Monday, January 9, 2012

How does this Mommy spell relief?

P-A-X-I-L

Yeah, I said it.  I have no shame, people...but, then, most of you already knew that.

Remember my post from a few weeks ago where I described hitting rock bottom once again?

Well, I clawed my way out of the darkness and it feels good.  No, it feels better than good.  It feels triumphant, it feels victorious, it feels amazing.

Winning?  Most definitely.

For starters, I requested a different psychiatrist at my doctor's office.  My former psychiatrist...she and I just never seemed to connect.  I didn't feel like she really listened to me, as I would go in every 6 months to check in and she would literally sit glued to her computer the entire time, going through her checklist of things.

"Are you still taking the prescribed dosage?"
"Are you getting enough sleep?"
"Have there been any major changes in your life?"

I complained at one point that I didn't feel like the Wellbutrin was helping any longer and her answer was, "Well, then quit".

Uh, okay....

So I weaned myself off the Wellbutrin and went about my life.

But, within time, it became evident that I couldn't do it on my own.  I walked around in a rage all the time, the littlest things would set me off, everyone around me walked on eggshells.

My coping skills were completely unhealthy and, at times, dangerous.

The new psychiatrist listened to me...he heard every word I said.  And then he repeated back to me all my symptoms and then asked a series of questions.

"Would you say you spend most of your day feeling anxious and worried?"
"Would you consider yourself an obsessive and/or compulsive person?"
"Do you lose sleep because you feel like you can't shut your brain off?"
"Do you feel like you can't breathe or you feel trapped most of the time?"

As I fiddled anxiously with the zipper on my sweatshirt, I nodded my head vigorously as he asked each question.

Then he said, "I think your main issue isn't the depression.  You seem like an extremely anxious person and when you're anxiety gets out of control, it leads to depression...this feeling of being trapped and then you panic.  Am I right so far?"

I don't think I ever stopped nodding my head in agreement with everything he was saying.

"Your brain is constantly on, all the circuits going haywire...it never shuts off," he continued.  "You probably crave calmness and that's why you clean your home compulsively and things feel chaotic when your home is disorganized, right?"

"I'll bet noise affects you, as well.  And with 4 young children, I'm sure there are times where you want to just rip your hair out when the noise reaches a certain level," he smiled.

Finally, I felt like I could breathe.  Someone truly understood how I was feeling.  And he wasn't just anybody, he was someone who was in a position to help me.

And then he spent some time discussing various medications with me, giving me the option of choosing which one I felt would be the best fit based on side effects and whatnot.

Ultimately, I decided on a low dose of Paxil, with a scrip for Klonopin on an "as needed" basis.  The Klonopin, he explained, would help with insomnia if I took it at bedtime or it could help me during the day should I feel overly anxious, rather than rely on an unhealthy and/or dangerous coping mechanism.

After a few days of taking the Klonopin at night and not liking the way it made me feel the next day, I stopped taking it and went solely with the Paxil.

And here's how I can tell it's been working...for the first time in years, I enjoyed spending time with my children during winter break.

I wasn't panicked every minute of the day, wondering how to entertain them.  I didn't feel like a total failure if I wasn't overseeing every single activity.

We baked cookies together, we played board games for hours, we went on long bike rides, we took walks, we shopped, we watched movies, we played the Wii...we had a FABULOUS time.

Not only have my children noticed a huge difference but Tim has, as well.

Yesterday, he said, "You come down the stairs in the morning in a good mood.  The way you're interacting with the kids is so different.  You just seem able to handle everything so much better now."

You want to know the best part?

When I smile, I feel it.  Truly feel it...from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.

Finally, my soul feels joyous and peaceful.


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47 comments:

Sarah said...

Oh Honey! You read my mind and wrote about it!!! My Prozac ceased to work a few months back and I was all "It's all my in head.. I am totally fine." and my hubby was all "You go see a doctor or I am gonna drag you there myself." I have the exact same issue. Anxiety that leads to that debilitating depression. On new meds and it has been like the most amazing revelation of my life to date. Happily thinking clearly and calmly enjoying spending time with the girls.. its just awesome. Bravo for us for getting the help we needed right? So glad I am not alone in this. xoxo

Eva Gallant said...

Fluoxotine is my drug of choice! Thank goodness there's help out there!

Eva Gallant said...

Fluoxotine is my drug of choice! Thank goodness there's help out there!

Samantha said...

Sounds like I should just look into something like this. I want to enjoy my time with Bree...but most of the time I don't have the will to. We used to have fun, but somewhere along the way it has changed. Not sure why. I'm so glad that you're doing incredible though! I've thought of you often. Makes me happy to see someone else happy :)

Kmama said...

I missed that post you linked to. I'm so you were at that point, but also so glad you are bouncing back and feeling better!

Hang in there!!

Kristina P. said...

I struggle with anxiety. I had my first panic attack about 2 1/2 years ago. I haven't ever taken medication, but it's something I will probably look into. I've done therapy and other things, and I haven't had a panic attack in a very long time, but I still struggle with claustrophobia, which crept up too, and haven't been on a plane in almost three years.

Brooke said...

*love* this. so proud of you for taking the bold step of changing doctors. its hard to do sometimes. sounds like you've got a good one!! :)

Nezzy said...

Woohoo baby, I've been prayin' for ya like no bodies business!!! God is good.

Sounds like your new psychiatrist is a winner!!! It does my heart good to read this sweetie, I'm just thrilled to pieces for ya.

Glory to goodness girl, guess I'm an anxious kinda gal. I can honestly answer yes to all 'cept the 'can't breath or trapped thing.'

I know it's probably hard to believe but my brain is never really off. I've tried to explain to hubs how I have several things goin' on at once up there but he just laughs at me.

This is good news...God is good!!!

Have a blessed and beautiful day my sweet friend! :o)

Evonne said...

I'm nodding vigorously with you as I read this. I am so glad you found a new doctor and something that works for you.

Deputy's Wife said...

I am SO very glad you're feeling much better! When I was dealing with all the crap a couple years ago, I had to be real with babygirl when I didn't feel like being a functioning member of society. She understood and wanted Mommy to feel better. Kids rock like that. :) I hope you feel the sunshine for a long, long time!

kristi said...

YEAH!!!! So happy for you!

Lisa said...

That is some GREAT news Helene. Seriously. I am so happy to hear it. :)

Emmy said...

Oh this makes me so so happy for you! How truly wonderful. So glad you got a new Dr that actually cares about his job. So happy.

Missy said...

So, so, so happy for you! Big Hug!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

This post makes me so happy to read! I'm thrilled that you not only found meds that work, but you also found a doctor who understands where you are right now (no small feat!).

Jen said...

I am so happy that you found someone who seems to understand you and who actually listens. That is so important! Also happy you found something to help. Keep at it and remember I will always be here if you need me!

MommaKiss said...

I am SO glad for you. For you - first. And for the rest of your family second. So So glad. Totally a supporter of medications, the right medications. Seems like you're on the right track. Atta girl!

Tamika said...

WHOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I gave a big ole redneck YEEE HAAWWW! when I read this post! :) :) I am so happy for you. So happy. And because I'm happy for you - I'm happy for your children! :)

so once again - YEEEHAAWWW!! LOL

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

This post is making my heart sing for you and your family. I am so happy that you've finally found the balance that you needed and someone to actually LISTEN to you!!! Kudos for requesting a new psychiatrist...some people would just remain complacent, but clearly, that wouldn't work.

My favorite line: "You probably crave calmness" (um, yeah)

Heather said...

AWESOME! So happy for you!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I'm so so happy for you. Thank goodness for people who actually listen and care.

I love how you said you can feel like you're smiling - just beautiful!

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

It has made my day to read this post; I'm truly elated to hear that you've found something that works for you! It sounds like you did the right thing to change doctors. xo

Rhiannon said...

yay! im so happy for you. having the right dr is so important.
years ago when i was diagnosed as an anxious manic depressant i thought my dr was crazy. But it took a long time to understand and get it under control. it was my anxiety as well that triggered my depression and all the things you just said was exactly what I go through! I was on Paxil for 4 years and it really helped

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am so happy for you. My 30 year old daughter has OCD/BDD and finding a good doctor is half the battle to getting well. I will keep you in my prayers.

Olusola said...

I'm happy for you girl! You deserve to enjoy those little ones so I'm really glad you found a good doc.

angel shrout said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I took Paxil when my youngest was born when they THOUGHT I had anxiety attacks, till they found out I had a crappy gall bladder and after 10 months of being told I was crazy I began to believe it. I did eventually come off the Paxil as I found even ground to stand on and was happy with my results with it. You do what you need to to be the best you can be. No one wants to feel that way all the time..

Shari said...

Good for you that you recognized that your psychiatrist and RX weren't working and took charge to get more help!! Honestly, I could've written this myself and I'm so glad you did as I think I'll need to go back and see about switching my meds to something more effective. I SO long to enjoy spending time with my kids; winter break was really difficult over here with everyone home 24x7. Thanks for this post!

myinnerchick.com said...

--Whatever works for you, honey, you must Do!
I know several people that admit Paxil & Prozac have changed their lives.
I say, Go For It!
For myself, I like Red Wine. Xxx
Keep telling your story.

Jenny said...

First of all, that first doctor should have her license revoked for telling you to just stop taking your medicine. That is so stupid!

I'm so glad you got a new doctor that understands!

I'm really happy for you. I take Celexa and have the same issue as you...anxiety that can lead to depression. It's helped me so much. I also have Valium to take as needed, which is really helpful if a panic attack comes on.

Thanks for the update too. I didn't want to get in your business and ask you, but I've been worried about how you were doing.

Kakunaa said...

Yay for a doctor who listens! And I am so glad it is working for you. Which reminds me...as my panic attacks have returned with a vengeance, I need to head into the doctor myself. Sigh. That guy sees way too much of me. So happy for you!

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you have such an awesome doctor and that you've found something that works! What a difference in life. You deserve it.

Kristen said...

Oh My God. Crap. Crap. Crap. Ok - I'm not saying crap because of you - because I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU! but....
I'm not seeing a psychiatrist - just a general doctor. And I'm on "what I know are dangereously high doses" of effexor and xanex. there - I said it. But - I FEEL the exact same way as you. In fact - I don't really feel depressed.... more anxious. I've started chewing nicorette gum because I was going to go back to smoking and finally have SOME relief - but now I want to go see your doctor. Maybe I will try to find one again. *sigh* they all want you to be on government assistance (which I'm not.) xoxo on your post. I'm so thrilled for you and I am calling as soon as school is over. Kristen

championm2000 said...

yes. Yes. YES!

Finally having someone understand my anxiety (and how the anxiety proceeded the depression) was the biggest break-through of my adult life.

I finally, happily, took the prozac, realizing nobody was going to award me a gold star for suffering in silence.

So happy that you are feeling joyous and peaceful. You deserve it!

WhisperingWriter said...

I'm so glad it helped you. That's wonderful!

Shell said...

I think you and I might be twins.

I'm glad that you are feeling better!

ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska said...

I'm so glad you found something that works well for you! It's so awesome that you share these experiences with your readers-- so beneficial to people that may be struggling with the same things! Have a great evening. :)

Natalie said...

This is so awesome! I'm so glad you found a different person to go to that really gets you.

Fox in the City said...

I am so happy for you! What a wonderful Christmas gift to be given . . . yourself back. :)
Jenn

Kimberly said...

This is so beautiful.
It really is.
I am so glad that you were proactive and went with a new doctor...that listens.
I swear that is the difference between recovery and delving in deeper into this illness.
I am so proud of you.
Keep smiling kiddo.
You deserve to

Twins Squared said...

Okay I tried to respond the other day and something didn't work. Anyway, so glad that it is helping and that you are feeling better. Just the slightest bouts with anxiety make me want to go insane. I can't imagine feeling like that most of the time. And happy to hear y'all had such a wonderful break! I'm sure it helps too that they're all getting more independent. We will survive! We've made it this far, right?

Karen Peterson said...

I am so happy for you! This is seriously amazing. I'm glad you've found someone you can trust and that actually cares about helping you out.

I found myself nodding along to some of those questions. I think we're more kindred spirits than I ever realized. ;-)

Tiffany said...

"Finally, my soul feels joyous and peaceful." Best words of the morning. I love it. You deserve that. And so glad you didn't accept the first person who wasn't LISTENING to you. I wonder how many of the worlds/peoples problems could be solved by this one factor alone.

You are amazing, don't you forget it!

trooppetrie said...

tears, thank you for the encouragment. i needed this post more than you know

Sela Toki said...

Glad you found something that works great for you Helene.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I want to cry reading this!! I know both feelings, the before and after, and I am just so happy for you!!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

What wonderful news!!! I'm so glad you found a great doctor! You deserve to feel those smiles.

MiMi said...

Brave mama! But you're right!
And. I spell it p-a-r-o-x-i-t-e-n-e. You know, the generic version. LOL!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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