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.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Medication Change

The last week has been one of the hardest I have ever experienced. I've heard that some people experience an uptick in anxiety when they start on an SSRI, and maybe that's what happened to me. But I was a mess this week. Barely functional some days. I did make it into work, and I'm happy about that.

I was able to get an appointment for today with my primary care doctor, who wrote me a prescription for lorazepam. I'd had a prescription back in 2006, but I never took it. If you've read my blog for any time, you'll know I've been a reluctant medication taker, although that's changing. Anyway, it was clear to me this week that waiting possibly another month or more to see if the SSRI would work was simply an untenable solution.

So I took half a lorazepam today. I can't quite say how well it worked. I did feel much better as the day wore on, but that's generally true. Regardless, I think it worked somewhat. Tomorrow I'm going to experiment with a whole pill, since I don't need to leave the house if I don't choose to.

Overall, I feel like the cloud of doom that followed me all week is lifting. But I still have a lot of rumination about things that happen during the course of my day. And then today I stopped in briefly at work to make a copy of a key. Oh, my. I had to test the key on the cabinet, and it's a cabinet with all the important stuff in it: checks, spare keys, accounting records. I cannot even tell you how many times I checked that it was locked. More than I think I've ever checked anything, ever. And it wasn't even quite like I didn't believe it was locked. More like I wanted to have so many memories of checking that I couldn't doubt it later- although of course OCD doesn't work that way.

I came home and joked with a friend that I sure hope there's not some unknown security camera in that office. And then of course I spent some time ruminating about that possibility. Haha, OCD won this round.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

One More Try

For years, I've resisted medication. This despite at least 4 tries on various SSRIs for OCD. But over the last year, while I've been pretty high functioning with my OCD, and doing well with contamination type exposure, my underlying anxiety has been ramping up, up, up. I had convinced myself that the medications don't really work that well, but lately, everywhere I turn, I'm hearing people talk about how important they were to their recovery.

So, this time I'm going into it with the expectation that I'll need to be on them for a while, and that I need to be patient. None of my usual, I'll take this till I get through the crisis and then stop.

I'm on day three, so it's unlikely that there's any real impact, but I can already feel my brain feeling a little more open to facing some scary stuff. Placebo effect? Probably, but I don't mind. I'll keep you posted on how things go as I move through this process.

Friday, May 15, 2015

But, It COULD Happen!

It's not an innovative idea to consider the idea that the anxiety in OCD is all about uncertainty. OCD is known as the doubting disease for a reason. BUT, even so, I've still been amazed just how often I've done a compulsion based on my brain convincing me that some very obscure fear just.might.come.true.

"But it could happen," my brain tells me, and then it would be ALL YOUR FAULT. I should note that my brain tries to tell me this even when the feared event would in fact not be my fault at all. For instance, the other day, a coworker of mine used the rarely used back door to our office. I reminded myself when he did that to check that the door was relocked, since he didn't lock it when he left. Sure enough, he came back about 15 minutes later and relocked the door. And yet, later in the evening, I remembered that I didn't check the door upon leaving for the day. And then I worried that if it had been left open, it would be my fault if someone came in and stole something.

I'd even convinced myself to drive by and check. Because, IT COULD HAPPEN. But I am not going to. I've given in to my OCD so very much. I've lost out on years due to my inability to push back against OCD. Not today, OCD, not today.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

How Does Time Move So Fast and So Slowly!

When I'm having anticipatory anxiety, time feels like it will never pass. I'll be worried forever! And then I open up my blog account and find that it's been a month since I last posted. So I guess time is actually flying by!

It's been an interesting month. Weirdly busy at work, busy finishing up my move (yay!), doing some really really hard OCD exposures (yay!), doing some compulsions, too (boo!)

I've been telling myself that as soon as I finish the move and get settled, I'll hunker down and start being more consistent with my ERP exercises, and with daily meditation. Well, the move is done, just a few more boxes to unpack. No more excuses.

I've said it before, but I'll say it yet again, look for more posts this summer as I get myself in gear!