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originally posted by: calstorm
I used to be very passionate about what is going on in our mental health system. I was a psychiatric nurse at a locked facility. I saw how broken the system was, but at that time I was young and thought I could change the world. A few years after I started working there, the budget was cut and the facility had to shut down, putting about 30 people who were unable to take care of themselves out on the street. Most ended up in jail. These were the ones we could place elsewhere due to lack of insurance and had no family to care for them.
Fast forward 15 years or so, I am having problems myself. On top of grieving the loss of my children, I have been diagnosed with PTSD. It is a challenge getting the help I need. I cycle between panic attacks and overwhelming grief. When I fist started seeking help they kept trying to put me on SSRI's. I can't do those they make my head feel like I have bombs going off inside of it. It is terrifying. So because of that, I was very resistant to any medication. I was given ativan for anxiety, but that made me too loopy to take care of important things. Finally one Dr. after fighting her on everything prescribed Hydroxizine for anxiety and Prazosin for nightmares and figured out it was PTSD, not depression that everyone else kept trying to label it as. I gave in to those two despite hating pharmaceuticals, and I am glad I did. Those work for some of what I am dealing with.
What I can't get help for is complicated grief. Self diagnosed via the internet, but everyone else seems clueless. Many days I go through all the cycles of grief except acceptance in one day, only to repeat it the next. Over the last few month I feel like my pain over my kids is getting worse instead of better. I thing that is due to feeling guilty, like I would be a bad mother if I let them go so I hang on the pain. I know I need help with that, but all anyone wants to do is is prescribe more pills. Once a week therapy telling me to get out and do stuff, doesn't cut it.
7 minutes. My psychiatrist gave me 7 minutes of her time and placed me on Lithium…lithium…I am not telling you this story from the 60’s where lithium was the wonder drug. I am telling you this from the 90’s when other options existed. I was always told in graduate school that in the court of bipolar disorder, Depakote is like a bb gun and lithium is like a howitzer. But even if we look beyond that (which btw I am happily on Depakote and it is working for me) I come right back to the 7 minutes. I was seen for seven minutes, diagnosed instantly and prescribed a regimen for drug therapy. No looking into what caused my bipolar (chemical, social, abuse whatever). Now I realize a psychiatrist these days don’t often do therapy and that’s fine…but no attempt whatsoever was made. It was literally, take this lithium at so-and-so intervals and see me in a month for a blood test.
(and I've already been yelled at for flushing them down the toilet, but clearly I wasn't in my right mind at the time)
It is crazy easy! In my experience it was way too easy to get antidepressants that I consider extremely dangerous and poisonous. One guy in California gave me Lithium Carbonate. It only took five minutes for him to diagnose and prescribe. That stuff is gnarly! Apparently, when on it you require weekly blood tests to ensure your have the correct level of the drug in your system. If you have just a little bit too much it can be lethal. Thank God I was smart enough to flush that stuff down the toilet the next morning... I did find it really hard to get Benzos though (xanax, ativan, klonopin, ect...) Which I think can be helpful as a safety net for emergency use if you're really suffering from panic and you need to get your heart rate and blood pressure down. But, those drugs offer their own special kind of danger. I've experienced black outs and would become totally disconnected from everyone and everything.
originally posted by: Grimpachi
a reply to: KyoZero
Have you ever heard of someone rapid cycling that was bipolar from being prescribed antidepressants because they were misdiagnosed with depression?
If you have heard of it is that common?