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JoLe: If I don't fit in a box, I certainly won't fit in a pill bottle


JoLe

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Hi, I just got here today. I'm JoLe, and I'm trying to quit Cymbalta. Thank you for having me.

 

I'm doing the count-the-little-grains method, and I'm planning on going very slowly. My prescription is for 60mg, but I've never really taken that much; when I tried to up my dosage (about two years ago), I could feel all the bad manic stuff starting, so I went back down to 30mg and stayed, though I never told my doctor. With the price of this stuff the way it is, no way was I going to give up twice the amount of med for the same price.

 

I've been taking one pill every other day. I know this is supposed to cause problems, but I haven't had any. Then again, I've been lucky in being able to give up all the other psychotropics I've been on with no difficulty.

 

Anyway, I bought some blank capsules online and yesterday they arrived. I opened one of the capsules (using a plastic plate with dividers in it) and counted the grains. There were 205. I counted twice and got the same number both times.

 

My original plan had been not to taper off immediately, but to spend a couple of weeks actually taking 30mg a day. But that extra grain made me decide that would be my first taper. I put it in the original capsule, then put 102 grains in two blanks.

 

Then I opened another capsule. This one had 213 grains.

 

That made me rethink my whole plan, but I decided to push ahead. I put 102 grains in two more blanks, and put the rest of the grains in that first capsule. I put the empty capsule in another bottle.

 

I spent about an hour getting ten capsules ready, so I'm good 'til next week. Oddly, I find this all rather soothing. I'm detail-oriented, and I make jewelry, so I'm used to dealing with tiny little things--though not usually this tiny.

 

 

I plan on posting every day, even if nothing's going on, even if it's just to say, "Nothing's going on." But I also plan on posting some of my history with (and without) psychotropics.

Edited by Altostrata
added poster's name to Intro topic heading

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, JoLe. I knew at some point someone would count those little grains in the Cymbalta capsules.

 

Well, you know we don't recommend the alternating dosage method. If it hasn't bitten you, good for your highly resilient nervous system.

 

Those were 60mg capsules you were opening, right?

 

There are 3 problems with counting grains: 1) There's variation in the number of grains per capsule, as you found; 2) The grains vary slightly in size and weight; 3) The grains vary in number per capsule AND size from lot to lot and dosages of the same drug (i.e. a 30mg capsule of Cymbalta may not contain anywhere near 102-107 grains).

 

However, if your nervous system isn't that sensitive, the variation of a few grains from day to day may not make that much difference.

 

(If you wanted to get really precise, people have used electronic scales to measure out exact amounts.)

 

So you are going to be more consistent with your dose, 30mg per day, for the next couple of weeks. That seems like a good idea. If you do start tapering and develop withdrawal symptoms, you'll be better able to control your tapering.

 

After 2 weeks on 30mg per day, what were you planning to do?

 

Please do let us know what happens! Consider this your journal topic. And if you have any other questions, please start topics or post in other topics.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for the edit, I appreciate it!

 

Believe me, I know how lucky I've been. I weaned myself off Clonazepam once, so I'm hoping to be able to pull this off, too. I don't recommend anybody do the every-other-day thing, either. I only found out it could be a problem from reading about it quite recently. I'm hoping that bodes well. :)

 

I've been thinking about this all day, and I think I'm going to go a month on my "30mg" capsules. Since these doses are uneven, I want to see if I feel any different just from that. When the month's up, I'll try going down to 100 grains. I want a really slow taper, what you used to be able to call glacial until the glaciers started melting so fast.

 

It's really wonderful to be here, to be able to write about this and keep track of what's happening, and to know whoever is reading it understands that drugs are not the be-all and end-all.

 

I do plan on posting every day, even if it's just to say, "Same old, same old."

 

Thank you for the welcome!

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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  • Administrator

We want to hear from you!

 

I think your plan is a good one. See if you can stabilize at 30mg, then reduce glacially. Your brain will thank you!

 

Visit with our other Introduction topics, too, we have several people tapering off Cymbalta.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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[Hi, JoLe, I moved your update here -- you can keep your daily journal in the same Intro topic.]

 

Day 2

 

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

 

Nothing going on, but it's only the second day.

 

I had a long talk with my mother last night, and she was very supportive. (She's been taking Xanax for years, but only on an as-needed basis.) We talked about my father's long years of mis-diagnosis and the subsequent mis-medication. (Elavil and Thorazine.) They didn't stop his manic episodes from coming once a year like clockwork, but he was a very compliant patient.

 

We also talked about how some of what I'm feeling--which is basically medium gray--might be my age. I'm fifty-two, past menopause, although my body might not be aware of that.

 

WARNING! POSSIBLE TMI AHEAD!

 

I had a D&C last year because of a post-menopausal bleed--which is no different than having your period, except your body's supposed to know to quit making up the nursery, what with having no eggs left. My OB/GYN was puzzled by the results: the tissue they removed was benign. It was so benign, they wrote benign twice in the report. That's very benign. He told me we're not going to worry about this, and if I have another bleed, we're not doing a D&C unless I really want one. (I don't.) He also told me my uterus has a remarkably healthy blood-flow. I don't remember the numbers, but I do remember being stunned by them, because I've had friends go the artificial insemination route, and one they they test to see how fertile you are is the blood-flow of your uterus. According to my numbers last year, I'd be an excellent candidate for AI.

 

END OF TMI

 

The thing is, I can't find my irrational joy. I haven't felt it in months. I don't expect to live in a place of irrational--or even rational--joy, but I need that sudden feeling of unreasonable happiness when I think about some small, good thing. Lately I mostly feel like the color of a hotel room's walls: so bland and uninteresting, it doesn't even have a name. All I want to do is sit in my house, watch "Bones," and play GemDrop.

 

I've told my mother and my boss (who is also a dear friend I've known for 32 years) what I'm doing, but no-one else. I don't want any discouraging words sapping my resolve. I don't want to argue about it, sounding strident while a well-meaning friend sounds concerned. That's one reason I'm here. (I have fairly active LiveJournal/Dreamwidth mirror accounts.)

 

I want to tell my therapist, but I don't know what her ethical responsibilities are regarding me and the drugs.

 

OK, not going down that spiral of indecision! See you all tomorrow!

 

Also took a walk yesterday evening, about eight blocks.

Edited by Altostrata
merged with existing topic

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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Hi JoLe... welcome here. I know you'll get lots of support as you taper off these meds.

 

Talking with other people in the same boat really helps. Sending good vibes for an easy taper.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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JoLe, when you say you're feeling "gray" and can't find your joy -- what you may be feeling is a recognized side effect of long-term antidepressant use: emotional numbing.

 

Whatever your reason for going off, you will find your joy again, and the world will have color.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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JoLe, I am tapering off cymbalta too. It's good to see another sphere counter. The way I do it though is I count the amount I take out and I don't think about the amount that remains in the capsule. The way I look at it, if the # of spheres can vary from 205 to 220, and not bother us, then if I take a consistent amount out, that will be ok.

 

1989 - 1992 Parnate* 

1992-1998 Paxil - pooped out*, oxazapam, inderal

1998 - 2005 Celexa - pooped out* klonopin, oxazapam, inderal

*don't remember doses

2005 -2007   Cymbalta 60 mg oxazapam, inderal, klonopin

Started taper in 2007:

CT klonopin, oxazapam, inderal (beta blocker) - 2007

Cymbalta 60mg to 30mg 2007 -2010

July 2010 - March 2018 on hiatus due to worsening w/d symptoms, which abated and finally disappeared. Then I stalled for about 5 years because I didn't want to deal with W/D.

March 2018 - May 2018 switch from 30mg Cymbalta to 20mg Celexa 

19 mg Celexa October 7, 2018

18 mg Celexa November 5, 2018

17 mg Celexa  December 2, 2019

16 mg Celexa January 6, 2018 

15 mg Celexa March 7, 2019

14 mg Celexa April 24, 2019

13 mg Celexa June 28, 2019

12.8 mg Celexa November 10, 2019

12.4 Celexa August 31, 2020

12.2 Celexa December 28, 2020

12 mg Celexa March 2021

 

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Thank you all for the lovely welcome!

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

Day 3

 

Still nothing to report, so I'll start writing The History of Me.

 

My father's family was full of manic-depressives. (I hate the term bipolar.) Three of his uncles died in Central State, the mental hospital. One--the achiever of the family--died in prison.

 

My father was manic-depressive. His highs included spending every cent he could find, being argumentative and dictatorial, and not sleeping. Sometimes he'd just pace the house, sometimes he'd go out and drive around all night. Either way, it was upsetting to my mother.

 

(I have only vague memories of this until I got into high school. My mother sheltered me, and I colluded with her to do it. I lived in my own fantasy world made up of books, TV and movies, and my own stories. I remember my father going into the hospital, but only snips of how he behaved before he went in--and even those I only in retrospect put together with mania.)

 

My cousin Sophia is also manic-depressive. She's twelve years older than I am and lives in another state, so I only saw her occasionally. Her parents are divorced, with her father (my father's brother) living here and her mother moving away with Sophia, and remarrying.

 

When I was very young, I found Sophia exotic and wonderful to be around. She was very sweet and patient with me, and she'd pin up my hair.

 

When I was eleven, Sophia's mother brought her to town because Sophia was going through a serious manic episode, with religious overtones. She was going out, taking off her clothes, and trying to proselytize. Needless to say, her mother was frantic, and she wanted Sophia's father to help.

 

My grandmother took over. And by "took over," I mean she and my uncle's new wife brought Sophia to my mother. Why? Because my mother "knew how to deal with people like that." (In other words, crazy people, like my father.)

 

I remember Sophia sitting on the bed in the guest room, just rocking back and forth, not saying a word. At eleven, I truly saw the face of madness.

 

I don't know what my parents did. I think she just stayed with us until she got better. That's one thing about manic-depression, it does recede. You're just not quite the same person you were when it came in.

 

Sophia's been married twice now, has a daughter and a granddaughter. She's never been able to hold a job for very long. The tide changes and she's pulled along with it.

 

 

As for me, I've been incredibly lucky. Doctors are reluctant to believe I'm actually manic-depressive. I'm fifty-two years old and have held the same job for thirty-two years. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't gamble. I don't over-spend. (The most reckless thing I ever did, money-wise, was to spend $400 I wasn't sure I really had. It's a long story. But I was hypomanic at the time.) I don't take illegal drugs. I'm not thrilled with taking prescription drugs. (A psychiatrist I loved told me I had the opposite of drug-seeking behavior.) I've lived in the same house for over twenty years. I was in a monogamous relationship with the same woman for twenty-five years, and the only reason it ended was, she died. She's the only person I've ever slept with. While I was heavily in debt, I managed to pull myself out of it and now pay off my credit card every month.

 

I don't sound like much of a manic-depressive, do I? When I was talking to my mother the other day, I said, "Really, the only thing the manic-depression effects is how I feel. You can't see it from the outside."

 

I've gone through terrible depressions and a few hypomanic states. I've tried various drugs that would help for a while, then not. Until I started reading Anatomy of an Epidemic, I had no idea that was normal. The drug would stop working, I'd stop taking it. Sometimes I'd start taking something else, but mostly I'd just not be taking anything.

 

Fortunately, I have a lot of my father's attitude about work. He was very good at what he did, and he could come out of the hospital and go right back to work. It's just what you do.

 

Well, that's enough for today. I'll try to get into my drug history tomorrow.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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JoLe... your style of writing is well, superb. I hang onto every word and honestly, I can't wait for the next chapter!

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Thank you so much! As someone who loves to write, it's really wonderful to hear that!

 

I will confess, I'm not reading much of other people's entries right now. I'm still hoping for a smooth withdrawal process, and I know how I am: tell me a drug's side effects and I'll start having them. I hang onto the list they give you at the drug store and look at it if anything happens. I just don't need to give my mind any ideas! :D:)

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

IMO, you're doing the right thing. Sometimes, some of the posts make me question myself over and over. I don't think that's always such a good thing. There are times that validation helps... other instances where TMI is overload.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Day 4

 

Really, we need to start farther back than Prozac, which was my first prescribed antidepressant. We need to start with me in the fourth grade seeing the school counselor.

 

Fourth grade was a hard year. I was doing terrible in my classes, and my mother and teacher had come up with a system to fix that. Every day after school, my mother would come and talk to Sister Irene. If I had done badly that day, I would not be allowed to watch TV that night.

 

I remember them telling me about this. We were standing in the dark hallway after school was out. I felt as though I was being stripped of some basic human right, some level of autonomy no-one else should be able to touch. It was humiliating.

 

I was only actually punished once. It was a Friday night, and my parents went out for the evening, leaving me at home with my maternal grandmother, who lived with us. Grandma only had one leg and couldn't get into her wheelchair unassisted, so she was stuck in her room. I had been crying for hours—it genuinely hurt that I was being treated this way—and in an act of rebellion, I went into the family room and turned on the TV. Gomer Pyle, USMC was on. I hated that show, but I watched it for a few minutes with the sound turned down so low I couldn't really hear it. Then I turned it off. I didn't really feel better, but I didn't feel like crying anymore. I'd gotten even. I felt a little sick, because I was mostly very obedient, but they had all the power and I had none, and I'd shown them. Without them knowing about it, of course.

 

I liked the counselor, whose name was Elizabeth. She wasn't there long—she moved to Massachusetts. But she did write me a letter, telling me how different the style of architecture is from Indiana's.

 

In the sixth grade I got involved in what was perceived as a lesbian relationship with my best friend. That is not a good situation to be in when you're going to a small Catholic grade school in the early '70's. We were ridiculed and harassed constantly. The next year she stopped talking to me, probably to get away from the harassment. It worked for her.

 

Nothing ever worked for me. I'd been living like Carrie in Stephen King's book since about the third grade. I didn't fit, I didn't know why I didn't fit, I couldn't make myself fit. And after a while, I didn't want to fit. Why would I want to be like people who had been so horrible to me, who wanted me dead? (I was too young to understand that groups of people like having an outsider, it validates them. The outsider cannot change to fit in because that would mean there would no longer be an outsider—and for the same reason, they don't want the outsider to die. That's just what it felt like to me.)

 

In the seventh grade I had no friends, I was crying all the time, and I was failing all my classes, even reading. My mother saw my report card and called a meeting to yell at my teachers. She worked in the school library, she was right down the hall from them, but not one of them could tell her how badly I was doing?

 

I was put into counseling at the Catholic Social Services. It was group therapy, and I liked it, but I never told them what had been going on, why I was so unhappy in school, how much I missed Dana. (The male counselor told my mother I had issues with men. He deduced this because I would never sit next to him in group. The truth was, I wouldn't sit next to him because he was smoking. My issues with men had nothing to do with it.) It did help; I talked to other kids who didn't make fun of me.

 

The summer between eighth grade and high school was probably my first real depression. I felt so morbid, as though the world was a rotting carcass on a hot August evening and I couldn't fight my way out of it. I sort of wanted to die, and thinking about dying was the only thing that excited me. I thought about cutting my wrists and watching the warm blood pour out. I was in a very bad place.

 

But it lifted. No drugs, no counseling, it just lifted, and by the time I started high school, I felt better.

 

I made some friends in high school. I don't know why that didn't last. Freshman year was good, socially, but after that everything seemed to fall apart, and by junior year I was in another depression. I used to go in for homeroom and my first two classes (both English classes), then go to the office and tell them I was sick and call my mother for permission to come home. She always gave it. I'd put my nightgown back on and lay on the sofa watching The DickVan Dyke Show and eating the lunch I'd taken to school. Then I'd sleep through the afternoon movie.

 

Why did my mother let me come home? Because she always put a higher premium on my emotional state than she did on my education. She knew I was smart, and that I'd learn even if I didn't show up as regularly as I should, but what good would it do if I killed myself?

 

Back when I was still popular, I'd gone to slumber parties. I'd come home wired from having been up all night and my mother would give me half of one of her Valiums. Junior year I started stealing her Valium, trying to make myself feel better.

 

It didn't work. And one night when I was lying in bed reading, I had to hide my thumbs behind the book because I was sure red ants were going to crawl out from under my thumbnails. It was like a borderline hallucination. I never took Valium again.

 

Wow. That's over a thousand words and I haven't even reached Prozac! Prozac will have to wait for tomorrow. Same Bat-time, same Bat-station!

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

IMO, you're doing the right thing. Sometimes, some of the posts make me question myself over and over. I don't think that's always such a good thing. There are times that validation helps... other instances where TMI is overload.

 

Thank you! I don't want anyone to think I'm not interested in what's going on with them, or that I don't think it's important--I am, and I think it's very important, and very brave of people who are having such difficulties to take the time and energy to share them. (It would be at the least egocentric of me to come here and talk about myself while not reading what others post. :)) I do plan on reading and commenting later.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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  • Administrator

That's fine, JoLe. There's also the the Tapering forum to talk with fellow taperers.

 

I also was very, very unhappy in my school years, because of my family situation. I thought of suicide more than once. But no one ever has had the nerve to suggest I was bipolar.

 

Waiting on the suspense of that diagnosis!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Oh, I'm the one who diagnosed me as bipolar. Type 2, with anxiety and depression, and very few highs.

 

I'm so glad you got through your school years, but sorry it was so hard. Sometimes wonder how we get to adulthood at all.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

Day 5

 

First off, after finding out that my mother is very worried about me, I decided to buy myself a scale that weighs down to .001 grams. That way I can be more precise about how I lower my dosage. Also, I agreed to tell my cousin who lives next door what I'm doing. I see him several times a week, and having him kind of monitor my behavior is fine with me. Of course I'll keep you guys updated, too. :)

 

 

Better living through chemistry.

 

I met Melora, my longtime companion, when I was eighteen and she was twenty-three. We became good friends, had a big fight where we didn't talk for a while, started talking again, and fell in love. We met on June 8, 1977, and she died on June 8, 2004. We had been living together twenty-three years. (She died of pneumonia complicated by asthma and her muscular dystrophy.)

 

Years passed. I started taking Prozac in 1988. I had been having crying jags, and was so overly sensitive that if Melora asked if she could change channels on TV, I'd burst into tears. It was somehow my "fault" the TV was on the wrong channel. (I want to note that at this point Melora's MD was undiagnosed, and while we knew she had problems doing things other people could do easily, she was still functioning quite normally. I was not yet a caretaker; that came later.)

 

The Prozac was good to me for a while. (I remember joking with the pharmacist that at $90 a month, it had to be making me feel pretty damn good.) My mother had given me my grandmother's diary to type up and make copies of for the family, and I managed to do that without sinking into despair. (Really, if you went by Grandma's diary, you'd think my mother grew up in a Eugene O'Neill play. She only wrote entries when she was unhappy. I'm kind of like that, but I've learned from her and try to write about the good things too.)

 

My serenity also survived my parents' house fire. No one was injured, but it took over three months for the house to be made habitable again. During those months, my parents and their dog and cat lived with Melora and me and our cat.

 

The dog and cat living in her house was too much for our cat, Mimi, who was twenty years old. She had a stroke and had to be put to sleep. And I felt that—the Prozac never took away my feelings—but I coped.

 

In March of 1989, Melora and I went to our first Starsky & Hutch convention. We were big fans of the show, and I used to write SH fan fiction. We didn't know anybody else yet, but I had had a few stories published (non-professionally) and was developing a reputation as a good writer. My main editor bragged that it wasn't so much that I was a good writer, but that I knew how to do an edit when it was called for. If she pointed out a problem in a story, I could fix it.

 

Melora and I took the bus to Maryland, where we met a whole gaggle of fans. We had a lot of fun, but on Saturday I went into emotional overload and started crying and couldn't stop. I was convinced nobody liked me, and I wanted to go home so bad. Prozac had deserted me just when I needed it most.

 

I finally wore myself out. Melora pulled me together and the weekend ended with us having made new friends.

 

When I got home, I told my psychiatrist what had happened. He wanted to up my dosage. I don't remember if we actually did that or not. It wasn't that I was resistant to taking more, it was simply cost-prohibitive. My insurance at the time didn't cover it.

 

Anyway, for the next month or so I felt myself drifting. I didn't think about suicide. What I did think about was walking out of the house and continuing to walk until—

 

I didn't really have an until. In my head, I saw myself in a movie, walking into the horizon while the camera watches and I disappear. I told my psychiatrist this, and he seemed to consider it close enough to suicidal ideation that I should stop taking the Prozac. (This was when all the reports of Prozac-related suicides were in the news.) I remember he put me on some other antidepressant, some more traditional one, but I don't remember which one it was. For the first month or so it helped me sleep, then it didn't, then I quit taking it. Except for sleeping exceptionally well, it never seemed to do anything for me. I don't think I talked to him about it. In fact, I don't think I went back to see him again.

 

I'm edging up on a thousand words again, so I'm going to wrap up Prozac and do the others tomorrow. It was entirely my idea to go on Prozac; I'd read about it, though I don't remember where. I remember the doctor handing me the prescription, then asking if I was manic-depressive. I said no. I hadn't had anything I would have described as a manic episode.

 

I would say that, short-term, Prozac helped me out. I love my mother very much, but living with her as an adult is not easy. And Mimi, the cat who died, had been my cat since the sixth grade. Losing her was very hard, but it was bearable. I can't say I regret taking Prozac.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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Day 6

 

Very busy today, no time to write. Still doing fine, and had a very nice weekend.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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JoLe... your style of writing is well, superb. I hang onto every word and honestly, I can't wait for the next chapter!

 

I'm hanging onto every word also! Thank You so much for sharing JoLe!

Age 11-Depressed~14-Use alcohol and drugs~20-Prozac~21-Zoloft~29-Paxil; Used for 2 yrs; took 5 yrs to recover memory back~39-Raw Thyroid for low T3 & take Prilosec~40-Zoloft stops working, so Lexapro; doesn't work; start counseling. Start 300mg Omega 3 Fish Oil & Vit B Complex. Feel better. Taper off Lexapro unsuccessful~41 (5/22/11)-Quit Lexapro, b/c pills at once. Breakdown at work~(6/26/11)-Start 5mg Lexapro to help WD symptoms~(6/30/11)-Feel better; Able to go back to work.~(9/6/11)- Better! Delay tapering.~(11/14/11)-Taper by skipping 4th day.~(11/20/11)-Crashed. Need another strategy.~(1/14/12)-Start 25mg Zoloft w/Lexapro. Taper to 1/4 Lexapro; success.~(2/17/12)-Stop Lexapro.~43 (2/12/13)-Am great; still on 25mg Zoloft.(9/13/14) Off all meds over a year! :)

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JoLe... your style of writing is well, superb. I hang onto every word and honestly, I can't wait for the next chapter!

 

I'm hanging onto every word also! Thank You so much for sharing JoLe!

 

 

Thank you so much!

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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Day 7

 

WARNING: POSSIBLE TMI TO FOLLOW!

 

I've always had sensitive senses. Crumbs in the bed turn me into the Princess and the Pea; they dig into my skin like sharp rocks. Sounds other people don't notice cut through my brain like a power drill.

 

I can be an utter joy to live with.

 

Melora and I once lived in an apartment where the people below us kept a dog tied up outside. This did not make the dog happy, and he howled. This did not make me happy.

 

Part of it is a control issue: I couldn't stop the barking, I couldn't drown it out, I couldn't do anything at all. It started messing with my head. I'd be at work, but worrying that at home the dog was barking. Since it didn't particularly bother Melora, why it mattered I don't know except—control. I wanted some control over the situation. I'd call home to find out if the dog was barking.

 

Oh, and the landlord was out of the country.

 

I was seriously losing it. I used to talk about killing the dog. Melora, who couldn't watch nature shows because they always show one animal eating another animal, was appalled. "It's not the dog's fault!"

 

"I know it's not the dog's fault!" I'd wail. "But if I kill the people, I'll go to prison for the rest of my life!" (I don't know what the penalty for killing dogs is. I never got to the point of researching that. Of course, this was the mid-eighties, no world wide web to make research easy when it's three in the morning and you're awake because the damn dog is barking again!) I also seriously considered stealing the dog and setting it free on the other side of town. Like I said, I was losing it.

 

Things came to a head one Fourth of July. The people were away, and there was a violent thunderstorm that terrified the poor dog. He barked and howled and whimpered and cried. Eventually the people came home and took the dog in the house—though not right away. Scum. I don't remember what finally made them do it, though I doubt compassion had anything to do with it.

 

After that, the dog was gone. I have no idea what happened to him.

 

But the ordeal triggered something in my brain that made me get crazy when there were loud, uncontrollable percussive sounds with no end in sight.

 

This became significant a few years later when we moved into the bottom half of a house next door to an old man with a yappy dog.

 

The dog never went in the house. And he barked at everything that moved. I used to go over and complain, but it never did any good. I tried calling Animal Control (because the dog had no shelter, and as far as I could tell, no water). The dog got moved to under a tree, and he got a water dish.

 

This did not help me in the slightest.

 

Finally we moved into the house I live in now. It was quieter, and I was doing pretty well.

 

I've already told you the Prozac story, but now comes Clonazepam.

 

I started having panic attacks. They started when I lost a story I'd been slaving over, then came for no discernable reason.

 

I'd wake up at three in the morning, unable to think. Everything I thought about hurt and upset me, no matter how benign. It was like having a head full of barbed wire.

 

The feeling would come in waves, easing from unendurable to horrible, then spiking up again. This would last until about noon, then I'd be fine for the rest of the day.

 

So, back to the psychiatrist. First he put me on Xanax, which my mother was taking. Xanax didn't touch the panic attacks. I was home from work with my brand new prescription. I took a pill and waited. Nothing happened. I called the doctor's office and was told that since I was on such a low dose I should try another half a pill. So I took that. Still the barbed wire.

 

Another phone call. Another half a pill. Repeat until I'm up to three pills and I ran into the doorway trying to get to the bedroom to collapse—but I'm still having the panic attack! All I could think was, I'm going to go into a coma but I'll still be having the panic attack!

 

I gave the rest of the Xanax to my mother. The psychiatrist gave me a prescription for Clonazepam. Clonazepam was my friend.

 

I didn't take much, and I didn't take it quite as directed. After I got the panic attacks under control, I took a very low dose every day, with a little extra if things were going bad for me. It worked very well for quite a while.

 

I was still reading about antidepressants, and I found out there were new Prozac-like ones on the market. So I went to the psychiatrist and asked for one. He gave me Paxil.

 

Paxil, too, was my friend. More like an imaginary friend, really.

 

That spring and summer were wonderful. There were no dark corners in my mind, there was nothing I could think about that made me feel regret. Everything was fine.

 

Evvverrrythinngg wwwaaasss fffffiiiiiinnnnnne.

 

Everything was beautiful in its own way. I could spend time just looking at the linoleum. I had no reason to cry. Dogs barking and other annoyance were just a beautiful part of life, and life was so good.

 

Well, I couldn't have an orgasm.* But other than that! And, really, when you feel this good, who cares? Life was good.

 

Until it wasn't. Until I started feeling ordinary again, the dark corners back for the regrets to skulk in. And I still couldn't have an orgasm, only now it mattered.

 

I told my story to the psychiatrist, and he told me that I'd had a euphoric reaction, it wasn't how the drug was supposed to work.

 

Well, in that case I wanted my orgasms back! He claimed he'd never heard of this side effect (which is possible; it certainly wasn't as publicly talked about as it is now). But he put me on Effexor.

 

I don't remember why I stopped taking Effexor and switched to Wellbutron, but Wellbutron gave me a rash, and I was getting fed up, so I gave up on all of them and just stuck to my Clonazepam.

 

Over a thousand words, so I'll stop for today. Tomorrow will be stories of therapy.

 

 

*Actually, I could have an orgasm. It would just take an hour, and when I had it, I wouldn't feel it. I'd go from "almost there" to "OK, I'm done." I called them stealth orgasms.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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OMG, JoLe.... your dog story reminded me of this Seinfeld clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgfHNIMompM

 

Love your stories!

Age 11-Depressed~14-Use alcohol and drugs~20-Prozac~21-Zoloft~29-Paxil; Used for 2 yrs; took 5 yrs to recover memory back~39-Raw Thyroid for low T3 & take Prilosec~40-Zoloft stops working, so Lexapro; doesn't work; start counseling. Start 300mg Omega 3 Fish Oil & Vit B Complex. Feel better. Taper off Lexapro unsuccessful~41 (5/22/11)-Quit Lexapro, b/c pills at once. Breakdown at work~(6/26/11)-Start 5mg Lexapro to help WD symptoms~(6/30/11)-Feel better; Able to go back to work.~(9/6/11)- Better! Delay tapering.~(11/14/11)-Taper by skipping 4th day.~(11/20/11)-Crashed. Need another strategy.~(1/14/12)-Start 25mg Zoloft w/Lexapro. Taper to 1/4 Lexapro; success.~(2/17/12)-Stop Lexapro.~43 (2/12/13)-Am great; still on 25mg Zoloft.(9/13/14) Off all meds over a year! :)

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  • Administrator

Perfect description of SSRI-caused sexual dysfunction in women.

 

More, JoLe, more!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Actually, I could have an orgasm. It would just take an hour, and when I had it, I wouldn't feel it. I'd go from "almost there" to "OK, I'm done." I called them stealth orgasms

Exactly. I think this horrible experience is true for both men AND women. It takes guys a long time to cross the finish line too, and when they do, it's often a big so-what.

Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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I remember that Seinfeld episode! I really felt for Elaine.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

Day 8

 

 

Very busy, so a quick update.

 

I'm really feeling good lately. Maybe it's that I'm taking the Cymbalta the way I'm supposed to, or maybe it's that I'm getting out and doing more--or a combination.

 

My scale arrived yesterday. This should be closer to an exact count, but I discovered when I poured a 60mg capsule in, it weighed in at 70mg. I'm guessing the extra 10mg is the coating on the grains. But the scale is really cool!

 

I know I won't have time to write more tonight because I'm going to an open mike poetry reading, where I plan on reading some of my poems. I've never done this before, so I'm nervous and excited. And because I don't want to leave you guys out, I'm posting one of the poems. It's topic-appropriate. Wish me luck!

 

 

Exact Science

 

The color blue sits alone,

feeling blue.

 

"Things should be better.

Things should be right.

Life should feel sweeter.

Something is wrong with me."

 

She takes a little pill made of

Half a drop of scarlet mixed with half a drop of cerise.

This, the doctors assure her, will help:

reduce her anxiety,

eliminate her melancholy.

 

And the world changes.

Or blue does. It's hard to say.

The sky becomes lavender.

 

The deep sea turns lilac.

 

And events unpredicted begin to come out of the purple.

 

Blue looks in the mirror.

Life is puzzling.

She sees herself, and she is . . . filled with swirling colors--

Primarily heliotrope.

The tiny crimson capsules have changed her color.

 

And now the question is: underneath it all, is she really still blue?

(Wait--underneath? When it comes from inside?)

 

Is her new color real?

 

Was her old color real?

 

Is there any difference, except for how she feels?

(Is there any other measure?)

 

And further, is this really all we are:

the sum total of a chemical equation?

 

And should this question frighten

or comfort?

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

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  • Administrator

How did the reading go, JoLe?

 

The difference in weight for your Cymbalta capsule is active vs inactive ingredients.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I wish you lots of luck... and definitely got the poem!

 

Thanks! Glad you liked the poem.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

How did the reading go, JoLe?

 

The difference in weight for your Cymbalta capsule is active vs inactive ingredients.

 

Thanks! I think now I've got a handle on the whole thing. :)

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

Day 9

 

The poetry reading last night went great! After the featured poet finished, the woman running things asked if there were any volunteers. I waited to see if any of the regulars wanted to go first. When they didn't, I volunteered. I told them my name, and that I'd never done this before.

 

I read three of my poems. I didn't stumble over my words, or lose my place. I wasn't even nervous.

 

Five people read after me, then when there were no more volunteers, we broke into little groups and talked. Several people told me how much they liked my poems, and I was encouraged to come back.

 

I had a good time, but I'd forgotten how exhausting it can be to socialize. To add to that, today we had a pitch-in at work, so I spent more time being social. I'm wiped out!

 

Thank you so much for your support--I really appreciate it.

 

Still holding steady on the Cymbalta.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

Day 9

 

The poetry reading last night went great! After the featured poet finished, the woman running things asked if there were any volunteers. I waited to see if any of the regulars wanted to go first. When they didn't, I volunteered. I told them my name, and that I'd never done this before.

 

I read three of my poems. I didn't stumble over my words, or lose my place. I wasn't even nervous.

 

Five people read after me, then when there were no more volunteers, we broke into little groups and talked. Several people told me how much they liked my poems, and I was encouraged to come back.

 

I had a good time, but I'd forgotten how exhausting it can be to socialize. To add to that, today we had a pitch-in at work, so I spent more time being social. I'm wiped out!

 

Thank you so much for your support--I really appreciate it.

 

Still holding steady on the Cymbalta.

 

I am in awe of what you are able to do.

 

Socializing exhausts me big time, particularly in the evening.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Day 9

 

The poetry reading last night went great! After the featured poet finished, the woman running things asked if there were any volunteers. I waited to see if any of the regulars wanted to go first. When they didn't, I volunteered. I told them my name, and that I'd never done this before.

 

I read three of my poems. I didn't stumble over my words, or lose my place. I wasn't even nervous.

 

Five people read after me, then when there were no more volunteers, we broke into little groups and talked. Several people told me how much they liked my poems, and I was encouraged to come back.

 

I had a good time, but I'd forgotten how exhausting it can be to socialize. To add to that, today we had a pitch-in at work, so I spent more time being social. I'm wiped out!

 

Thank you so much for your support--I really appreciate it.

 

Still holding steady on the Cymbalta.

 

I am in awe of what you are able to do.

 

Socializing exhausts me big time, particularly in the evening.

 

CS

 

It's so funny because if all I'd done was listen to the other poetry and read my own, I don't think I'd have been that tired. It was half an hour of chit-chatting that left me exhausted.

 

I think there are more of us out there than anyone realizes.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

Day 10

 

Before therapy, an anecdote about Paxil.

 

While I was still on Paxil, the people behind us got a dog.

 

He was a small dog, a poodle mix, and he yapped. I went out in the backyard to see where it was coming from, and I talked to him, and I went in the house. And I told Melora, "The people behind us just got the cutest dog!"

 

Melora was taken aback by my pleasure at having a barking dog so close. That was when she decided my Paxil was working.

 

I took to calling the dog the little arfer, because he arfed. Finally Melora asked me how I knew the dog's name was Arthur, at which point I started laughing uncontrollably. (I have a very silly, and very easily tickled, sense of humor.) "Ar-fer," I enunciated. "He arfs, so I call him an arfer." At which Melora (also with a very silly and easily tickled sense of humor) started laughing. From then on we called the dog Little Arthur. I have no idea what his real name was.

 

The reason I bring this up (besides liking that story very much) is that even now, dogs barking don't bother me the way they used to. In fact, when dogs barking or other sounds like that do start to bother me, it's a sign I'm coming down with something. It's amazing the way these drugs can "fix" our brains. It's also one reason I've always worried about taking them. My idea of what's broken might not jibe with the drug's ideas.

 

 

And now, talk therapy.

 

I've always been skeptical of therapists. I get that from my mother, from her stories of my father's psychiatrists. (My father was a true believer, always a compliant patient. I really don't know what he would have made of Robert Whitaker's books.)

 

The first time my father went into the hospital after my parents were married, my mother would go visit him. While she was there, he would ask her questions like, "What does 'a rolling stone gathers no moss' mean?" He was asking because the psychiatrists used questions like that to determine his sanity. My mother would tell him, my father would tell them, and they'd think he was getting better.

 

There is so much wrong with that whole set up. First, crazy doesn't mean stupid. My father was a very, very smart man. Second, they'd never asked him those questions when he wasn't having a breakdown. If they had, they'd have known he didn't know the answer then, either. It's just not how his brain worked. (He and my mother once got into an argument about "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." My father couldn’t understand why those people couldn't just go outside and throw their stones.

 

Which brings me to this great bit by Demetri Martin.

There's a saying that goes "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Okay. How about "Nobody should throw stones." That's crappy behavior. My policy is: "No stone throwing regardless of housing situation." Don't do it. There is one exception though. If you're trapped in a glass house, and you have a stone, then throw it. What are you, an idiot? So maybe it's "Only people in glass houses should throw stones, provided they are trapped in the house with a stone." It's a little longer, but yeah.

 

My father would have liked that. But I don't think he would have seen it as a joke.

 

There are other bad psychiatrist stories from my father's many hospital stays, but I'll stick with my experiences.

 

The biggest problem I've always had is, I don't fit in the box. I once tried to tell a therapist about my imaginary horses, and how I'd gallop around, pretending I was riding a horse. He could not seem to grasp that I wasn't pretending to be a horse, I was pretending to ride a horse. He kept saying, "But you were galloping." Well, of course I was galloping! The horse was imaginary! If I hadn't been galloping, I'd just have been standing there!

 

That, and an introduction to a book (whose title I no longer recall) on psychotherapy, led me to the crayon analogy.

 

In the introduction, the psychiatrist said that he was talking to a new patient about the voices the man was hearing. The psychiatrist asked if the voices were like real voice he could hear, or were they like thoughts in his head?

 

The man answered that they weren't really like either of those things, and tried to explain what they were like.

 

The psychiatrist said that the man was new to therapy, because he hadn't yet been inculcated to make his answers fit the questions. I don't know who that psychiatrist was, but he helped me a lot more than so many doctors I've actually seen.

 

This is the crayon analogy:

 

I spend an hour telling a therapist I'm turquoise. Sadly, the therapist only has eight crayons in his box, and turquoise is not one of them. "Blue?" he asks.

 

"Turquoise," I say.

 

"Green?" he asks.

 

"Turquoise," I say.

 

Eventually he decides I'm blue, and treats me for blue. But the treatment doesn't fit because I'm not blue. I'm turquoise. And there doesn't seem to be a treatment for turquoise.

 

That describes most of my experiences with therapists. There was one who didn't show up for an appointment—and the receptionist didn't bother to tell me when I checked in. After half an hour of waiting I went up to ask and then she told me that he wasn't there. So I didn't make another appointment. I never heard anything from him, so I figured I wasn't too important to him.

 

I did have one very odd experience. The therapist I had was recommending me to a different therapist. He told me the man's name was Geoff. (Probably he told me his last name, but I don't remember it.) I made an appointment, and when I got there, I checked in.

 

The therapist didn't introduce himself, just led me back to his office. We talked, I brought up something about my childhood, my early understanding that my mother was the stable one in the household, and how stressed she was. I said that I knew if I could make her laugh, things would be better. (My mother has told me nobody makes her laugh the way I do.)

 

The therapist told me this was nonsense, that I'd been a child and nothing I did had any effect on how my family ran.

 

That was pretty devastating. One thing I've always been able to count on is that I can be amusing. Not universally, of course, but my mother always thought so.

 

I was stunned. You know how they talk about the fight-or-flight response? There's an F they leave out, and that's freeze. That's how I react to bad emotional things, I freeze. I take them away with me and mull them over and make sense out of them in my own time. I told Melora what had happened, and she was outraged.

 

By the next day, so was I. I called the office and asked to speak to Geoff, only to be told by the receptionist that that wasn't who I'd seen. Well, fine, let me speak to whoever I did see.

 

He called me back and I yelled at him, told him that he knew nothing about me and what right did he have to make judgements about my life when he didn't even know me—and he wasn't even my therapist?

 

From then on we called him the anti-Geoff.

 

I was so ticked off, I didn't go back, so I never met the real Geoff.

 

 

The last therapist I saw before the one I'm seeing now also had a limited number of colors in her crayon box. The last time I saw her, there was a line at the appointment window. So instead of making an appointment, I just left. I remember not waiting for the elevator, just running down the stairs, feeling so free. I didn't have to see her again!

 

 

Tomorrow I'll talk about Laurel, my present therapist. She has a box of crayons Crayola would envy.

I can call one or more psychiatrists crazy if they disagree with me. So can they. If I'm uncomfortable enough to do it, it's an insult. If they're uncomfortable enough to do it, it's a diagnosis, which gives them legal authority over precisely those aspects of my life about which we disagree. --Aaron Link Raz

 

Started at 30mg Cymbalta, which, including inactive ingredients, equals 114mg on my scale.

July 11, 2011: tapered down to 111mg.

Link to comment

You're writing a book... I just know you're writing a book. I haven't been so glued to anything I've read in a very long time!

 

Anxiously awaiting the next chapter! My eight year old granddaughter totally cracked up when I told her the Arfer story. She said she liked Arfer much better than Arthur anyway!

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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