Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Small Zig in my Path

As I've noted in recent posts, I was trying Celexa, but while it may have been starting to work, the side effects were too much: pain from stomach acid and nearly daily migraines. So earlier this week, I switched to Zoloft. On day two, I thought the stomach and migraine issues had returned, but I don't think that's the case, so I've still got my fingers crossed.

My anxiety has improved, but it still jumps up to surprise me with its intensity at times. I'm inching toward being more disciplined with my mindfulness practices, and I hope to make bigger strides as I work with my therapist over the summer.

My mother continues to be a HUGE source of exposures for me. I find it extremely frustrating, as if I didn't know better I'd swear she goes out of her way to not only contaminate herself and me, but to call me up to tell me about it. But I know she's just oblivious, and I also know that in the long run, it's better that she accidentally forces me into exposures.

Today's adventure: finding a nest of baby mice while cleaning in her basement. Good times!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

So Terrible at "Response Prevention"

I'm so good at the academic principles of OCD treatment. I've mentioned before how many books on OCD I have and how many more I've read.

I'm not as good at actually following through on hard exposures. It's taken me all these years to finally really hear the message that part of getting better is learning that the feeling of anxiety is uncomfortable, but that's okay, you can survive it. And when you do, you learn that anxiety isn't as scary as you thought. My brain hasn't learned that part yet. But I'm working on it.

Over many years of therapy, with professionals and on my own, I've only been able to go so far, and then the exposures have seemed too scary, the anxiety too much. For what I think is the first time, I'm trying to push through on harder exposures. I'm not enjoying it one bit, and I haven't really been doing it long enough to say how well it's working, in the big picture. But I'm trying my hardest.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Made it Through Jury Duty

And that was good. I am still lurching from "what if" situation to "what if" situation. I am working to stay in the present, and I do think I'm getting a little better at it. But still experience more than usual anxiety. I've found a great psychiatric nurse, who I think will be helpful in trying to figure out a better medication solution. Celexa doesn't seem to be doing it, although I'm giving it another week or two to make sure.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Finally Slowing Down

I think the medication is starting to kick in. Hooray! I met with the new therapist yesterday. She's very different from people I've seen before, in that she doesn't specialize in OCD. But she does use cognitive therapy, and I like that her focus is on the whole person, and not just the sliver of my OCD. So we'll see how it goes!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Going a Mile a Minute

It occurs to me today that my brain has never before done what it's been doing the last 2-3 weeks: shifting worries in a flurry. I've felt this anxious before, but it's generally been over one overwhelming fear- when I discovered radon in my house, for instance, and couldn't get it fixed for a month. But now I'm just all over the place. I'm not sure what's different, or why. I have my first meeting tomorrow with a therapist who focuses on CBT and mindfulness, and I hope she's a good fit for me.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Update

Yesterday I tried a day without the lorazepam, to see if that was what was helping, or if it was just the natural progression of my day to feel better in the afternoon. Verdict: loraepam definitely helping! It's tricky though, because I don't want to take it on a day I need to drive. Which really is only a few days a week luckily. I think I will take the bus to work for a few weeks. That would really leave only one day a week that I need to drive, and even that's flexible. It's my hope that the Celexa kicks in within a few weeks, and then it won't be an issue.

Generally, I'm still having a really rough time. My insurance coverage for medication is good. My insurance coverage for therapy is terrible. Well, it's not that so much as I can usually only get an appointment once a month, and they tend to assign you a therapist pretty randomly, which seems nearly pointless. So I intend to self pay; it's not really in the budget, but I think I'm worth it.

My sister and a good friend of mine have been an unbelievable source of support for me over the last week, and I'm incredibly grateful.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 2 on Lorazepam

Well, I woke up yet again with my "feeling of doom." I took a full 1 mg of the lorazepam. The pharmacist said it starts to work in about 15 minutes, but I don't seem to notice much for an hour. At this point, I just feel sleepy. I probably shouldn't drive on this dose, although on 0.5 mg, I felt sharp and normal.

I've read that you can't really do ERP while on a short acting anti-anxiety pill, but I'm not sure that will be true. While the "doom" lifts, I continue to be able to experience the more standard anxiety about most of the usual things I worry about. Maybe it's not quite as intense. I think for me it would be easier to do ERP to a low to moderate level of fear: it's like shifting the whole hierarchy down a notch. Seems like how so people describe the SRRI: making everything manageable enough to start the hard work of exposure therapy.