Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Shrunken Head

Yesterday I had an appointment with my shrink. Well, he's not really a shrink or therapist, he's actually a psychopharmacologist. Or, in other words, he asks me a few questions and then prescribes me medications and that's it (because that's what he specializes in). He's a nice guy, probably in his early 60's, very short (like 5' foot), and very Italian (accent and all).

I've been going to see him for about two years or so. Over the course of the last 6 visits, he has prescribed me 7 different medications (which is just ridiculous). All of which I tried on average for about 3-4 days (if at all) before quitting. I've slowly been coming to the conclusion over the last year that I don't want to take anti-depressants anymore, because they never really help and often make things worse. So, each time he'd tell me I needed one (because that's his job), I'd feign interest and try it just long enough to revisit the side-effects (feeling exhausted, dry mouth, foggy head, etc) before stopping again. For awhile, at the next doctor's visit, I would tell him I wasn't taking the new medication he prescribed me the last time. It didn't seem to matter, and he'd just say, "Well then, let's try something new".

Now, I've been trying other, non-pharmacy, ways of dealing with my depression (hopefully I'm not starting to sound like Tom Cruise). I think it's actually working! I've made more progress in the past month, than I have in the past 3 years. I've been reading ACIM (getting my spiritual side in order), spending more time with my son (just plain having fun and being silly), paying all my bills on-time (which for me is a huge accomplishment), trying to do more physical activities (last month I dropped 7 1/2 lbs.) and staying in better touch with my family. I think the combination of doing all this is really bringing my thoughts/feelings in order and I'm feeling pretty good about it.

That brings me back to my doctor's visit. The last time was in his office, I was a mess. Crying, and terribly depressed. Yesterday, I sat down and told him about all the things I've been doing to try working on myself. I told him I've been feeling so much better and recovering quicker if I do encounter any set-backs. He was amazed at how much better I'm doing and said he was so glad for me. We talked longer yesterday than we probably ever have. Then, he picked up his chart and looked back at what he last prescribed me. He said, "It looks like the Zoloft must really be working. Looks like we've finally found the right medication for you." I just smiled and said, "Yes, it's been great". As he wrote me out the refill prescription, I just didn't have the heart to tell him that I'd never started taking the Zoloft in the first place.

On the way out, he said he wanted to see me again in October for another appointment. I thought about just not coming back again, but then I made the appointment anyway. I like him, he's a nice guy. He doesn't know what a breakthough I've had and that I owe a lot of it to him, even if his help didn't come in the way it was intended. I guess some part of me also likes that he thinks it's his pills that have finally started making me happy, when in truth I've finally figured out how to do it myself.


Bent Fabric said...

Anti-depressants never worked for me either, until it was discovered that I am bipolar. Ugh! Idiot boy, Mr. Cruise, would no doubt insist the chemical imbalance in my brain is imagined.

Jeez, I thought 4 pills were excessive. I'm not sure how you deal with 7.

Okay, as requested here are your questions. Feel free to swipe the instructions from my blog. Remember for maximum efficacy you must answer these questions in a post. :)

1. What was your most embarrasing moment? Expound.

2. If you could re-live one moment in your life what would it be? Why?

3. I will steal one from my set of questions: What is your idea of the perfect date? Yes, include details.

4. Did you always know you were a lesbian or was there an A-ha moment?

5. What is the best news you've heard all year? Worst?

Bear in mind some of these questions may have aleady been answered in previous posts. But I am new to your blog and therefore have no knowledge of your history. :)

Bent Fabric said...

Obviously you reserve the right to forfeit any of the above if it is deemed to personal. :)

Who am I? said...

That is the problem with those docs -- they dose out the meds, but sometimes it is life changes that really help. i am a therapist and I truly believe that meds can help, but working on your problems is more effective. Meds can be a band-aid until the wounds heal... glad to hear you are doing great! All people who go to psychiatrists (or any pill dispenser) should talk to a therapist in conjunction with the meds...

Sublime said...

Quoting Bent Fabric's comment above,
"Jeez, I thought 4 pills were excessive. I'm not sure how you deal with 7."

Just to clarify, I'm not taking 7 pills a I just meant that the doctor tried to perscribe me over seven different medications over the course of my visits to his office. Currently, I'm taking medication free.

Angelika said...

Well I think its great that you are doing so well. It just shows you that different things work for different people. Maybe you had to go through the journey of the 7 different happy pills before you arrived at where you are today.

Your therapist does sound like a funny guy though. It cracks me up that you talked the longest to him and then he still arrived at the same conclusion that he always does it's gotta be the pills.

Bent Fabric said...

Sublime, if I had paid closer attention when you said, Over the course of the last 6 visits there would have been no misunderstandings. *lol*

I wholeheartedly agree with Who Am I but you seem to be doing well. :)

Anonymous said...

I have been on a variety of anti-depressants. While I never feel zippidie doo-dah happy, it keeps some of the blackness back. Of course, I struggle with it a lot. Sometimes, there is a darkness in my sould and psyche that never really leaves. I sometimes think the world could turn very hostile, very quickly, like a malfunctioning amusement park ride.