It's a GAD GAD World
Friday, May 26, 2006
Yesterday I read this really interesting article on MSN called "Are You Addicted to Food?" I wanted to include the link here, but couldn't. I emailed the link to myself yesterday, then opened the message today only to find that the link didn't take me to the article, only to MSN's homepage. Then I tried searching the MSN site for about 10 minutes, only to come up empty. (Note to MSN: Your site's search capabilities suck moose cock!)

ANYWAY...The article talked about people who are particularly attracted to certain types of food. It cited an example of one woman who was so hooked on chocolate that one morning when she woke up & couldn't find any in the house, she bundled up her infant in freezing cold weather & took her for a ride to the convenience store just so she could buy a couple of Snickers bars.

Then it went on to say that studies have been done where the brains of obese people have been compared to the brains of alcholics & drug addicts. SOME of the obese brains were similar to the chemically-addicted brains in that they didn't have as many dopamine receptors. This suggests that some people may experience the same pleasure rush when eating their favorite foods as chemical addicts do when doing their drug of choice, and that they may experience the same withdrawal symptoms when their favorite foods aren't available.

The article then said something about an indicator of this kind of addiction is if the person doesn't experience the "right" amount of pleasure with other normal pleasure-inducing activities such as sex and social interactions.

I don't think all of this fits me, but some of it sure does. I love chocolate and I love carbs. Especially pasta and bagels. God help me if I ever become diabetic, because I can't imagine living without those foods. I've never done anything crazy in the middle of the night to obtain them, though.

I also don't seem to experience the same amount of pleasure with social interactions as "normal" people do. I'm very lonely, and I love having conversations with people, but it just seems so damn hard to find people to talk to that sometimes I just don't think it's worth the effort. And so I sit at home and cry myself to sleep.

Last night I tried looking up dopamine to see what drugs would boost it. Turns out it's your typical ADHD drugs--Ritalin, Adderall, etc. Then I looked up Provigil, because that's a drug I was on at one point and it was HORRIBLE. Turns out Provigil interacts with dopamine. So maybe dopamine's not the answer for me.

Maybe. I don't know. What I do know is that I've gained 15 pounds since January & I have no idea how the hell it happened. My eating habits have not changed radically. I'm actually consuming LESS fast food since I started at School of Style, not more. (There aren't any fast-food joints within reasonable walking distance of my workplace, so I brown-bag it every day.) I do a 20-minute walk to and from Port Authority every workday. The only change in my diet is that I have a little bit of butter with my morning bagel. But we're talking less than one folded pat of butter per bagel. While that might have added SOME weight, I can't believe I gained 15 pounds in 4 months just by consuming a small amount of butter 5 days a week. And no, I'm not on any new drugs. Sometimes the crazymeds can cause weight gain, but I'm not on any of those drugs. Just my Namenda, with Ambien/Lunesta on the nights I have to get up early and an occasional low-dose benzo.

I also seem to have a grocery shopping addiction. If it's on sale & I've got a coupon, I buy it regardless of whether I actually need it at the moment. Right now I've got 13 boxes of cereal in my apartment, at least 10 bags of candy, maybe 20 cans of soup, 10 boxes of spaghetti, 6 jars of pasta sauce. (Did I mention I'm single and live alone?)

But wait, it gets better! In September 2004 I got a notice from my landlord saying that the exterminator was coming & I had to clear out everything in my kitchen area. So I emptied the contents of my cupboards and put them in a garbage bag. That garbage bag is STILL sitting on the floor of my apartment, and a lot of the food in it has been sitting there since September 2004. I haven't had room in my cupboard to empty the bag because I keep buying stuff. I've been trying to cut down, & the pile is growing smaller, but it's still a disaster.

Then there's the sleep issue. There have been studies out that show a correlation between sleep loss & weight gain. I typically take my sleepy drug around 9:30pm, fall asleep sometime between 10:30-11:30pm, wake up between 3:30-5am, and MAYBE fall asleep again till 6am when I get up. So I'm getting maybe 6 hours a night, and that's on a GOOD night. I don't always have good nights.

I get an entire week off in June. My plan is to clean the living hell out of my apartment. I was hoping to get a head start on this long weekend & maybe get a little writing done, but all I feel like doing is lying in bed & crying. Stupid fucking depression. >:(

Well, at least I've blogged. I think I'm going to go get some other internet poop done now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
After a short game of phone tag, I finally connected with Forest Pharmaceuticals today. The woman who returned my call was a nurse who worked in their safety division. She asked me some questions about how long I'd been taking Namenda & how it affected me. Then she explained that she was going to write up a little report, then it was going to be reported to the FDA as an "Unexpected Benefit". She explained that drug companies like to hear about such things because if enough people report a particular unexpected benefit, then the drug company knows that it might be on to something. And then they start researching it.

So my advice to all the crazies out there: If you're taking an off-label drug and it's actually working for you, LET THE DRUG COMPANY KNOW!

Thursday, May 18, 2006
The above link illustrates just one of the many reasons why there is no fucking way in hell I will take an SSRI.

First, the news. Remember the letter I wrote to Forest? Well, I got a phone message from them Thursday when I got home from work. That's the good news. The bad news is my answering machine cut off before the person could give out the entire phone number. I called their general # & left a msg in their voice mailbox. No one called me back today, so I'll have to try again. But the fact that they called me is a good sign.

Now for the blues. I've been depressed lately. No particular reason, just crying every day for the hell of it.

As for the short fuse, there are 2 parts to that. The first is that on top of being depressed, I've been really irritable. Like I wanna chew somebody's head off irritable. And no, I don't think it's PMS.

The second part is my annoying co-worker from hell. The counseling director at the school where I work is participating in a teleconference on handling students with psych disabilities, & she invited the entire campus to join her. It's during lunch, so those who participate wouldn't have to miss any work, they could just do it on their lunch hour. I asked my boss if I could do it, & he said sure, just work out front desk coverage with my co-worker.

So I sent my co-worker an email (cc-ing my boss) explaining the situation & if she'd be willing to cover for me. She put up such a whiny bitchy stink about it. She even emailed my boss (not realizing she'd cc'd me) asking if this was something I really had to do. Finally my boss emailed both of us saying enough already, HE would cover the front desk if he had to.

I felt bad. If I had known that using my lunch hour to learn something was going to cause this much of a stink I never would have asked. Then I felt angry, because I shouldn't feel bad about wanting to pursue my professional development. At least my boss stuck up for me in this instance. The problem is my co-worker works very closely with him & he thinks she's the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is because she's a 2-faced bitch who only shows him her good side. If anyone tried to point out to him how nasty & devious she can be, he would never believe it.

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow. So help me, if she keeps me waiting for more than an hour I'm going to fucking strangle her.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I mailed my letter to Forest this morning. Who knows if it will do any good, but I can't not try. I don't believe Namenda will help everyone with GAD, but I also don't believe I'm the only person it could help.

As for my birthday food goal, I failed big time. Sometime around late afternoon/early evening I caved and ate a piece of pizza. And it just went downhill from there.

Saturday, May 06, 2006
OK, back to my story...

I haven't gone off meds completely. I absolutely MUST be functional for work, and I am working now, so I still took some Namenda before work every morning. But I dropped down to the lowest dosage, 5 mgs. And I still popped an occasional benzo when I felt the need. But no sleep aids, due to the alcohol I've been drinking every night.

Surprisingly, it hasn't been that bad. Monday & Tuesday were a little rough, but I've been managing. Sleep has been horrible. I've been lucky to get 4 hours a night. Last night I gorged myself on pizza & ended up napping for 90 minutes. Never got around to doing the drinking ritual because I was too damn sleepy to turn on the computer to play music.

Got up around 7:30 this morning, then I did laundry. Now I'm writing. And I'll probably continue to write until dinnertime. Other than that, I probably won't do anything special today.

And that's getting more and more OK. It used to really bother me that no one remembered me on holidays & special days, but as the years go by things like that become less & less important. I suppose some small part of me will always wonder why I'm not important to anyone in the world, but I'm starting to realize that not being important ISN'T that important.

In my last post I said I wanted to do something I'd never done before. I came up with 2 things.

The first was to devote my day to writing. That's what I'm doing right now. I've worked on a couple of pieces, I'm working on my blogs (see? :) ) and I'm working on my Forest letter. More on that later.

The second was to eat nothing but healthy food today. The rule is I can eat as much as I want of whatever I want, as long as it's healthy food. Not junk. Now, what constitutes healthy food could be debated till the cows come home. If you're an Atkins enthusiast, lean meat is good and bagels are bad. If you're a vegetarian, all meat is bad and peanut butter is good. If you're fat-conscious, peanut butter is bad and fruit juice is good. If you're diabetic, fruit juice is bad and...well, you get the idea.

My definition of healthy food is: nothing overly processed. Nothing that's clearly junk. Sweets are ok, as long as they're in small quantities and I there's some sort of health benefit attached. So far today I've had a couple of swallows of OJ to wash down my meds, Cheerios with fat-free milk, and about 3 or 4 Hershey's Dark Kisses. (3 or 4 isn't a huge quantity, and dark chocolate has some health benefits.) My lunch, a Healthy Choice entree, is currently cooking in the oven.

Back to the Forest letter: I'm writing a letter to Forest's Medical Affairs division asking them to consider doing research on Namenda as a psych drug. If it helps me, it could help others. I've basically gotten the letter entirely written, I just need to clean it up a little. God knows if it will do any good, but I can't not try.

I went off meds this week, almost completely. It's part of a ritual I observe this time every year. My best friend died a few years ago on April 28th. May 6th is my birthday, and May 7th was hers. So every year between 4/28 & 5/7 I drink a bottle of Mike's Hard lemonade every night while sitting in the dark listening to her favorite music (I won't explain the Mike's significance now), and I go off meds, presumably so I can wallow in my misery.

Well, I didn't go off completely. And the oven buzzer's ringing. So I'll finish this later.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006
My birthday is Saturday. I want to celebrate by doing something I've never done before, something that doesn't cost a lot of money. Any ideas out there?

Monday, May 01, 2006
Yeah, so I said I was going to blog every day. So much for that. I haven't blogged on my other blog in a while either, despite a wealth of material. No excuses, I just haven't been able to get off my ass & do it. And I've been trying to get off my ass and do this writing thing for over a year now.

I'm growing increasingly discontented with my job. Recently I had the opportunity to see a salary list of several employees at my job. The only person on the list who made less money than me was the new janitor. And I have a master's degree!

I've been sentenced to front desk duty till January. That means 1) I'll have to be around the president a lot, & she's a cold, condescending bitch. Last Friday an employee left early because he got word that his son got hurt at school & had to be taken to the hospital. President kept making smart-ass cracks about him being an overprotective worrywart for the remainder of the day. When she was finally informed that the child had fallen and broken his arm in two places her response was, "So? That's not the end of the world."

2) It's going to mean a whole lot of doing nothing. I've had several days where the most challenging thing I do is the Su Doku puzzle in the newspaper at lunchtime. Not that a whole lotta nothing is necessarily bad. It's sometimes very relaxing. And it would give me time to do my writing if I could ever get off my ass & do it. But there's an executive who's running 5 departments BY HIMSELF with no administrative support who could really use my help. Did I mention the guy had heart surgery a few months ago?

Gotta get ready for work now...

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