Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Changing It Up

The past week has been a rough one. I've been writing down when I have certain symptoms (jitters, anxiety, panic) to prove to myself that I'm experiencing certain side effects and my little sticky note chart came in handy at my psychiatrist appointment Tuesday.

It's pretty obvious from my notes and the hubster's and my testimonies that I've been having akathisia and increased anxiety, likely due to the increase in my mood stabilizing medication, Latuda. We've also been concerned about my use of benzodiazepines for anti-anxiety as they have been known to increase impulsivity/reduce inhibition and with my suicide attempt April 11th, the hubster has been paying close attention to my anti-anxiety use and helping me make sure that I'm not too distraught when I take them so I'm less likely to hurt myself or act on those bad thoughts. It's been tough but I learned some different tricks to help calm me down in DBT class that are coming in handy...

Anyways. The "Changing It Up" part of things is a new, lower dose of the Latuda and a different anti-anxiety medication called gabapentin. The gabapentin comes in a big bottle and I take it up to three times a day which makes me feel a little ridiculous but I try to remember to be kind to myself and not judge, to remember that it doesn't matter how many pills I have to take, it's about getting myself to feel better. We should know by the end of the week if these new doses/pills are going to help me.

The physical symptoms have been rough but the mental reaction has been challenging as well. I haven't been reacting as poorly as I could (no self injury or major suicidal ideation), I have been somewhat gentle with myself but I am quite resistant, down on myself, and upset at the jittery and anxious feelings and the negativity just makes me more miserable. Doing the surveys before my psychiatrist appointment made me realize just how depressed the increased anxiety and akathisia has made me-I knew that my anxiety survey would be high but my depression survey surprised me!

Thankfully my psychiatrist was supportive and my therapist was quite helpful at my appointment Monday as well; reminding me about changing my reactions and making my thoughts more positive and helpful. It's difficult, and I have a long way to go to making my brain automatically chill itself out, but I feel like I am aimed in a better direction now and that helps. Between the DBT skills and the new pills I feel like I'm doing something to try and improve the situation and that is a vast improvement on feeling miserable and helpless.

So. I'm trying to be gentle with myself, stay positive in the face of some frustrating symptoms and patient while I wait for the medication changes to set in. I'm also trying to cut back on my self-pity and dwelling on the frustration and move toward being more proactive, active, and tricky when it comes to utilizing DBT skills and coping that way instead of letting things get the better of me and feeling like I am powerless.

I haven't been as social or active lately on the blog scene, but I did get to read and comment a bit today which felt good... hope to get back into my old blog groove now that the A-to-Z is over but it's another transition of sorts.

Hope everyone is having some better days while I'm juggling these nasty ones! I've been able to do some laundry, some Sudoku, and even cleaned the bathroom floor so it's not all bad! :o)

One day-one hour-one minute at a time... nice deep breaths and I'll make it through! I can do this!

7 comments:

  1. Almost always there are meds out there that can help, but sometimes it takes a while to find the right ones and the right dose. It sounds like you are working with a good doctor and therapist and you are trying to do what they are teaching you. If you are used to being down on yourself, that's hard behavior to change, but you can do it. First you say the words, and then the thoughts, feelings, and actions will follow.
    I know I'm not saying anything that you don't already know, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to hear it in a different context.

    Good luck to you and your family as you work your way through these difficult times.

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  2. Baby steps. Frustrating, but necessary.
    I am so pleased you have Hubster, and a good doctor and therapist. And more determination, courage and hope than I think you realise.
    Hugs.

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  3. I am proud of you for practicing self-care. Good job, Hannah! :-)

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  4. Hannah, I am very proud of you, and I am so happy that you have a good support team! Much love and hugs. :)

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  5. Thank you all so much! I so appreciate the support and kind words <3

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  6. Sending love and support to you, dear Hannah.

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Thank you for reading and commenting!

Be well, HBF