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Re: mostly response to Lorraine but do jump in

Posted by Lorraine on August 2, 2001, at 21:57:12

In reply to mostly to Lorraine but others feel free to jump in, posted by Elizabeth on August 2, 2001, at 14:21:05

[re: anti-convulsants
> > > Do you feel like they've helped you? A doctor's preference isn't sufficient reason to stay on a drug that isn't doing much good.

I think it's more than preference--my QEEG showed some seizure like activity in my temporal lobes. As to my response, I do feel the Neurontin has helped me. But it's odd--with the selegiline it actually provided some mood support, which I wasn't expect but my pdoc was. Now the Neurontin helps with my physical anxiety. Interesting issue that you raised was the hypomania and I suspect that I have had that pretty regularly throughout my life. Jumping into projects with a flurry of energy, zeal and racing thoughts only to leave them half completed. After I was on Neurontin for a while, I told my pdoc that I thought that I was thinking less circularly (as in running around in circles) and that I was doing more "productive" work. So I have to give the Neurontin thumbs up, although I hated depakote and lomictol. I have cognitive impairment (working memory and so forth) from my depression and am leary about anti-convulsants that add to this problem.

> > > I had an opportunity which I missed a while back. I kind of regret that I wasn't able to meet with the group.

It may come again, or you can do what Neal did and post a message here asking psychobabblers in your neck of the woods to email you.

> > > I think if I'd had my act more together in college, I might have started a support group (for people with psych disorders -- there were a lot of us at my school).

Aren't you still in school? Graduate or finishing school < g >? I always wonder how you manage to be so future oriented (or is it just my perception?) with this disease. I find myself so uncertain day to day about how my mood will be that I've lost the future so to speak.

> > > I know what you mean. At present, none of the people I interact with day-to-day "gets it." I think that one of my friends who I see fairly often probably has depression and/or panic attacks, but she doesn't want to get treatment (she's seeing a therapist, but only very irregularly).

do you ever want to shake her and say "this disease is progressive. stop fooling around?" I have a friend like that who actually has been on ADs on and off. I'm afraid she'll end up like me and have a tough time finding something that works if she keeps this up. Plus I do believe that untreated depression leads to brain damage.

> > > The split dose of Parnate is a good idea for minimising the initial side effects. (I would even consider going down to 5 mg once a day.) How do you get those tablets to break evenly, incidentally?

Well, of course, I do have the expert KMART pill splitter, and, who said I break them "evenly". I can't even break scored tablets evenly. I just save the small halves and use them as I titrate up. The 5 mg 2x a day seems ok. I think I'll continue with this for the rest of the week. I've only felt the shortness of breath slightly.


> > >I can't remember: did you ever try a cardioselective beta blocker (e.g., atenolol)?

I tried propanolol. But it was too wierd for me and didn't really help. Me and my pdoc debated trying atenolol and decided it was time to move on generally. Thanks for the warning on sleep. I had that on moclobemide too and it was unsettling to me. I never felt rested.

> > > It sure is. I'll make note of that. Do you think there were withdrawal symptoms precipitated by discontinuing the selegiline, or just a relapse?

I increased my adderal from 7 mg 2x day to 10 mg 2x a day and really didn't feel any withdrawal symptoms--although I was hidiously distracted at the time, painting some rooms in my house. Still, I felt sublime sometimes and, of course, was very productive.

> > > For instance, I used to have shame spirals (fortunately therapy irradicated this one).
> Okay, I have to ask: what do you mean by shame spirals?

A shame spiral for me was a hole that I would fall in precipitously whenever my old shame injury got bumped up against in the normal day to day living. For instance, my boss would publicly shame me and I would not just feel ashamed, I would feel the amount of shame that I felt as a child when I was publicly humiliated (the other kids made fun of my scars) which was a very deep pit that would take me a couple days to climb out of. It really was awful and I didn't understand what was going on--why I was over-reacting and riding this merry-go-round. I sure am glad to have it out of my life.

> > > I think that a lot of people with DID (or subclinical DID, like Shelli has) feel an attachment to their alters, and as a result they don't necessarily *want* to integrate. I think that if somebody is co-conscious and is otherwise functioning well and feeling okay, it's probably fine to choose not to integrate (if you have the choice).

Yeah, I just think how hard it was for me to embrace the 8 year old that had been injured in me and have to feel envious that she feels this close to her alters. I think it's great.

> > >a book my dad wrote back in the '70s from Amazon. (I'm really hoping he will be able to finish the book he's writing now -- it's going to be quite a piece of work.)

Really? what's it about?

> > >You might be able to find stuff like that (outdated PDRs) on eBay, too. I got my copies of Schatzberg & Nemeroff (both editions) from Amazon at about 2/3 the cover price (when they were new).

I think I tried ebay, no luck. Hmmm Nemeroff, maybe I should get that too. Say, do you own stock in a publishing company? < g >

> > > I suppose you are right. The thing about when I worked out my traumas before was that I didn't "remember" certain things and so had to "try on" various scenarios and walk around with them for a week or so to see if they "fit".
> Wow. How did you construct the scenarios in the first place?

Well, I did remember that I set my pajamas on fire. I did remember how I did that and how I felt (dissociated?). I just didn't know the context. I knew my mom was having suicidal thoughts at the time. I knew my mom and dad were fighting. I was just missing that glue--was it childish exploration gone awry or some type of acting out? those are the two scenarios I tried on.
> > > You and Shelli were quite the little pyromaniacs, weren't you? :-)

That, we are. Of course, my kids barely know how to light a candle. You can imagine how I "controlled" this possibility. It's funny, but when my kids reached about the age I was when the accident happened, I had some major anniversary type issues come up about them and fears for their safety and fear that I was emotionally abandoning them.

> > > There also was some sexual abuse by my father when I was older.
> God, that's awful. How old were you?

I was 15 or 16. It is awful because it is a breach of trust between a parent and child, but the abuse was pretty mild.

> > > I feel a lot of heaviness in my chest.
(hence the idiom "getting something off your chest").

You're right. Good connection.

> > > That's really interesting to me. I went to a massage therapist a few times when my back pain started (my GP recommended her).

The times I reacted were when I was with a therapist who happened to be a healing type of therapist. I don't have this reaction with normal massage therapists.

> > > Here's one data point for you: I found that the sympathomimetic stimulation from Parnate became much less with time.

I'm very pleased to hear this!

> > > I very frequently get the back ache thing from meds.
> This is the kind of thing that gets me thinking, "I wonder what causes that?"

Well, it's like dystonia (mild). I had it first with Zoloft. I had terrible back aches and would find myself in an ordinary phone conversation gripping the phone very tightly. I don't think it is that uncommon a side effect of a lot of these meds. I used to think my back aches were physical problems until I started tracking how meds affected them. What about your back ache--were you on meds at the time?

> > > The Parnate mood support is going to be more robust than stimulants or selegiline. We'll see.
> That was my experience with Parnate vs. selegiline.

I'm glad to hear that.

> > >There are a lot of stimulants, and they vary in their central and peripheral effects. (Methamphetamine has the most favourable ratio of central to peripheral effects, which is also why people abuse it so much.)

My pdoc was willing to prescribe this for me, but I didn't want it. It seems like a possibility to try much later if the MAOs and TCAs fail me. By the way, Adderal kept me "awake" but otherwise didn't affect me too badly--didn't cause hyperventilation for instance. Shelli's cylert is supposed to be mild as well and might be worth a try if I need a stimulant in the future.

[re: son's attack]
> > > I can imagine! Does he have any psychological problems that you know of?

He has a learning disability (dyslexia) and possibly undiagnosed ADD sort of stuff. He has anger management issues--has had them since he was quite young. He has mild generalized anxiety and is a bit compulsive. We are teaching him coping skills. He actually has made remarkable progress--it's been a year or so since he lost his temper like that. Apparently, a girl had broken up with him which added fuel to the fire when I was grounding him for misbehavior (lying). I'm thinking about cognitive therapy. He will go back to therapy as a consequence of this. I've thought of having him formally evaluated, but my therapist feels it's not necessary. (and, in truth, i would be soooo reluctant to medicate a teen in part because they don't have a sexual identity or knowledge so if a med affects their sexuality they will just assume that that is "who they are" -- i also have the same issue with identity development generally in teens and feel that unless it is really necessary to medicate them, we should let them get a sense of who they are in the raw state.) I know you were diagnosed young. Were you medicated? If you were, do you feel it impacted your developing sense of identity (other than the fact that being medicated for a mental illness is a head trip anyway) or affected your developing sense of sexuality? My niece is 15 and was diagnosed OCD and put on Luvox. I think it was necessary for her to be medicated, but I do worry--especially about her sexuality given the side effects of SSRIs generally.

> > >it means that the whole incident wasn't completely negative -- you did get something of value out of it.

we always do :-)

Say, how is desipramine treating you?




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