Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: back to the original question

Posted by MrZest on December 8, 1998, at 11:24:30

In reply to back to the original question, posted by emma on December 7, 1998, at 7:21:30

> I am just not interested in debating whose illness is
> the worst. Unfortunately, there are many types of suffering.
> I'll just try to repost the original questions,
> which was if there are any females out there who
> had total inability to reach orgasm on prozac, zoloft
> or paxil and found another anti-depressant or
> combination that did not have this side effect
> I would really appreciate hearing from you.
> Thank you. emma

I hope you will excuse this male interlope into your thread, emma. I just couldn't resist posting a personal opinion about the thread, or more precisely, a couple of it's parts. As payment, I will include my own libido changed experiences with paxil. To wit: the experience I had was that all the plumbing worked beautifully, (I mean that exactly as it sounds, no little blue pills needed, thank you. LOL) But the problem was that it just went on and on and on and on, with no ending possible.
I would get right to the very point where it was supposed to 'end'..... and nothing. If I pushed it at this point, my whole chest and abdomen would clench up. It would become hard to breathe. The longest we tried was a bit more than 4 hours one day, and the third time my chest clenched I almost blacked out. This was too scary and we quit. This was way too frustrating for me and I discontinued the paxil.
Funniest thing is that I was informed of the possible libido side-effect before taking the paxil, and I thought it would not be a problem for me. (You never know what you've got till it's gone. LOL) This is the first I have talked of it 'publicly', not only because of the embarrassment, but because I thought I was 'strange'. I guess I thought they meant I would be able to 'do it', or not, period. With no in-betweens.
OK, so, bottom line, orgasm itself was impossible, but there were no other limits. I also experienced a bit of 'bouncing' from manic to depressive and back. Stronger changes, and faster than normal, but of no consistent pattern.

Now, as for the posts within the string. I don't think that anyone was trying to say that anyone else was 'less sick' than anyone else. I respect and admire anyone willing to write publicly of thier problems/experiences here. I am low to mid functioning bi polar, starting to show itself treatment resistant. In my early 40's. I have been unable to function in any really helpful way for more than 2 years. I look back and I can't even remember what it was that made me able to function back then.

I may be wrong, but I get the sense of two factors in Nancy's responses. 1. 'The bigger they are, the harder they fall.' It sounds like Nancy had a lot farther to fall than many. I have never earned more than 30 thousand a year in my life. When I 'crashed' I was a lot closer to the dirt. The argument could be made that she has had a lot better buffer between her and the bottom, that her fall has probably been less harsh and mine a lot faster. But I think the most important factor is 'in the eye of the beholder'. In the material centered eye of society, she had more to lose than I, for instance. And I think a lot of the anger seen in her response, though misplaced, is to be expected of someone who has lost so much.
Add to that the second factor, 2. 'Pick yourself up by the bootstraps and carry on'. I don't think there's a single person reading this that hasn't heard that from a relative or friend at some time. When I think of all the years I spent masking my problem and doing just that, I wonder why I cannot do that now. If I, in my own shoes, feel somewhere inside me that I should be somehow able to just pick myself up and get on with life, how can I expect anyone outside myself to understand that it just isn't going to happen no matter how much either of us want it to ? I have spent countless hours being frustrated in trying both to understand how I used to be able to do that, and in trying to do it anyway. Putting myself in the shoes of those who care for me, I can understand how they can get so frustrated on thier side of it all. They have seen me living and being responsible for so long, why can't I do it now ? Even the most understanding of the bunch had to admit that although they could understand a chemical imbalance being to blame, they expected me to somehow become back to the same old normal me as before, once I started the meds.
I still find myself getting caught up in this vicious circle all on my own, from time to time. I don't need someone outside myself saying it to bring it on. But I also constantly run into people, even professional people, who expect that of me, whether out loud or by inference. There are some who run on that old protestant work ethic way of thinking, and who think anyone who cannot just do as they do, is being a slacker, a slug and a drain on society. There are those who actually are lazy, they will take the time to 'diagnose' you, and to prescribe meds, thereapy, et al, because that is how they earn a living, but who become tired of 'dealing' with you very quickly. These people want you to pick yourself up, not for your own good, but because they don't want to have to deal with you anymore. And there are those who want you to pick yourself up because they care for you very much and they want the best for you. They want you to be better, but they know there's nothing they can do to get you there. Yet some part of themselves tells them that if they could just somehow support and push you enough, you might just get up and get on with life. This is not usually somthing thought about, but felt. Nevertheless, the result is the same. Also, the result is for us, the patient, cumulative. The result is frustration of our own, and even more frustration at the frustration of those around us. Frustration leads to anger. Nancy is frustrated not only by her loss, but by the bootstrap thing, and is understandably angry. She just hasn't learned to stop letting that anger control her.

My best friend once told me something he said was a zen principle or something. I don't remember the who or when, (the nutshell), but I remember the meat of the nut. Anger always comes from frustration. Frustration comes from wanting something that you can't have. Whether you want that guy in the fast lane to speed up or get over into the slow lane; or you want to get a wage commensurate with your worth at work; or you want that red convertible; or you want to stop being depressed; or you want your sister to stop crying all the time about all her boyfriends. When you find yourself becoming angry, stop for a few minutes. Take time out to think. You are getting angry because you are frustrated. What are you frustrated about ? Take enough time to try and figure out exactly what it is. Once you have figured out what exactly it is that is frustrating you, you need to think about your chances of changing the circumstances, etc to get the results you wanted. If there is no way to do so, (and the chances are nil to none at all if what you want is for someone else to change what they are saying, thinking or doing), then you need to come to grips with it in the only way you can. That is to accept the fact that this is something you can do nothing about, leave it be, and go around it. When it comes to people it's going to mean that you are going to have to just stop being around certain people. For others, you will have to just make up your mind that they are sometimes idiots or assholes, and just ignore them when need be. If you just absolutely want someone to change in some way, find a way to present your argument in an orderly and logical manner, present your best argument, and accept the results whichever way it goes.
It's also possible that you are frustrated because you don't really know what it is you want. Once you have taken the time to figure out the frustrating factor from above, you may find that you have been getting frustrated by not getting something which, when you think about it, you either don't really want, or don't really need like you thought you did. For instance, Nancy, maybe you are angry because of the understandably huge frustration at the expectancy, in yourself, and from around you, for you to somehow pick your chin up and get on with life. Because you haven't faced the frustration yourself, and put it behind you, you see, hear and read all around you that which feeds the frustration. Whether it is there or not. Reading your posts and hers together, I can see where you could come away with the feeling that was what she was saying, even though she didn't say anywhere that you should just get over it, etc. She was simply sharing her own experiences.

No matter what, I think you will find that it is surprisingly empowering when you learn to let something go that you really really want. If you can learn to let ANYTHING go, whether deserved or not, whether paid for or not, (in cash or misery), you can learn to become happy with only yourself. YOU as you are now. The more you become comfortable with who you are now, as opposed to who you used to be, the easier it will become to figure out what is helpful to you, and what works against the best interest of who you are now. And the easier it becomes to let go of things that are not good for you, or good things which the 'getting' of is not good for you.

As I have already said, I have a problem with this bootstrap thing myself. I keep catching myself becoming frustrated before I know it, all on my own, and/or because of outside influences. Over time it has become painfully obvious that I am not going to wake up someday and suddenly be able to cope with all the things I was able to cope with in my twenties. Therefore I am daily working on accepting that fact for and within myself. I am finding that the more I accept it myself, the less it matters what someone else thinks or even says on the subject. I am even learning to accept the fact that there will always be those who will have that chin up attitude. I don't have to take each instance personally. I don't have to educate everyone about the difference between attitudes and chemicals. I don't have to make sure that everyone I come into contact or even conflict with is made aware of the real facts at hand. And I most certainly do NOT have to let myself be frustrated and angry every time the subject surfaces in some way.

Our plight is not an easy one. It is difficult enough on the face of it. Lashing out at those around us only makes it unnecessarily more difficult. If the lashing out goes on long enough it can become not just difficult, but impossible for anyone involved to make any headway. Yourself included. There will always be conflicts enough for us all. Learn to choose your battles instead of letting them choose you. Letting yourself become frustrated over and again about the same things will at best waste your time, and at worst, waste your lifetime.




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