Thursday, January 14, 2010

I feel like I've reached a dead end. I could either turn back and keep doing what got me here in the first place, or I could make my own way, alone, in a new direction. The problem is that I don't think I care enough about myself to fight my way through. I'm not a Strong Person and I cling to things that kill me because it feels safer.

After going through several incompetent and sometimes harmful therapists when I was 18, I found my current one. I've been with her for I think about 5 years now. You wouldn't know it to see me in that room. It's still so hard to talk, and it's recently gotten to the point where I'm going backward, losing language and the ability to say even the most basic things about myself or feelings.

I also see someone in the same clinic for medication. I've tried dozens of meds in the past 6 years, sometimes being put on 4 at a time. Not because I wanted to, but because that's the first thing people run to when they don't know what else to do with you. I don't feel like anything has ever really made a difference. 2 years ago, before my last forced hospitalization, I got fed up and threw them away-Lithium, zyprexa, seroquel. Seroquel made me a zombie who fell asleep on buses and in class, zyprexa made me gain 20lbs even while starving myself, and lithium made my face constantly broken out.

But there was one I couldn't get off of; Effexor. An SSRI antidepressant, which had never helped me, but has such a short half-life that even being late taking my dose made me extremely sick. About a month ago, however, I decided I wasn't going to continue putting something in my body that had that effect. So I bit the bullet and started coming off of it on my own, from 150mg to 75, to 37.5, to nothing. It's been absolute torture, to the point where I could barely function. Constant nausea, headache, dizzyness, and alternating between being drenched in sweat and shivering. My body has been so sore from the constant shaking.

After over a week of this hell, I called my psych out of desperation. I went all the way to the clinic in the freezing cold, barely able to stand. I got there, and told him all my symptoms, which he writes down, but then suddenly he's asking me to step on the scale, which I refused. I don't need that humilation, the measuring of sickness in pounds. He said I need to find a medical doctor, which I know, and have been trying to do. But it's actually not so easy to find a doctor who specializes in eating disorders if you aren't an adolescent. Then he had me get out my insurance card, and started dialing the number for me to call. Um, what? This isn't why I came today. I told him I didn't come all this way because I needed to be babysat while making a phone call I can make on my own at home. I came because I thought he might be able to help me, with the med he put me on.

But no, he kept trying to tell me that the reason I'm so sick is because of my eating disorder; that I need medical care and should go to the E.R. for fluids. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I know anorexia doesn't make me the picture of health, but that's not the issue here. Has he even fucking typed the word "effexor" into google? Every account of withdrawal I read about was exactly the same horrible experience as mine, or worse. But no matter how I tried to explain that, he told me I'm not everyone else, I have an eating disorder.

I wanted to scream. IF I'M SO SICK AND EATING DISORDERED THEN WHY DID YOU PUT ME ON IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!! We kept going back and forth, taking everything in me to stay calm, shaking in my chair from sickness. He ended up saying he and my therapist cant just watch me continue to harm myself, and he can't see me anymore until I find a doctor. This man I've known and trusted with my care and secrets for 5 years. How fucking convenient for him, to put his foot down on my treatment, refusing to see me, when I'm sick from stopping the medication HE put me on. It's so fucking wrong. I came to him sick and desperate and he turned me away because he didn't want to be responsible.

I'm not anti-medication. But I'm so sick of doctors handing out prescriptions, pratically throwing them at patients. Nothing so awful to warrent medication can be cured by a medication. But that is the first and sometimes only option given. The medications I've been on have been more harmful than helpful. But what do I know, right? I'm just the crazy patient, it's just my eating disorder talking, me being difficult or manipulative or resistant. I'm so tired of not being heard.

Usually he and my therapist do things as a team, so maybe she'll decide to get rid of me too. I have no problem with getting a doctor. But I don't do ultimatums, and if there's someone monitoring me, I don't feel like my weight should be advertisted to everyone as a measure of how "bad" things are. When I was starving myself and zyprexa kept me at a normal weight, no one gave a shit. Was I less sick than I am now just because my weight is lower?

sometimes i feel like no one knows what they're doing. this is the field I'm going in to, and it's hard to not be disillusioned and bitter when you've been fucked over so many times by people who are supposed to help.


  1. When I came off of effexor (slowly, in hospital) I experienced exactly the same thing. Sweats, nausea, diarrhoea, constant panic attacks electric shocks in my head - I couldn't talk one day because I developed a stutter, and I went briefly psychotic. Luckily the worst was over ten days after my final dose, but my mood was up and down for months. I'm not antimedication either, some people NEED it - my ex was bipolar and he couldn't function without it. But medicating depression and anxiety is far more art than science at the moment. I'm really sorry you're going through this, and that your doctor was so useless <3 I hope you feel better physically soon.

  2. thanks Katie; it's horrible, isn't it? What you described is exactly what I've been experiencing. Those weird electric shocks in your head are the worst. I'm starting to feel better, but I'm super emotional.

    thanks for listening and letting me know I'm not just a crazy eating disorder.

  3. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope you start feeling better physically as this drug works its way out of your system. I find it so frustrating that doctors seem to disregard the physical effects of medication--I know this happened to me quite a bit. And I have exactly the same effects coming off Lexapro as you're feeling now. I think it's so frustrating that doctors just try to throw a particular medication at depression or anxiety and expect it to take care of everything. I'm with Katie-not anti-medication but there is so much that is just not understood when it comes to these meds and how individuals react to them. Again, I'm sorry and I hope you start to feel better soon.

  4. thanks so much Jessie. you always seem to say the right things <3 I'm actually feeling a lot better, which is a huge relief. Definitely staying away from meds for the time being. I'd like to see how things feel after 6 years of being constantly medicated.