hello world. I am having a pretty terrible time with my brain. Since lobotomies didn't end well, really, I am looking around for other options. Certainly I should get right on top of exercising, and meditating, yes.. I agree.. working on that.. do not think meds are the whole answer.. but hope that they sort of be a little crack in this whole moras, which might enable me to be able to.. do all the other things (eg exercise, meditate, take care of myself, be easier for others to be around, and for me to be around, etc.) ok.. more below the fold
posted by elgee to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I thought it would be good to query the hive mind and see if anyone had anything similar to my brain funk , and if they did, if there was a particular med or two that especially helped them. I know this isn't a very scientific approach, as all bodies are different and etc etc.. but sometimes *believing* a med can work is a huge part of it working (ie, if you don't, you might give up on taking it and on suffering through the side effects.. so you gotta believe, ya know?)
So here's what I'm struggling with..
I don't have the "obvious" sort of OCD, where you check door locks and the oven x times before leaving the house, etc, but I do have a lot of compulsive and obsessive behaviors. They seem to have compulsive qualities, probably could fit under generalized anxiety disorder, but..
-I move chairs in coffee shops until I have found just the right chair to table height ratio. I am trying to give myself some exposure therapy lately and just deal with too high tables. depending on my mood sometimes i can manage, but other times I become hyper conscious of discomfort and tiny pains, feel like i am sinking, etc, and give up.
-I have to bring everything with me into .. well, you name - it if i am working, I'll carry 20 pounds of stuff into the library or coffee shop just so i can have every single possible thing i might possibly need
-I can't just close tabs, I have to bookmark everyone. but i can't just bookmark them in one place, I have to bookmark them on my browser and in gmarks. before google reader went the way of the dodo, if it was a blog, i had to bookmark it in two places, and add it to google reader.
-I am extremely anxious about forgetting things, so I tend to drag them with me in the car. If I repack, my car can accommodate 1 passenger, but that's about it, the rest is full of stuff.
-if I am going away from my home for several days, which I have a lot lately, it can take me between 3-5 hours to pack.. I have to bring everything in case I have time to work on anything. Then the packing process involves a lot of steps, like looking at each piece of paper. Walking around the room and not being able to find things, getting anxious about not being able to find things, looking for a piece of paper, forgetting what i was doing, remembering what i was doing, writing "find x" and some other items on the piece of paper. This looks like ADD but I think it might as much be anxiety. I get so anxious about losing things , or about a lost thing, that I have physiological symptoms.
-huge amount of anxiety around starting work. Right now I am doing very self directed work from home and a lot of it is not very straightforward. I have a huge backlog because of procrastination. starting is very difficult because it seems like "not enough." The absence of co-workers around means I try to read the how-tos they have written for different tasks. They are not very straightforward or thoroughly written, so often I have questions. But I can spend 5-10 minutes phrasing a question in email or IM. Often, I get overwhelmed by worry that I am asking the wrong question and give up. Other times i do ask, but due to shame about not already knowing (see "behind on work"; feel in-the-dog-house and guilty about this), by the time i ask, I have spent half an hour trying to figure it out myself (sometimes it can't be figured with out more info..)
-have become completely aversive to writing email (unless it's someone i've known a long time who has a simple question), and checking it. Haven't really used facebook since 2010, for many reasons - I can take 10 minutes to reply to a comment, I get overwhelmed by emotions (often negative ones involving regret) looking at people, even on a good (not emotionally all over the place) day I can lose hours to procrastination on there, so I stopped going, mostly.
-even text messages (the kind that require an urgent response), if they involve decision making, take me 10-20 minutes to reply to.
-i generally over think everything. I over edit and obsess and start and don't finish forum posts, so .. i'm not going to edit this one too much. and it's too long. you , reader, are a PEACH, for bearing with.
-decision making is almost impossible. I am wracked with anxiety that whatever I choose, will be the wrong thing. One looming decision requires looking for an apartment a few states away. I am so worried about finding the perfect place, I have spent easily an entire months rent in driving there to look at places, and still have not chosen.
-The compulsions around stuff and needing it near by (or needing not to get rid of it -- I have a couple of storage units), and the obsessive quality of the indecision, seem a little ocd.
-probably even without all the anxiety and depression I would still be a "highly sensitive person" .. I experience a lot of mood liability and it is exhausting. I am able to hide it to a certain extant but in intimate relationships it gets hard. My anxiety and constant doubting of my own perspective make it very hard to know what's happing in emotionally charged interpersonal relationships -- am I over reacting? yes! I'm always over-reacting. it must always be me! wait. it can't alwayyyyys be me, it's just mostly me. wait, why can't i wait 5 seconds before reacting? why am i so irritable? wtf is wrong with me? ahhhhhhhhhh. (those 5 seconds are another thing I am hoping a med could help, even if it just helps for a minute and then wears off, the minute might allow me to get some other tools and systems better in place.) The highly sensitive stuff might be related to some things that went down when I was a kid.. which is to say.. maybe more P-little-t-SD.
-I could go on an on. I don't think it is only OCD. It seems like all these things.. I think it is more like OCD + atypical depression + anxiety. Many have told me it is ADD but I think most of those symptoms and deficits in executive function (which i definitely have!) can be attributed to persistant depression and anxiety. This has been going on a loooong time, to varying degrees and with varying levels of severity, but if neuro plasticity works in both directions, well.. there are some brain things that need to be undone/redone, neuroplastic-wise. I just need to find some kind of a crack or way in to having slightly less intense emotions and anxiety...
In a certain way, the diagnosis doesn't matter so much. I am just here hoping for stories of what has worked for people. I can't tolerate zoloft, but a friend told me it worked for her for about 6 months.. she was able to write papers, and be with people with mmuuuuchhh less social anxiety, she stopped worrying about leaving the stove on. She got a bit better, stopped taking it. tried it again a few years later and it didn't work at all.
What have I tried already? a heap of SSRIs. none at a super maxed out dose. off an on for 15 years. I never really thought they were doing much of anything. Then recently, after not being on one for a while, I went back on prozac and really felt the apathetic/indifferent thing at 20mg starting dose. now I'm slowly titrating up at 5 mg intervals of prozac, but to be honest.. i don't have a huge amount of hope for it, given that it, and it's brethren, in the past, were never anything I even noticed making a difference. AND given that this last time I tried it the fatigue and apathy / indifference stuff freaked me right out.
Also I have been on stimulants. They help, sometimes (this post brought to you by adderall-- can you tell by how many sentences it has?! ) , and when they do, it has been, on a few occasions, great (wow! this is what it feels like to be normal!? to answer 6 emails in a row!?)
They are fickle friends, though... I notice personality changes I dont like. And, they seem very very quickly to stop working (I guess I develop tolerance) to help me concentrate, and instead just leave me with faster anxious thoughts, headaches, and then WOW crash .. really big crash as they wear off, and a feeling of total depletion after taking them for a few days and then not taking them. I have tried IR and XR... dexedrine, ritalin, adderal.
So what I haven't tried is mood stabalizers, anti-psychotics, anti-elleptics .. if any mefites related to the above symptoms, did you get any recovery from some combination? I don't mean TOTAL recovery -- I truly think that is more complicated -- but a little crack that let some light in that helped you find your way to better habits (exercise, meditation, having enough space between action and reaction to use dbt or cbt stuff. Did supplements help (i've just started a bunch but i'll leave that story out for now because this is insanely long) help? Psylocybin? etc..
A million thanks if you've stayed with me this far, and in advance a million more thanks for sharing your thoughts/ stories / experiences. really.