It's a GAD GAD World
Sunday, July 30, 2006
No earth-shattering updates here, just a response to the latest comment. (Thanks, Allison!)

No, I haven't tried Prozac. And no, I'm not inclined to either. When you discovered this blog you probably didn't scroll thru the entire thing (and who could blame you? :) ). If you had, you would have seen my previous commentary on SSRIs.

I am EXTREMELY leery of trying SSRIs. Some people (like you) try them and get better. Other people (like me) try them and get worse. And other people may get better, but hte side effects are intolerable.

Not only that, but you have to stay on the SSRI for 4-6 weeks to see if it's going to have any effect. And once you've lived thru 4-6 weeks of hell and you realize it's not going to help, you can't quit cold turkey. You have to wean yourself off it gradually, which takes at least another couple of weeks of suffering. And then you get to try your luck with another SSRI and go thru all the same shit again.

Back in 2003 I tried Effexor, which is an SNRI. SNRIs are similar to SSRIs. But unlike SSRIs, which only work on serotonin, SNRIs work on serotonin and norepherine (I probably spelled that wrong, I know). Effexor turned me into a weepy miserable zombie. I spent most of the day lying on the couch crying like a baby. I had an appt with my p-doc 3 days after I started it. He took one look at me and said, "Why don't we just take you off meds completely for the next 2 weeks?"

As I've stated in my most recent posts, my depression seems to be getting worse for some reason. By this point I was desperate enough that I allowed my current p-doc to talk me into trying an SSRI (Zoloft). Technically I can say that I tolerated it better than Effexor, but that's because I endured 4 whole days of being a weepy miserable zombie instead of only 3.

Now maybe if I had toughed it out for 4-6 weeks it might have turned around. But there is NO WAY I could have tolerated 4-6 weeks of feeling that awful. I have a job. And the powers-that-be at my job have no idea that I'm a wack job. I can't go to work 5 days a week being a weepy miserable zombie.

So...if I've already had two strikes on similar drugs, I don't think it's wise to take a chance with a third.

I've proven to be quite the freak of nature when it comes to meds. I started treatment by enrolling in a research study involving riluzole. Of the 9 people who actually completed the trial, 8 of them showed significant improvement. Guess who was number 9? :P

The drug I'm currently taking for my GAD, Namenda, is an Alzheimer's drug. It's so way-the-hell off-label I'll bet your p-doc has never even heard of it. But I've been on it for 2 years & it seems to work. I'm not completely anxiety-free, but I'm at the point where I can function. And if I hit a rough patch, I just pop an occasional low-dose benzo.

But that's the anxiety. My problem now is depression. And I haven't yet found the magic drug that fixes everything.

In one of my more recent posts I said I was going to try neurontin again in connection with Namenda. And it seems to be having the effect I thought it would. I still feel miserable, but I have a little more energy this week than I've had recently. The fact that I can actually sit and blog is proof of that.

I've also decided that I'm not going to pursue any more jobs until I at least have a talk with my supervisor about my current position. I like School of Style and I like the people (well, MOST of the people), I just don't like the current situation I'm in. I'll ask him to remove me from it, and if he says no, then I'll start looking hard. But there's no way I'm going to last till December in this situation.

Further bulletins as events warrant....

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Thanks to Missy & gadguy for your comments.

I'm feeling slightly better than I was when I last posted. This could be because my midday dose of neurontin is actually doing something for me. It could also be because I've spent the past 2 days working in a different (read: less stressful) environment than the one I normally work in.

Gadguy mentioned Effexor, so I'm going to comment on it. I'm glad Effexor works for gadguy & anyone else out there who's had positive results. As for me, I consider it to be an evil drug from hell. It turned me overnight into a weepy miserable zombie. I started taking it on 8/15/03, the day of the Northeast blackout. (How fucking ironic and appropriate.) The following Monday I had an appt w/my p-doc. (Not my current p-doc, but the asshole who dumped me when he knew full well I didn't have health insurance simply because he couldn't be bothered with me anymore.) He took one look at me and said, "Why don't we just take you off meds completely for the next 2 weeks?" Good idea, Captain Obvious!

Gadguy also mentioned psychotherapy, so I'll talk about that here too. No, my current p-doc doesn't do psychotherapy. Which is a good thing, because her listening skills tend to suck. I'll be talking to her sometimes, & she'll veer off on a completely different tangent. I think she might be ADD or something.

I'm not a big supporter of psychotherapy anyway. I know that for some people it's been extremely helpful, and if it's helped you, then more power to you! But I've tried it a couple of times & it didn't do a damn thing to help me. Think of it this way: Effexor didn't do a damn thing for me, in fact it made me worse, but that doesn't mean I think it should be wiped off the face of the earth. I know it helps some people. Same with psychotherapy. I don't condemn it, but it didn't help me.

It's like a catch-22: If I'm on meds & they're working, then I don't need therapy. If the meds aren't working, then therapy isn't going to help.

That's about all the blogging I've got in me for today, folks. Again, thanks for your comments!

Monday, July 24, 2006
Imagine going to your all-time favorite restaurant to eat your all-time favorite dish on the menu. But you've got a bitch of a head cold. Your nose is all stuffed up. The restaurant looks and sounds the same, the food looks delicious, but when you take a bite, it tastes like crap because your sense of smell is shot to hell.

Welcome to depression. Nothing in my life looks appealing anymore. I could have gone to a music friend's gig tonight, but I blew it off because I had to pee & going back to Port Authority's public restroom was more appealing. I don't even miss the gig. Or the person who's doing it. How fucked up is that?

Every day I go to work & come home. Surf the net, sack out on the couch, take a nap. Wake up, take a shower. Pop a sleeping pill, go to bed. That's my entire life. Same shit, different week. Every week. And I'm 36. This is how I'm going to spend the rest of my miserable pitiful life because I don't have the energy to do anything else.

No one will ever know that underneath this worthless gray cloud of nothingness is a wickedly funny, amazingly compassionate, FUCKING intelligent human being. What a waste my life is. What a waste *I* am. Why the hell did I survive 9/11? I should have died instead of some firefighter in Staten Island with 9 kids. No one would have missed me.

I'm sorry this wasn't too coherent, but I felt the need to try & stay current with this blog.

Saw my p-doc on Thursday. Told her to take her Zoloft & shove it. We're now trying a mix of Namenda & neurontin. Today was my first day. Judging from the tone of what I wrote above, it hasn't worked yet.

I think I'm going to lie on the couch & stare at the ceiling till it's time to take a shower & go to bed.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006
My life is a room. One. Big. Dark. Room.

My job has become a joke. I spend my day sitting in front of a desk with virtually nothing to do except surf the net. And while on the surface that may sound like a good thing, it's not when I sit approximately 10 feet away from the president, who can see everything I'm doing or not doing from where she sits.

I really think I'm going to lose my job. It's just a matter of time. And what makes me angry is that there's a huge division who would kill for my skills & help, but I can't offer any of it to them. Why? Because I'm chained to a goddamn desk in another building.

I am a resource, and this school is wasting me. But then, that's been the story of my life. All I've ever wanted was a chance to be useful, & only rarely have I been given the opportunity.

I've seen the Cute Guy a few times since our big blowout, but we haven't talked much. I don't bother. I wasted an entire year of my life trying to show him that I wasn't a horrible monster. He's still not buying it, so the hell with him.

My life is a waste. I am a waste. It should have been me who went up in ashes on 9/11 instead of some firefighter with a wife & kids. No one would have missed me. Even my cat would have found someone to care for him.

I spent the better part of last weekend agonizing over whether to start sending out resumes again. Talking to the awesome VP helped. And after all that, you know how many I've sent out? One.

God, I'm such a loser.

Tomorrow is my p-doc appointment. I'll be telling her to take her Zoloft & shove it. If this is all that's left of my life, I pray that it ends soon. Sometimes that's the only comfort in my life--that every day when I wake up I'm one day closer to death. One day closer to this miserable shithole of my existence ending forever. And going someplace where there's no more misery, no more pain, no more fear, no more anxiety. And no more shitty reality TV.

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