hurt to have a second opinion on the medications I'm taking, so I was pleased when this doctor said he wanted me to come back for him to do a whole psychiatric evaluation on me. My therapist said he might not understand why I need so much medication, because I seem to have "absorption problems" as she calls it where my stomach doesn't take in the stuff enough for it to work. I've been checked for Celiac Disease and told I don't have that, but it seems like it takes a lot of meds for me to feel any effects. I didn't explain this to this doctor, because I honesty didn't think of it at the time. My therapist thinks it's really important that he understand this and that I need to make this really clear to every doctor I ever see. Since she sees a lot of clients with digestive problems, she has a theory that many people have absorption issues and that's why their meds don't work well enough for them. I don't want to get into a disgusting topic of how people have digestive problems, but you probably understand what I'm saying.
Anyway, since he doesn't see patients usually, it's unlikely this doctor will take over my case, but having his input might help. I found out from him that there is a new antipsychotic drug that's only been used for about three months now, and it does not cause weight gain. I forget the name of it, but it starts with "L". I am very interested in trying this new drug, because the Risperdal shots also contributed to my weight gain, and I would really love to be on something that does not slow down my metabolism or make me hungry all the time. That would be such a wonderful change!
I'm not sure if Lamictal generally causes anxiety or irritability, but things and people are really getting on my nerves right now. I have this constant problem of worrying about my family members, who have a lot of problems to worry a person. They: my mom, and the brother and sister who I'm closest too, all have major money problems. My mom goes in and out of jobs every couple of months and she can't pay her bills because of it, since her Bipolar Disorder has never been under control well enough for her to function for long enough at a job even though she is intelligent and capable. And so there is this weight on my shoulders, getting these phone calls about how my mom can't pay her water bill and she doesn't expect me to pay it for her, but she tends to blame other people for her problems, and often times, I am that other person.
Then tonight I went out to a movie with the only friend I have who I ever go to movies with (I do not have a lot of friends), and she was, once again, getting on my last nerve. She is very self-involved and never stops complaining about her money problems. I don't talk about my money problems with her so she seems to assume I have these riches she doesn't have, even though I have pointed out to her on several occasions that my income is no higher than hers is. She is on disability, but she gets a check twice the size of mine, and she doesn't have to work to pay her bills, so she doesn't work. She never gets psychotic, and yet she complains to me about how hard her life is all the time, as if it was soooo much more difficult than my life when I'm trying to manage a job and school, and she's sleeping until 5 PM every day despite having no physical health problems.
Then there is the difference in personalities. We really are not that much alike. She thinks it's funny to throw popcorn at me in a movie theater, or purposely irritate people by smoking near them when they are obviously annoyed with her smoking, and stuff like that which is really juvenile, and I don't get it since she is older than my mother. She acts like she's five years old, but to her this is very amusing. To me, it's really annoying. We're in the movies and she's loudly laughing and talking and I'm just thinking of how embarrassing this is because nobody else is being this loud. Then she's coughing non-stop without covering her mouth which really boggles my mind because most people know it's very rude to cough and cough when you're sitting inches away from someone, and not cover your mouth to prevent spreading your germs. Then there's the fact that she flirts with strangers every time we go anywhere and they are generally thirty years younger than her and not exactly interested. I don't understand that behavior, or the illogical thinking that would lead one to believe a 22 year old will want to flirt with you when you are 56.
Do I sound annoyed yet?
I'm really not a picky person. I'm not usually the type of person to point out everything I don't like in a friend of mine. I really don't do that. It's just that I wish I had other friends to go places with, and the reason I don't is that I have very poor social skills and a lack of ability to make friends. And I guess that's irritating too. Because if I'm going to take the effort to spend time with a person and talk to them frequently on the phone, I want to be able to have that person actually care about my life and not just use me as their sounding board to tell me all their problems without caring at all about my problems. Is that too much to ask?
I have had two friends like this the past few years, and they are the only friends who ever call me, and both of them drive me nuts. The other one is a drug addict and I want nothing to do with her anymore because I'm sick of watching her destroy her life and getting her phone calls where she makes it obvious she wants to borrow money from me, as if I have any money to lend her. I have cut her, for the most part, out of my life for my own sanity and peace of mind.
And that leaves me with no friends around here. I know people in a women' organization I belong to and NAMI but I'm not friends with any of them, really. I would like to be friends with some of the women in the women's organization, but I doubt they would want to be friends with me. Most of them are twice my age and have had careers and hold Bachelor's or Master's Degrees or even PhD's, and they intimidate me. I doubt that I could hold up a conversation long enough for them to be interested in what I have to say. There is one exception to this, as one woman has taken the time to have lunch with me and she was very kind to me and seemed to have an interest in the conversation. It probably helps that she is a therapist! I have shared my diagnosis with her, and some of my history, and she has not seemed judgmental about it at all. I really appreciate that. It would be nice if we had more in common and could be friends, but I just don't know how to make that connection.
All my life, I have had trouble making friends. Always. I have had friends, even close friends, but for the past 13 years, those have mostly been online. I had a group of friends I've mentioned here before who I was very close too, but when my illness was at its worst, all but one of them cut me out of their lives. The one who didn't do that is still a wonderful friend to me, and I care about her and really appreciate her a great deal. But we have never met in person.
I guess my life is just not flowing well right now, and I'm not sure how much of this has to do with medication changes, as my Seroquel has been decreased over the past month, and the Lamictal is still new to me, and just recently increased. I don't know if the irritation I'm feeling is due to that alone, or if life factors are also in play here. If it is my life that is the problem, the fact that I don't know what I'll do if my car needs more expensive repairs since I can't get around without a car, is weighing heavily on my mind, and my problems with college and not being sure what to do about my degree and future is really making me nervous.
I feel like I need tranquilizers and the funny thing is, I'm taking Ambien and Klonopin and Valerian Root and Melatonin and still having trouble sleeping!! Talk about craziness. If I am hypomanic that would explain this.
I just wish that I could wake up in the morning and feel energetic, which I never do because of my health problems, or feel clear about my goals, which I'm not right now, and this inability to have the energy and the clarity that I need to function well is really getting in my way. I wish I could meditate, but it's something I've never been able to do because I have a lot of trouble quieting my mind and relaxing. It just does not work for me. If I was physically able to do yoga, I'd try that, but I'm not physically able to do it (have tried before).
I know that one thing I need to do is get back into a regular exercise regimen, which I have not been doing for many months, and to make that a priority in my life. I also need to unpack all my belongings that are still in boxes, hang all my pictures, and get my apartment set up properly.
I've been buying discount curtains and other decor to make it look better than the old one looked, and I do enjoy that. I have a lot of trouble making decisions, though, so when I go to buy something I end up going to five or six stores and on five or six websites comparing prices before I make a purchase, which takes up a lot of time and energy, and leads to exhaustion and physical pain from Fibromyalgia. This is something I've done way too much of lately, and I need to stop it. If I cannot make up my mind about things, and don't have the money needed to buy the things, then it is not time to go shopping. Especially not shopping all day long without buying anything!
Well, this has turned into a long, windy post, and I'm not sure it will be clear to anyone what the point of it was, so I apologize for that. I don't feel up to writing anything much better at the moment, so this is what it is. Thank you for stopping by, and I do deeply appreciate all the people who take the time to write comments. Also, I'm sorry if I sound like a witch with the way I talked about my friend, but that is the frame of mind I'm in at the moment. My friend asked me if something was wrong with me because I seemed angry. This is not the way I normally am at all. She really is a good person at heart, and I would never want to make her feel badly just because her behavior drives me up the wall. And also, I know that not everyone would find me a pleasant person to be around, and I'm sure many people are annoyed by me on a regular basis.
I would like to know a way to determine if one is experiencing hypomania or not, or if I am in a mixed state. I am not sure how to determine this. If you have any opinions on it after reading this post, I would love to hear them. I am wondering if the Lamictal could have thrown me into hypomania or a mixed state of depression and hypomania, or if I've been in hypomania for months and that is why I can't sleep. But I really do not feel manic, in the usual sense of the word. Mental health can be so confusing at times.