ignore this

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by itadakimouse, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. itadakimouse

    itadakimouse Member

    Huge blocks of text incoming, I'm sorry. You could probably skip to the last paragraph if TL;DR.

    I finally managed to go to a doctor, a real actual doctor and not a walk-in clinic, for the first time in over a decade. This in particular was brought on by this being the first year in my whole life I had health insurance, which I got through the marketplace, God bless. But this isn't really about that. It's kind of sad it took me about eight months to get around to actually seeing a doctor, though.

    I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have anxiety issues-- I've learned to recognize the signs of that, and now when I feel my heartbeat start to rev up and I get that tight feeling in my chest and maybe start shaking a bit, I can go, oh hey, there's that anxiety, that's definitely a thing I have. But depression is different.

    I've been going back and forth over whether or not I really have depression for years now. I have a friend who's been diagnosed and takes medication for it who talked to me about it when I was in a huge fit of self-loathing for just not being able to do anything, why can't I just do stuff, everything feels like some huge impossible task, even little things, and I called myself lazy a whole bunch, but I digress. She said it definitely sounded like depression. That was the first time I'd actually considered I had it, even though I'd been having the "laziness" problem for years beforehand. And this conversation happened about two years ago.

    So in the meantime, I watch my friends be able to work on stuff, projects, do stuff and have fun with it and not be tired all the time, and I feel jealous, why can't I be like that? It built up and built up and finally I called the place that the friend mentioned earlier goes to to see if I could get evaluated, maybe get some medication. They said they needed a doctor's referral before I could come in. So that's what spurred me to overcome my anxiety and finally get myself into a real doctor's office (you'd think something like that wouldn't be hard but oh God, it was like pulling teeth, even just to get up the nerves to call them and no one ever answered when I called so I had to drag my ass down there to the office in person, taking the awful once-an-hour bus, but I'm rambling).

    So I got my appointment, and the appointment itself was actually pretty great! We talked about some of the things that I've noticed have been recurring physical health problems (I've managed to accumulate quite a few of those), and she was nice and understanding and didn't make me feel anxious hardly at all (I'm always baseline a little anxious, unfortunately). And when she saw the numbers for the mental health screening part of the new patient paperwork, I got to talk to her directly about seeing someone, which I'd been worried I wouldn't have an opening to do. Unfortunately, maybe I was a little generous with my numbers (the total probably should've been lower!), because while she did say she wanted me to see a therapist, she also gave me a prescription for lexapro right then and there, starting off at 5mg and increasing to 10mg later on.

    At first I was thrilled. Babby's first anti-depressant! This is the first step! I could be a like a normal person, do things, maybe get rid of this achy emptiness in my chest! But then as it got later on in the day, those worries from before started coming back in full force. Essentially: what if I don't really have depression? I know I probably picked too high numbers on that screening thing. And, I can have fun without it feeling like work sometimes, and occasionally I can even get stuff done and be productive. What if there's really nothing wrong with me, what if everyone deals with what I go through but they just suck it up and do stuff anyway, and I should just do that? Things aren't so bad right now, I'm still scraping by, I don't even wanna kill myself or anything, I haven't thought that way in a while now. So, what if I'm messing up? I pick up the lexapro tomorrow, but I'm scared to start taking it. Basically, I'm scared there's nothing wrong with me (anxiety aside), and that everyone actually feels the way I do, but they just get over it and manage to go be productive anyway because they're not lazy pieces of shit. How can I know? I can't know how other people are feeling. So, how do I know if I'm really depressed? Should I wait to take the lexapro until I start seeing a therapist? It's bad to take anti-depressants if you don't really need them, right? Like antibiotics? I don't wanna make anything worse.

    Sorry again for the text dump. I just wanted to try giving full context, but instead it turned into my whole life's story. u_u If you managed to get past this wall of text, please advise!
  2. budgie

    budgie not actually a bird

    well, the reason it's bad to take antibiotics if you don't need them is because it can lead to bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant as well as depleting beneficial gut bacteria. depression doesn't work like that.

    "empty achiness" in your chest is not actually how non-depressed people feel (unless they experienced something sad). trying to have fun does not normally feel like a chore. everything feeling like an epic task is not normal.

    i feel like this sentiment should be part of the diagnostic criteria for depression, because literally everyone i've talked to about their experience with depression has expressed something along these lines. in a nutshell, though, if you were lazy you wouldn't be upset with yourself for not doing things, because you wouldn't want to do them.

    (not a psych, but have been through the whole 'i'm not depressed i'm just lazy' thing myself. the day my meds clicked was surreal, because i honestly hadn't realized how many little things i'd assumed were normal)
    • Like x 5
  3. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Take the lexapro, maybe start a mood chart thingy from the first day you take it and then go to your follow ups appointment with the data to give the doc. lexapro is also pretty good for anxiety (at least it was for me). You should do therapy too because therapy is good. Good luck. HUGS
  4. the fact that you ever did AT ALL is p telling
    • Like x 2
  5. pixels

    pixels hiatus / only back to vent

    i've been on lexapro for five years, for both depression and anxiety, as part of my meds cocktail. the only way it would hurt you to take it is if you're having horrible side effects. if it doesn't work, well, nothing ventured nothing gained. it's a good first step into the world of psychoactives to treat your symptoms.

    and yeah, the "everything is hard what do" is executive dysfunction, which is a primary symptom of depression. with anxiety you get the lockdown of "everything is hard and i'm panicking because i can't do it" which again nobody asked for. the meds can only help with that.
  6. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    There are several moodtrackers out there. One of the simplest is moodmodo which tracks your mood by you touching the little face that represents how you feel (you can set it up to track more and do things like track weather, amount walked, etc to give the doctor a overall picture but you don't have to use any of that). There are some others I've used that I've liked. eMood Bipolar Mood tracker is good even if you don't have bipolar disoder since it lets you go track anxiety. T2 Mood tracker is also good. Most of these have a med tracker as part of it as well.

    All of these are for android devices btw, I think most of them are available for kindle too.
    • Like x 1
  7. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Big suggestion, take your pill with food even if its just crackers. Unless it says empty stomach food akways helps. It does a few weeks depending on the med yo feel the full effects, that's why tracking is important. Good luck hugs.
  8. Alska

    Alska Well-Known Member

    Seeing a psychologist can definitely be a good thing, whether or not there is anything diagnosably wrong. It's kind of like, the rubber ducky thing that programmers do, except the rubber ducky can offer ideas you might not have thought of on your own, and should be able to recognize if there is anything that you should be treated for. I'd say after maybe the first few meets with the psychologist you could talk to a psychiatrist, especially since by then you should have more of an idea if there is anything you and psychologist think you should be treated for via medications, and you'll have a good idea whether or not the lexapro is doing anything. It definitely sounds like you could benefit from talking to psychologist if nothing else, because numb and empty aren't supposed to be normal feelings, and you should be able to do things you don't have to if you wanna.

    Even if the lexapro doesn't work, that's okay, and it's nothing to feel bad about. Lots of people have to try several different things before they find one that works for them. Just because they ended up not needing that one or multiple types of medication isn't a bad thing, just like it's not a bad thing if you end up not needing the lexapro or if something ends up working better for you instead.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  9. blue

    blue hightown funk you up

    I just want to echo @pixels because I think eir point may have gotten lost - SSRIs are also prescribed for people who have only anxiety. I have anxiety but not depression, and I take an SSRI. So even if, hypothetically, you are a fakey faker faking depression (unlikely), there's still a reason for you to be taking it.
  10. Lib

    Lib Well-Known Member

    This is one of the more insidious myths about mental illness, and especially depression. After you've been depressed for a while, it's not uncommon to keep going, because, well, you often can't just stop. I have this with university: I am struggling a lot with mental + physical illnesses, and none of them are mild, but I can't stop, because if I did I'd have no source of income. That seems like it's the same for you; just because you don't have the ability to stop, and are chewing up all your resources trying to keep going, doesn't make what you're dealing with 'mild'.

    Numbness and emptiness is also a very common chronic depression thing; my personal theory is that it's because your brain can only sustain emotions for so long before it just gives up and drops you into apathy and hopelessness. Regardless, it's not less severe than actively feeling shitty, although it's easy to believe that.
  11. Coriander

    Coriander Active Member

    I don't know it this is useful info for you at this point, but aside from echoing what folks have said re: your not feeling depressed enough/anxious enough I can anecdotally add that as a person with pretty severe anxiety who's on lexipro in large part to treat that (though I've got some depression stuff happening too, yay comorbidity) I've found it to really significantly help. Like, I didn't know I didn't have to feel that tight feeling in my chest before I started taking it.
    That being said it did take about 3 weeks to really kick in/kind of equalize, I guess?? for me. So I definitely understand feeling anxious bc I'm not feeling anxious they way I usually am, and for me that feeling did eventually go away as I got used to the drugs. Which I hear is pretty normal, in that it takes awhile to settle in/adjust. Which is to say, I'd advise sticking it out for a bit and seeing what happens.
  12. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I remain a big fan of the glasses metaphor for these things.

    Okay, so you have to hold a book within a foot to read the text, and you need someone in your passenger seat to read some street signs for you, but you can see well enough to pass a driving test, that means you see well enough, riiiiight? Well, maybe. But probably not. Does it hold up as a reason to not get glasses? Do we say that only people with 85% vision loss need glasses, and the rest of the world can get by with squinting? Noooope.
    • Like x 2
  13. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    *Sends more hugs* I just rescripted the generic of lexapro so we can be med buddies if you want to talk about stuff even if its just silly "so much dry mouth" stuff
  14. pixels

    pixels hiatus / only back to vent

    there's no difference. (i'm on the generic as well.) hell, there's not even technically a difference between lexapro and celexa, it's just the company evergreening the patent. /sperg
  15. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    My doc said there were some chemical differences that work oddly in some people but it's pretty rare.
  16. Aviari

    Aviari PartyWolf Is In The House Tonight

    Way behind the thread BUT

    WRT taking Lexapro when you don't actually need it:

    Hello yes welcome to my sophomore year of college.

    My thyroid-fuckery-induced Mood WTF was diagnosed as "Maybe depression? General anxiety?" among other things and I was on like, 25mg.

    It did jack shit. Didn't notice any additional ups or downs. Probably because it wasn't needed! If it's not needed, your body won't respond to it much. (And if you have a functioning hormonal system your body may just go "Uh. WTF is this? Just flush it out through the kidneys kthxbai") and you're on a way lower dose than I was.

    Shouldn't be a problem and it sounds like it probably WAS needed for you anyway :)
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
    • Like x 1
  17. Alska

    Alska Well-Known Member

    Hey not really on topic sorry but @Aviari what was the thyroid induced mood fuckery like? Just wondering because I def. have depression/mood issues of some sort but antidepressants so far have done about jackshit or sometimes made things somewhat worse depending on the thing.
  18. Aviari

    Aviari PartyWolf Is In The House Tonight

    The diagnosis pulled out of a hat that was most descriptive was
    "Stress-Induced Non-Cyclic Bipolarism" which I don't think is actually a Thing.

    Days or weeks of depression followed by short bursts of mania which had me doing shit like strip-cleaning my bathroom until 2a and needing just. ALL the sex.

    Insomnia, paired with crushing exhaustion and lack of executive function.

    Anxiety and a SHITLOAD of agoraphobia. I famously spent two hours in a friend's closet under a pile of blankets making "scared dog noises" because I got a 6 out of 10 on a pop quiz one of the rare times I managed to go to class and that was Bad and my catastrophizing brain bees paired up with the Shitty Self Esteem Weasels and convinced me that I was going to flunk out of college and Disappoint Everyone.

    Horrifically dry itchy skin that would not respond to lotion and my hair fell out in clumps.

    Oh and I kept forgetting Food was a thing.

    BUT it turned out to just be a dead thyroid, which threw everything else out of whack because your thyroid manages all that crap and mine... Wasn't.

    Antidepressants made things weirder because my body is ALREADY having problems with hormones PLEASE DO NOT ADD ADDITIONAL CHANGES?! (I still can't use hormonal birth control. I get All The Side Effects.)

    Got on thyroid meds, got to a shrink when the anxiety wouldn't go away and figured out that my BPD/NPD Or Something Mom trained me to be a freakout weasel and now am Actually Pretty Okay :D
    • Like x 1
  19. Alska

    Alska Well-Known Member

    Thank you! That first bit... Actually sounds like a ramped up version of what I deal with, so next time I go talk to medical people I will ask if thyroid problems could be a possibility.
  20. Aviari

    Aviari PartyWolf Is In The House Tonight

    PUSH FOR A BLOOD TEST. That's the only for-sure diagnosis. Hypothyroidism came up in the Disorder Walmart list way early because I had lots of the symptoms BUT I didn't have "Unexplained Weight Gain" so therefore I ~couldn't possibly have it~.

    Forgetting the fact that my last meal had been "Uh... Tuesday?" (It was Friday) and I over-exercised because a Runner's High was better than lolling about in bed all day feeling numb.
    • Like x 2
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