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On My Crazy

June 9th, 2010 · 8 Comments

I’ve been kicking this post around in my head for a while, since AAG wrote a post about dealing with the search for meds that work and don’t kill you with side effects.

I am crazy. Clinically, brain chemically, if I don’t take my meds Bad Things Happen crazy. I have been diagnosed with a super fun combination of things over the course of my life.

Starting in the second grade, I saw the school psychiatrist twice a week, along with the school social worker to try and deal. I was already shy, introverted, and likely to say the most inappropriate things in an attempt to try and fit in.

Third grade, I started seeing a real shrink outside the school. I went to Girl Scout camp, and something about it made me snap. I came home and started self injuring by picking at my scabs and pimples. And eating. I was already a pudgy kid, but that was really when it started to get out of control.

Eventually, I was picking at my scabs so much in class, and thus, bleeding, my parents took me to a therapist. They asked me a bunch of stupid questions that made no sense, told my parents to medicate me (probably for ADD/ADHD) and that was that. They never did, and nothing changed.

I got progressively worse, and started developing weird little habits and ways of doing things. And I got more and more depressed, and felt ostracized at school.

Because of me, the school therapist and social worker started a lunch time group for me and a bunch of other weird kids at school. I think it helped them a bit, with the exception of the girl with obvious autism spectrum issues who’s parents refused to accept that she needed some extra help. I still felt stuck, outside of things, and sad.

I was always, always sad. I kept telling my parents, but they didn’t think anything was wrong – which was a theme that continued through out my life, both in terms of my mental health, and my physical health. In fourth grade, I broke my ankle and wasn’t taken to the doctor for four days, because they didn’t believe it was really broken, that it was just sprained, despite my attempting to explain that I was in excruciating pain.

My weird habits, which were early manifestations of the compulsions and obsession of my OCD were causing a ridiculous amount of strain in the already difficult relationship between me and my mother.

We saw a family councilor, whom I despised, which did nothing.

Middle school and high school were filled with the onset of as of yet undiagnosed bipolar disorder, along with an increase the the OCD issues.  I cycled constantly, but slowly. I had good weeks, and bad months. Thankfully, my mania was not nearly as bad as it could have been – it resulted in a severe lack of sleep, half completed frenetic projects, the lovely grandiose feelings, and an extremely fast, and loud, speech pattern, which my parents, particularly my mother felt were totally my own fault and under conscious control, causing more fights.

Throughout all this my self injuring was increasing. By the time I got to college I had graduated from picking scabs, acne, chewing my nails down, and pulling my toenails off (yeah, that was the lesser stuff), to cutting with razor blades I got from dismantling a lady Bic safety razor with a cuticle nipper. As I got older, I would also punch myself in the ankle and head.

Couple all this with a ridiculous two year long, long distance relationship with another poet, and high school was kind of a mess.

Still, I managed to do well for most of senior year. I learned to channel my manic episodes in to writing or other activities. I lost a bunch of weight. I held down a job, and by the time I started college, things were pretty ok.

Then, college. I went through ups and downs, and towards the end of my time there, when I was about to graduate, I had an existential life crises about the nature of growing up, the nature of responsibility, and stress. I was working three jobs, going to school full time, heading down into a depression, and my OCD was spiraling out of control.

It got to the point where I was pacing constantly, counting things under my breath. I was unable to go to work unless I walked into the mall in a very specific way, walking between a plant and a divider – and the day they moved that fucking plant I nearly had a fit. I had been seeing a therapist for a few months now, actually, a therapist in the same office I went to when I was in third grade. It was a facility for children and youths, but they took me as a client because I had been there before. Big mistake. Pediatric psychiatry is vastly different from adult psychiatry. Plus, my talk therapist and I were a bad fit – she was extremely judgemental about certain aspects of my life style, particularly some of my sexual choices.

I saw a psychiatrist there who put me on zoloft, which was a bad, bad medicine for me. Basically, it made me not want to die, but that was about it. Plus, I had violent side effects – nausea, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, paranoia, etc. The first day I took it, I went to work at the tea shop I was working at (job three), where I promptly scalded my hand with water, vomited in the back room, quit, and called my parents to come get me because I was incapable of driving my own car. My dad drove me home, and we had to stop twice driving through the park for me to vomit.

However, I kept at it, on and off (Mistake two, fucking with my meds) until I eventually quit seeing that doctor and therapist.

I started my residency at a funeral home shortly after this, while taking my meds on and off, and suffering even worse depression, with only minor flare up of mania.

The work environment was awful – my managers favourite game was to see how long it could take for him to make me cry. I hated the hours. By this time, I had stopped cutting myself (and as of now, have been SI free for many years), but I started eating. I was already around 200lbs in college, about 215 when I left. By the time I was done at the funeral home, I was 250lbs. I did some yoyo dieting for a while but basically, I self medicated with food, wine, and weed.

I left that job, switched careers, and went back to school. I moved out of my parents house. I was doing well, until one day I had a complete and utter mental fucking breakdown OCD fit where I spent four hours glued to a couch obsessively paying Mario Brothers on my DS, TERRIFED that I was going to kill everyone in my apartment by using the stove incorrectly. There had been wild mood swings and an increase in my OCD fits, as well as sever BPD cycling leading up to this – I forever regret the insanity my friends and roommates had to deal with.

I broke down, asked my dad to help, and he took me to the psychiatrist he and my mother were seeing for marriage counseling. This worked out well – I didn’t have much time trying to explain my parents and history to her, because she knew them. This was good – she was the best therapist I ever had. We even got along despite my being a pagan, and her being a Messianic Jew. She had a history of dealing with OCD patients, and immediately recognized that my biggest problem was NOT clinical depression or BPD, but that it was OCD. We worked on that, and all sorts of other things.

My mother hated this therapist – she was convinced that the therapist hated her, and was out to get her (Obviously, mental illness runs in my family, through my mother’s side…this sort of stuff goes way back the family tree). She particularly didn’t like that the therapist and I were discussing if it were possibly that I had been molested as a child due to what I had incorrectly described as having dissociative experiences – I had asked my mother, and she had a fit and felt like we were accusing her of being a bad mother. It turns out what I was feeling was a depersonalization and realization that was more involved in my panic attacks and mania. Did I forget to mention the panic attacks? Yeah, I had crippling panic attacks, which my mother felt were just me being immature and having a tantrum.

Eventually, I started seeing a doctor who could prescribe me medicine that worked with my therapist – his name, I shit you not, was Dr. Who. I mean, it was spelled differently, but it was Dr. Who. His diagnosis for me, was basically a mixed basket of things. I had OCD, BPD, anxiety, panic attacks, the depersonalization/derealization, all sorts of lovely.

Thankfully, the first combination of medication we tried worked almost perfectly – I was put on 10mg of Celexa and 1/4 of 25mg of Seroquel. Eventually, we upped the Celexa to 20mg, and cut the Seroquel down to 1/8 of 25mg. Seroquel is used off label as a sleeping aid, and I was finding it difficult to function during the day on more than 1/8 of a pill.

For the first time in my entire life, I felt normal. I felt real. I felt like I could live life and be happy. However, a side effect of taking medication meant that if at any time, I experienced normal sad, grumpy, angry or depressed moments, my mother would immediately freak out and go “OMG YOUR NOT TAKING YOUR PILLZ! WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU HORRIBLE PERSON!!!” (all this, and I don’t even live with her.)

I was lucky that I found a combination that worked so well for me so quickly – I know too many people with medication horror stories – all I had was a blip with some Zoloft a few years before all this.

The only hiccough in the past few years with my mental health was when I was assaulted three years ago, at a sex/BDSM party, by the host, who was a friend of a friend and a fellow blogger.

I wound up suffering from a low grade form of PTSD, freaked out, went off my meds and stopped functioning, dropped out of school since I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house alone, and basically, things sucked. I was saw my therapist intermittently when I could, but we never started the EMDR treatments she wanted me to have because I fell of the grid. I think, writing this, that I ought to look back into seeing her again for those. I’ve been doing much better, but that shit can still come up. And I’d like to not having to restrain my self from punching people who touch me.

Anywho, since then I eventually got back on track with my meds and mental health, and things have been awesome. I take my pills, deal with my shit, and mostly function like what one might call a normal person.

I still have OCD issues from time to time, but they are manageable, and I don’t have an issue living with them, since they no longer impact my life as greatly as they did before – unless I get stressed. Then they flare up a bit, but otherwise, I’m well, happy, medicated, living the good life and totally getting all my shit gathered up together.

Go me!

*whew* That was cathartic. Felt good though.

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Tags: even I think this might be TMI - but WTF I'll post it anyway · health · life · marcus · my life · my past · possible rambling of no interest to anyone but myself · self injury · stuff that makes my brain hurt · thoughts · weird shit · writing

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Laken // Jun 9, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal part of your past and present life with us. You are a very brave, wonderful person.

  • 2 Axe // Jun 9, 2010 at 8:34 am

    This is one of the most brave post I’ve ever read.

    I’ll second that. Go you!!!

  • 3 aag // Jun 9, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Thank you for writing this. *hug*

  • 4 Vague // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Hell yeah go you!

  • 5 ANoN // Jun 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Well dear this is a whole side of you that I never knew before. It is a testament to your incredible progress that I never would have guessed that you had such serious issues. When I met you I fell in love with an awesome woman and nothing which has happened since has changed that opinion. Thank you for making the journey which has led you to where you are and thank you for trusting us with your past.

    I love you.

  • 6 Wendy Blackheart // Jun 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    @Anon – Well sweetie, I had to get my head sorted all out before I could meet you! I had to get me ready before I could have more awesome into my life. I’m glad I did, because you are the most awesomest boy in the entire world! I lvoe you!

  • 7 ANoN // Jun 13, 2010 at 12:08 am

    I love you so much dear! Thank you for taking the time to get yourself sorted out and thank you for enduring all those dark years.

  • 8 Taryn // Jun 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    There are bits in there that I can relate to! I was so depressed as a teenager that I almost ended up in rehab. My drug/alcohol use was almost suicidal. When a doctor finally took me seriously my mother HATED him, convinced he was turning me against them. Actually he saved my life.
    My brother wasn’t so lucky. He has a chronic anxiety disorder which was misdiagnosed as schizophrenia, so was put on meds which damaged his health.
    Good on you x

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