Cautious Optimism and Doubt

Depression Lifting

The medication I began taking on June 4th may be working. At least, my counselor thinks so. I seem different. He wasn’t very specific, but he’s my barometer when my husband and I can’t clearly see. The day to day starts to bleed together so definitively that it becomes impossible to tell whether the proportion of good days to bad days is getting better. So, we listen to my counselor. Report to psychiatrist – it’s working. We increase the dose.

The downside? The lifting stupor allows the ever insidious anxiety to not to much creep in, as explode forth into my daily life. And still I am maxed out on what they call benzodiazepines; the most common group of medications prescribed for anxiety disorders.

Anxiety Descending

The doorbell sends me running for my bedroom, carefully ducking so my shadow is not seen through the fogged window. I am terrified that someone wants something from me.

More hours than I think should pass without a phone call from Erik and I am panicking, sometimes on the verge of checking with his supervisor, calling the hospitals (I have actually done that last one). How do I know he’s okay? Accidents happen all the time. Who is to say now is not the time something is going to happen to the people I love. Statistically, I’m due.

At night, a spider crawls up the wall in my bedroom. The creature must die or I cannot sleep in that room. Nighttime is the hardest. If my house creaks and groans (as houses do) in some way I haven’t heard before, I lie awake staring at the windows, ceiling, door wondering what’s coming and if my husband will wake up coherent enough to protect me. So often I lay looking at him, his back to me as he sleeps peacefully and wish that he would come back to me from the cocoon of sleep that keeps him safe. I want him to wrap that cocoon around me. Keep me safe.

I ascribe my anxiety to two categories: fear (or relatively realistic) anxiety and situational anxiety. Fear anxiety covers arachnids and other assorted creepy crawlies, strangers, accidents, and general discomfort with my level of safety. Situational anxiety covers stress, overwhelm, and those random times when panic seems to leap at me from some corner of the ceiling. Both have gotten exponentially worse as the depression has conceded some of its ground.

The solution – an anti-convulsant called Gabapentin (generic) or Neurontin (brand) with an off label use for panic disorder. This particular medication is not significant (aside from the hope that it helps my anxiety), so much as my begrudging realization that I have purposely been keeping the names of my medications from you.

You might think I’m crazy. Heh heh.

I have tried more pharmaceuticals than is probably safe for anyone to have in their system, but my current medications are:
Klonopin (for anxiety)
Neurontin (for panic and anxiety)
Latuda or Lurasidone (for mood stabilization)
Seroquel (in very small doses for when I can’t sleep, like now. Except it still makes me very drowsy and borderline stupid the next day, so mostly I don’t take this one.)





There you have it folks. My list of secrets gets shorter and shorter, and yet, I know you’ll still love me.


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