More Than Just A 5K

Exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that is designed to help people manage problematic fears. Through the use of various systematic techniques, a person is gradually exposed to the situation that causes them distress. The goal of exposure therapy is to create a safe environment in which a person can reduce anxiety, decrease avoidance of dreaded situations, and improve one’s quality of life. A number of mental health issues can be treated with exposure therapy. Many people with anxiety and trauma-related issues have found exposure therapy to be helpful. Applicable mental health issues include, but are not limited to: phobias, social anxiety, general anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), obsessive compulsive anxiety issues (OCD), and panic attacks.


– – – – – – – – – –

My mental health conditions started when I was younger. My depression for example was diagnosed when I was in the 5th grade, shortly after my grandpa passed away. My PTSD started when I was in middle school, and my other conditions, like anxiety with panic attacks  and my OCD all started when I was in high school. Since then I’ve been diagnosed with other conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar, ADHD, and social anxiety. 

I didn’t really start receiving any treatment for most of my conditions until around 2009 or 2010, and I didn’t start going to therapy regularly until 2014. 

The idea of exposure therapy was first introduced to me back in 2010, when I saw a show on VH1 called The OCD Project. The show featured multiple patients who all battled with various forms of OCD, anxiety, and phobias living in a house together and over the course of the show the patients would receive different types of therapy, including exposure therapy which put each person into a controlled worst case scenario situation. To be honest I don’t remember much about the show, I don’t remember if the exposure therapy helped any of the patients. The idea though of exposure therapy has stuck with me since seeing that show. 

Since I started receiving therapy I had always hoped that my therapists would want to try exposure therapy on me. I truly think that I would see benefits from exposure therapy, especially when it comes to self confidence. Bob and I have sort of been doing small exposure therapy things since we moved down here and started going to Disney World and Universal. I have a really hard time with crowds and Bob has always been comforting and supportive every time we’ve gone to a park and kind of let’s me go at my own pace, and he doesn’t force me to do anything that may make my anxiety worse. Just from the handful of times that we’ve ventured to the parks I have already seen some growth in the confidence department. 

Then two or three months ago my Facebook friend Craig and I were chatting the topic of  Disney marathons came up, and he mentioned that there were openings for the Star Wars 5K. Immediately in my mind I saw it as exposure therapy, and kind of without hesitating I decided I would sign up. I knew that if I allowed myself time to think about it, I would somehow talk myself out of it. I have never been someone who likes walking more than I have to, let alone running. The last time I really remember running was back in middle school when I was on the wrestling team. 

I started going for walks by myself, which was already a big step for me, and eventually I found that I could walk a few miles almost every day. Bob was supportive of me going for walks, I think he saw it as real growth for me since when ever we go anywhere he always kind of has to be glued to my side, but with these walks I am doing them alone and I’m doing them on my own, nobody is forcing me to do them. 

I do do my typical worrying when I am on my walks, I am constantly worrying that someone will attack me from behind, or someone will try and rob me, or someone will break into the house while I am gone. So to say that I am easily going for the walks isn’t true, each and every walk is kind of another war that I have to fight in my head. And honestly, if I had to say what has made it a little easier, it’s that I now tell myself “so what, let it happen” every time a bad thought comes up. I mentally have to build myself up before each walk and I leave the house expecting the worst to happen to me and then when it doesn’t happen and I make it back home to find that everything is ok, then I can relax.

Around the time that I signed up for the 5K, my therapist went on maternity leave, and she tried getting me set up with another therapist. I’ve seen the other therapist 3 or 4 times now, but honestly I’ve felt like I’ve kind of been doing this on my own, preparing for the 5K without the help of a therapist. I received a call today from the therapist that is filling in and she said that my regular therapist will be returning in the next few weeks. I am really looking forward to doing the 5K this Friday, getting a medal, and then having it to show to my regular therapist when she comes back, I know she’ll be proud of me.

With the 5K just a few days away I already feel the bird sized butterflies in my chest, anytime that I start thinking about the 5K or chat about the 5K with anyone my hands begin to tingle. Yes I am very anxious about it, but I am also excited for it. Sadly Bob couldn’t get that day off of work, so I won’t have him there for support, but my friend Craig is going to be there and he says that he’ll be right beside me the whole time. I don’t want to bug him with my anxiety so I am going to try and internalize everything and do it on my own. I haven’t had a good nights sleep the last couple weeks, I say my prayers before I go to bed and as soon as I reach the 5K I begin worrying and then it all kind of snowballs into anxiety.  Last night I began having a mild panic attack while praying and I ended up having to get up out of bed to take meds a couple times. 

I didn’t go for a walk today, which I was kind of bummed about, I started wearing a different pair of shoes that I tied differently late last week and I developed a big blister on my left heel. Yesterday after my walk I saw that the blister had tore and I put neosporin on it and put bandaids on it. I am hoping it will heal up quickly so that I won’t have to deal with it on Friday. I’ve read a few articles that have different tips for how to prevent blisters and how to treat them for when you are going for walks and runs, so tomorrow I am going to try out wearing two pairs of socks to see if that helps. Then on Thursday depending on how the two pairs of socks works out I might try putting deodorant on my feet to see if that really helps or not.

The 5K will be the closest thing to exposure therapy that I’ve ever faced, I will have to deal with big crowds with everyone being kind of bunched up together. Unlike at the parks, everyone will be going in the same general direction, which will make it a lot easier. Craig and his friend Maria will be there for support and guidance, but I am going to have my earbuds on and will be listening to music. 

I’ve never really had an opportunity to earn anything since graduating high school, let alone do something that the average person might not be able to do. This 5K will be a real test for me, and I am going to try everything I can to do my best. I know my anxiety will only be getting worse leading up to it, and knowing my stomach conditions I will probably be throwing up the night before and the day of and possibly right before and during the 5K. It’s going to be a battle, my body and mind aren’t going to want to do it, but I am going to have to overcome them.

Wish me luck on the 5K

Advertisements

April Update

Well April is in full swing, I figure I should dust off this blog and do another post. I don’t really know why I even bother, everyone that looks at this also is my friend on Facebook so they know the majority of what’s going on with me just from my posts on there. I guess I just write on here like it’s a journal, detailing all the main points of my life so that one day when I get bored or need a remind of what I’ve been through I can jump on here and see that yeah I’ve been through a lot of shit in my life but I’m still alive. I think everyone needs that kind of reminder a few times on their life.

Since this blog is relatively private and anyone that reads it seems to be interested in me I do occasionally post about things that I don’t share on Facebook, things that I feel are too personal to share with everybody. In this post I will be sharing some of those things.

I guess to start I will go over everything that has been happening since my last post, but seeing as how I am already in the writing grove and don’t want to stop to go check what I said in my last post because I hoe stay don’t remember what I said, I will just do a quick recap. 

Here we go!

I am still working on my clothing company, I haven’t been doing that many designs lately because I kind of lost inspiration. Anyone that looks at my designs will probably say that my designs are mostly text based, and that I need to work on doing better graphics, so honestly what I’ve been doing the last couple months in just doing tutorials and side projects to push myself and grow as an artist. I’m realizing as I do some of the random tutorials that I don’t use a lot do the tools that bigger artists use. For example the pen tool, I honestly hate it, I never liked using it, but now I am starting to see that it’s one of the most important tools for someone that wants to sell their designs.  I kind of pride myself off of being “self taught” in Photoshop, I’ve never taken formal classes where you learn to use it, everything I know I have picked up along the way while doing small tutorials to learn different effects and also from seeing a design and dissecting it until I can reproduce it for myself. I wouldn’t say that I am good at what I do, mostly because I can’t really define what I do. I’m kind of my own worst critic when t comes to seeing my designs.

I am still preparing for the Disney 5K, which is in less than two weeks. I haven’t been going for walks every day like I was a couple months ago, Daylight Savings Time really kind of kicked me in the balls. Before I could wake up between 5 and 6am and it would already be light outside, but now it doesn’t get light outside for another hour and I’m kind of an impatient person. As soon as I wake up and get dressed I want to go right on my walk, but now I’m stuck having to slow down or distract myself for awhile before it’s light enough outside. 

    I ended up being hospitalized again last month because I was feeling really overwhelmed with some stuff that was going on and when I get really stressed I have suicidal ideations. I was also having delusions caused by my schizophrenia, that had me fearing for my safety. Luckily the day that I was feeling super overwhelmed was the same day that I had a psychiatrist appointment, so instead of having to call a crisis line or 911, I just had to wait a few hours. My psychiatrist saw that I was struggling and I was brutally honest when I answered her questions and she had me moved into a different office and then about 15 minutes later a police office walked on and escorted me out to his car and I was brought to the ER. I ended up sitting g in the ER for a few hours and then they eventually moved me down to the intake ward and then that night they transferred me over to a mental health ward. I was in the hospital a few days and made a couple friends. Bob was very supportive and came and saw me for almost all the visitation times. My mom and sister were also pretty supportive. I only saw a doctor twice while I was in there and they didn’t really do much to help me. I’ve had a couple therapy appointments since then and have seen my psychiatrist and she helped change some of my medications and I am doing a lot better. Being able to get everything that was stressing me off of my chest helped a lot and I realized that my delusions aren’t realistic and that I am safe here. I haven’t been going on walks that often since I got out of the hospital, and wouldn’t feel comfortable going on the path I was going before because one spot is kind of a trigger for bad thoughts.

    The day after I got out of the hospital I found out that one of my best friends on Facebook, and one of my best friends in general had passed away. He had had a surgery the week before and I guess he passed away suddenly when he was at home. His name was George and his posts on Facebook were sometimes the highlights of my day and I still find myself checking Facebook hoping to find posts like his. George was always someone that I could come to for advice and chat with. We had been friends on Facebook for a few years and after my grandma passed away he was very supportive and helped me out when I was at the lowest point in my life. I never had the opportunity to meet him in person or to properly thank him for being such a good friend, the last thing I said to him was that I was going to be praying that the surgery goes well. 

    Bob and I have had to bring our car into Pep Boys the last two weekends to have parts repaired, it’s made money pretty tight this month, and it’ll probably be that way the next couple months. 

    Finally after months of not-so-patiently waiting my physicians office finally got my referral set up so I can get hearing aids. I went in last week to pick out the color of my hearing aids. I will be picking them up this week. I’m a little frustrated with the hearing aid company because they think it’s ok to calibrate the hearing aids to my hearing test results from the last time they saw me (Fall of 2016) instead of testing me again, so the hearing aids could be messed up. They told me that the soonest they could give me another hearing test and program the hearing aids so they will work the best for me is in 3 months. When I had my last hearing test with them the doctor said that I had fluid in my ears and she sent me to an audiologist to get on drops for my ears and to also have tubes put in. I don’t want to damage my ears any more than they already are, but whatever I guess. I called my case worker and explained what I was being told by the hearing aid company and she called in to them and looked into it. She later called me back and confirmed everything about the hearing test. I am not entirely thrilled to be getting hearing aids, but I’ve come to terms with it. I had hearing aids back in Washington, but I lost them when I moved.

    Well I guess that’s the main stuff I wanted to highlight in this post. Until next time…

    Small update

    I figure if I just do a monthly update it’ll be easier instead of doing small updates I can do larger ones less often.

    • I am still working out and kind of dieting (I am mostly just watching how much I eat rather than what I eat). Today is day 35, and I started going for longer walks (3.8 miles) in the mornings. I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost, but last time I was weighted which was in January I was down 12 pounds. I am down two notches in my belt so far.
    • I signed up for a second 5K, it’ll be in November. I plan on mostly walking for the first one in April, but will be running as much as I can for the second one. Bob and I will be meeting up with the friend of mine that I’ll be doing the 5k’s with this weekend for the first time.
    • My therapist who I was seeing once a week is now out on maternity leave and she will be gone for 3 months. She assigned me a new therapist for while she is gone but that person is taking most of the patients from her so Inwill only get to see her every other week starting next month. 
    • Celebrated my 28th birthday. Bob and I went to Universal Orlando with a friend of ours and had a blast. I didn’t take as many photos as I would’ve liked too, but I did take a few. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade were definitely the highlights of the trip for me, it was like walking into the movies, there was so much detail put into everything. I didn’t buy a wand this time because I didn’t want to carry it around on all of the rides, but next time I will for sure be getting one.(We ended up getting anual passes because just going the 2 days that we went would’ve cost half the price of annual passes for us both)
    • I got a new CPAP machine on Tuesday and its pretty fancy. They decided to put me on a full face mask which is taking a little getting used to because I have been using just a nose mask for the last two years. So far I have been sleeping pretty well. I haven’t noticed a change in energy yet like they said would probably happen, but it’s far easier to get up in the mornings since I am sleeping much deeper at night.
    • For the last 2 months I have had really bad dry mouth and I finally figured out which medication was causing it and stopped taking it and I have been fine since. It was so embarassing when I had to make phone calls and I had a bad lisp. Bob actually thought I might’ve been having an allergic reaction because it was that bad that it sounded like my tongue was swollen.
    • Uploaded some of my shirt designs on Teepublichttps://www.teepublic.com/user/grizzlythreads

    Huge step and a bad milestone

    Today is day 4 of my journey and I made a big step and a huge commitment. This April I will be participating in a 5K fun run at Epcot. A friend of mine from Facebook let me know about Disneys events and we had been talking for a few days about them and then some spots opened up for the 5K. It is going to be Star Wars themed, Disneyland is the Light side and Disney World is the Dark side.

    I am anxious and nervous, I don’t want to be the slowest person there or slow down my friend, but he assured me that there will be slower people than me. I am excited though, this would be my first chance since high school to earn something and not everyone can say that they have participated in a 5K before. If I had to say, I would say that my anxiety and excitement are even right now.

    Now onto the bad news… Today something happened that I swore would never happen, something that is going to make me commit to my walking and dieting even more: I found out that I weight 300 pounds. That means I need to lose 110 pounds to get to my goal weight of 190. I am not happy at all with the news, pretty depressed to be honest. I just gathered up and threw all of the carb heavy food out of the house. This is a huge wake up call for me, and I don’t want to fail. 


    Any and all support will be appreciated 

    Day 2 

    Yesterday went great exercise and diet wise. 

    When I woke up I had a yogurt when I took my pills and spent awhile psyching myself up a bit and preparing myself mentally for the anxiety I would be facing.

    I went for a walk down one of the nearby streets and back and it totals 2.7 miles. I could tell right away that I was out of shape because my lower back was hurting and my ankles were sore, but luckily there are a few bus stops along the street for me to sit down at. I remember getting to the first stop and texting Bob to let him know that I only made it that far. I was disappointed and frustrated and so I sat there for a bit stretching and rotating my ankles. When I got up and started coming back to the house I felt better and it was like a switch went off in the back of my head, I am going to go as far as I can before I turn back, yeah the walk back is going to suck but I want to push myself and if I just stopped when things began getting hard I wouldn’t make much progress. I just kept walking and walking and kind of got into the music I had on and I checked Pokémon Go every once in awhile to see if I hatched any eggs and what Pokémon were nearby, by the time I knew it I made it to the end of the street. I crossed the street and started coming back. By that time I knew that I already had a pretty big blister on the top of my right foot. I stopped at each bus stop along the way for little rest time and to rotate my ankles some more. I made it home and felt relieved, and excited. I survived.

    The whole time I was worrying about the house and thinking someone was going to break in be seal everything and the cats would run away. I was worried that someone would come up behind me while I was walking and would attack me or drive their car up on to the curb and hit me. I was thinking that someone would try and steal my phone and how I would be too warn out to run away or chase after someone.

    As soon as I got home I took off my shoes and my feet felt a million times better, then I took a shower and drank lots of water and sat down to relax for a bit. I knew that even though I felt like I had just won the first war that I was only halfway done with the day, I needed to stick with my diet. I hadn’t really prepared to have healthy food in the house so I made due with what we had. I had a lean cuisine and a bag of steamed veggies for dinner and felt full.

    I usually end up taking a nap during the day but surprisingly I wasn’t that tired and I stayed up until the Seahawks game came on and that kept me entertained until Bob got home from work. Staying up after Bob got home was a struggle though, I was pretty tired, but then again I usually do get tired before Bob anyway (once I get a new CPAP machine and get on the right settings I will finally get a good nights sleep) I slept terrible to be honest. It took me awhile to fall asleep and I woke up a couple times. 

    I ended up waking up around 4 and was hungry. I couldn’t think of anything healthy to eat but I knew that I had some microwaveable salt and vinegar flavored potatoes. I knew I shouldn’t but I had them. I convinced myself by saying that if I didn’t have them now I would have them another time. I hate wasting money and throwing away anything so I knew I would have to eat them.

    Anyways I went back to bed and tried to get back to sleep. I finally managed to get a little bit more sleep. 

    I woke up this morning and had my usual yogurt with my meds. Bob had to work again today, but he didn’t have to go in until later so I decided to go for a walk while he was home because that would eliminate half of my anxiety. 

    The walk today was much easier, even though I felt like I was off to a bad start when I realized I forgot both my glasses and my hat. Luckily it wasn’t that warm yet so I didn’t sweat as much as yesterday, but I did have my sweat rag in my pocket to help keep the sweat out of my eyes. I decided to try my walk today without my Dr Schulls custom orthotics and honestly my feet felt way better today both during the walk and after. I kept repeating in my head during the walk the phrase that Jeff Probst said that stuck in my head “(going from) fearful to fearless” and it was helping motivate me. 

    I know I have to get better with my diet, next time Bob and I go shopping we will have to fill our propane tank (finally) so that I can start cooking food on the stove. I know I can stick to a diet if I have the food readily available, My OCD acted up a few years ago and I went on a crazy 500 calorie a day diet for a month and got all the way down to 200 pounds. I am not going to diet anything like that again, but I did pick up some nice tricks from that diet like having a meal replacement bar with a whole lot of water to replace a meal and I also know that I can stick to having the same food every day. 

    I am thinking I will do 2-3 eggs with some sausage for breakfast, and a mix of yogurt and snacks like celery and peanut butter, flavored almonds, or salad, and then pork chops for dinner or I can stick to my lean cuisines for dinner.

    I wish we had a Planet Fitness nearby, it would be nice to have an affordable gym close by so I could use work out equipment and learn to lift weights. I would probably be too nervous and anxious to go to a gym on my own anyway. 

    Anyways, day two seems to be off to a decent start. I’m hoping it will continue to be good.

    My Journey Begins

    If any of you know me well then you know I am a big fan of the show Survivor. This last season Gen X and Millenials was my favorite season so far, it had a great set of people and one of them in particular has left a lasting impression with me. David Wright was an oddball, he came into Survivor being constantly fearing death and was literally afraid of birds on the first day (they were chasing him though). David was very paranoid about the game, especially being fearful that he was going to be voted out. The David that started that was there on day one was not the David that was voted out on day 38 (he was the last juror). Over the course of the game David gained confidence in himself and even though he was looked at as an underdog who had trouble swimming, he became a big threat in the game having won a few individual immunities. Davids good bye speech on the show was very moving, he said that he may not have been the Sole Survivor, but he was leaving a changed man, a better man.


    If you are reading this than you know about everything I’ve been through, and my anxiety and mental health issues, and being on disability. I am a fearful person, I barely leave the house and when I do I don’t like to do it alone. Just going to get the mail or bring out the trash is stress inducing for myself. Watching David’s transformation on Survivor was very moving for me, and it got me thinking, why can’t I change for the better like David did? I would love to be on Survivor, yes, but being picked for the show would be like winning the lottery. And in the end changing for the better, and shedding my fears and anxiety would be worth just as much as a million dollars. I want to be healthy, I want to be able to not worry about worrying.

    Today I began a journey, one to get in shape and get healthier. I am going to be making a strong effort to start getting out of the house and going for walks and eating healthier to help me lose weight. I know I will probably never be on Survivor, I take lots of medications and I use a CPAP machine and I am sure if I was to be on a beach somewhere with a bunch of strangers, the person that snores at night wouldn’t be liked and would probably be one of the first to be eliminated. I am hoping to get healthy and get off of some of my medications and maybe possibly not need a CPAP machine anymore. I know it’s going to take me losing a lot of weight but I think I am ready for this. 

    I usually just sit at home watching television and the only real times I get out of the house are for doctors appointments or for when Bob and I are spending time together and are running errands. I’ve never been someone to just go for a walk and I am pretty carefree when it comes to eating. I eat what sounds good to me and I eat as much as I need to so I am not hungry anymore. For New Years I gave up soda, I’ve given up carbonated drinks for a whole year before and I am hoping to do it again. So as of today I haven’t had soda in 2 weeks and I feel like I am sleeping better which is nice.

    I came up with this whole journey idea last night and went to bed thinking about it and I woke up today feeling like a man on a mission.  I spent a little time stalling but eventually I got out of the house and went for a walk, the first time I’ve left the house on my own with out a purpose like getting the mail or something. I texted Bob right as I was leaving to let him know where I was going. I just started walking and I knew what street I was going to go down and not even half way down the street I was feeling it, my lower back was aching and my ankles were very sore. I texted Bob and told him how far I went and said that I was going to come back, but then I kept going. I know that this journey wasn’t going to be easy and I didn’t want to be discouraged by seeing just how out of shape I was so I just kept pushing and before I knew it I was at the end of the street and started walking back. I stopped at a few benches along the way just to rotate my ankles and to give my back a break but I did it. By the time I got home I opened up the health app on my iPhone and saw that I had walked 2.7 miles. 

    I have a Facebook friend that is kind of local who does 5k and 10k walk/runs at Disney and I am hoping to eventually get into good enough shape to join him for a 5k. 

    My hope is that I will keep reaching milestones along the way and that I will get into the best shape of my life and not need to be on so many medications. I’d love to say “I want to lose 100 pounds and not need a CPAP anymore and not snore, but I know that that isn’t realistic. I would also love to say that I would get on Survivor and do well on the show, but that’s unrealistic too. I just want to get healthier and fitter. I know I will see setbacks along the way, I mean just today I realized that after over 2 years I need new shoes because I have a big blister now. I am going to try and stay as positive as I can when something comes up. 

    This is my journey, and this is my mission. I will try and keep you all up to date with everything

    When someone that is supposed to be helping you hurts you

    The title might seem dramatic, but I feel in my situation it is very suitable. I would’ve posted this last week, but I was very upset and didn’t want to say exactly how I was really feeling.

    Like I mentioned in my last post, I am not seeing my therapist for a while. Bobs work schedule isn’t regular and even though he asked for a day off during the week so that he and I could go to doctor appointments, they have been having him work a few monday through friday weeks. I used a transportaton company last week to get to my psychiatrist appointment (more on that in a bit) and it was very similar to the service I used back in Washington for all of my appointments for over a year. I called in to set up an appointment with my therapist and I was told that the nest available appointment isn’t until August 31st. I am pretty bummed to be honest, journaling doesn’t help as much as talking to someone face to face about issues.

    Ok on to the main reason for this post-

    Last wednesday, which coincidentally was my grandmas birthday, I went in for a check up with my psychiatrist. It was my first appointment in over 2 months and I had a lot I needed to say. I have felt for quite awhile that none of my meds were helping me in any way. I was on medications for anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and sedation (to help me sleep), and even though I was taking them exactly how they were prescribed I was still having A LOT of anxiety, and panic attacks every few days. I still was having bad mood swings and manic depression, one of which was paired with a panic attack and it landed me in the hospital for being suicidal and very overwhelmed. I had a couple instances of bad paranoia and seeing things in my periferal vision that when I would look to see them there wasn’t anything. Also my sleep schedule was all over the place and I would have random nights where I couldn’t fall asleep, lucky days where I slept well, and many days where I was waking up between 2 and 6 and wasn’t able to get back to sleep.

    I had a lot on anxiety about the appointment itself and using the transportation company for the first time. I spent quite a few hours doing nothing but trying to figure out how to say everything that I was concerned with and wanted to have changed. My game plan was actually kind of simple, go in there tell my therapist that it didn’t feel like any of my medications were helping, explain how I am still struggling with the conditions that she was treating, and also to hold my ground and get put on either new medications or higher doses (like I was on back in Washington). I was told when I made the appointment that it was scheduled to last 15 minutes. When I finally went in to see my doctor, I stuck to my plan on what I needed to say, but nothing went as planned.

    I told her about all of my issues with my medications and how I was still struggling with the conditions that they were supposed to be helping me with. When telling her about how none of the medications seemed to be working she didn’t even seem to be listening. I then said “I don’t know if you were informed or not, but I ended up in the hospital for being suicidal because of my conditons”. Again, it felt like she didn’t even aknowledge what I was saying or ask any questions, all she said was “I didn’t hear about that”.

    After about 4 or 5 minutes, she began going over my medications and she didn’t mention any changes about them. No dosage changes or anything. Then she mentioned my anxiety medication, klonopin, and I said that it wasn’t doing anything and she simply asked me “Do you want to be on a different medication?”, I said yes. She wrote a few things down and was messing around on her computer and then about a minute later she handed me pages she printed out saying what my medication plan was and saying that I need to see her again in 2 months. As she handed me the pages she said that she was going to have her nurse give me samples of Brintellix/Trintellix because she didn’t want to deal with the hassel of dealing with my insurance to get it approved. Brintellix (or Trintellix as it is named now after a name change) is an anti-depresssant, and she gave me samples of it at my last appointment. I am very farmiliar with the medication because I was on it for a few months back in Washington.

    She then said “See you next time” and I took that as her saying my appointment was over. As I walked down the halls to the waiting room to the receptionists to make my next appointment I looked at my phone and I had only seen my doctor for 10 minutes. When I arrived at the receptionists I handed them the paper work I was given and then they told me what times were available on the day I needed to come back and I just went along and said yeah that works. I was then told as the receptionist was scheuling the appointmen that it was only scheduled for 5 minutes.

    When she handed back my paperwork I noticed on the medication info that I wasn’t on anything for anxiety and also that none of my dosages were changed. I then asked the receptionist if I could go speak with my doctor quickly because she forgot to put me on anything for anxiety. The receptionist had the appearance of not caring, so I said “If I am not on anything to treat my anxiety, I will probably end up in the hospital again”. She, much like my doctor, didn’t seem to care and I just walked away to the waiting area to get my samples after a few awkward seconds of her not doing anything. After about 10 minutes the nurse came out and handed me the samples and I told her that my doctor must have made a mistake because she didn’t put me on anything to treat my anxiety. She asked for my paperwork and then walked back to speak with my doctor. About 5 minutes later she came back and handed me my paperwork and said “the brintellix should treat the anxiety”. I told her that brintellix is a medication for depressiona and that I need something that can treat my anxiety.

    I began walking away when the nurse walked away and I went and spoke with the other receptionist. I asked her for an appointment reminder card and as she pulled up the info and filled out a card I asked her what I should do if my anxiety gets bad and she said “just call in and ask to speak with the nurse”. I walked away and got in the transportation car that had been waiting for me and he drove me home. The whole time I could feel my anxiety building and my hands beginning to ache which is pretty much my sign that I am about to or am having a panic attack. As soon as I got home and walked in the door, I set down all the paperwork and my water bottle and I said some curse words pretty loudly. Then I began walking towards the bathroom and ended up having to run to the bathroom because I was going to vomit.

    After throwing up and using mouthwash I walked out to the living room and began looking up brintellix to see if it even helps treat anxiety. Just by typing “Does brintellix treat anxiety” in google and looking through about 10 results, they all pretty much said the exact same thing. People that are given brintellix to treat their depression have increased anxiety for awhile after starting the medication. I didn’t see a single thing about it being used to treat anxiety. I then looked up the medication on a few websites and they all said that it is used to treat depression. After saying a few more curse words, I wrote a post for facebook about everything with the appointment, my terrible doctor, and her plan to treat my conditions. A few people commented and I replied and I realized that I can’t have a doctor that treats me like this.

    I understand she probably has maybe a hundred other patients, but that doesn’t excuse how she is treating me. There are so many things she should have done differently, the most major thing being to ask me questions about me ending up in the hospital and trying to figure out what medication either wasn’t doing it’s job or probably lead me to being suicidal and eiter taking me off of it or raising the dose. She also should have asked for my next appointment to be sooner than 2 months, to see if I am doing better. The fact that she doesn’t care about my well being is alarming, but it is way more frustrating than anything. I, as a patient that is disabled because of all my conditions, has to be able to trust my doctors and believe that everything that they are doing medication and treatment wise is to treat my conditions and hopefully improve my quality of life.

    I don’t trust my psychiatrist anymore, and for my safety I can’t allow her to treat me anymore. I am going to have to look into getting a new doctor, which is pretty stressful for me. I like regularity, I don’t like changes, and I prefer for my psychiatrist and therapist to be in the same clinic because it is much more convienient. I am slowly building the courage to call into my insurance and get a new psychiatrist, but it’s scary. I mean I have had a psychiatrist that was nothing more than a pill pusher and he changed my medications and dosages every single visit, I have had a psychiatrist that lied to my face and puts my life at risk twice. I have even had really nice psychiatrists that do care about your well being, back in the hospitals when I was hospitalized back in Washington a few times. I will never know what kind of psychiatrist I will get, and with my SSI I don’t want to make it seem like I am “shopping” around for doctors because that could come back to hurt me when I have my recertification. I just want a doctor that cares and that treats my conditions correctly, it doesn’t seem like I am asking a lot.

    My goal for this week is to build the courage to call in and to get a new doctor and than hopefully to call in and schedule an appointment.