Friday, 7 February 2014

Medication and Obligations

I had an appointment with my GP yesterday for the first time in two months. 

Part of me had hoped she'd forgotten about it, but the first thing she asked was if I'd made an appointment with the mental health nurse yet. She reminded me that last year I said I'd see the nurse, that she had me on contract and I need the extra support. I cringed. I'm being backed into a corner and I don't like it.

We talk about days and times, and she asks me to make an appointment for sometime before Easter. She wants me to meet the MH nurse briefly at first and then to have monthly appointments, working towards fortnightly and eventually weekly. She tells me they work at my clinic two days a week, or could also visit me at home if I'd prefer (I think not). I start wringing my hands and shifting in my chair.
'I'm just letting you know what your choices are.'
'It's not really a choice though, is it?'

She checked my arms and legs for self-harm, and the only wounds were some scratches, a little burn on my finger and a lot of mozzie bites. I've still been self-harming, but it's not several times a day like it was even a month ago, and generally I don't leave marks.

I told her that I've been taking lorazepam since just before Christmas, hence the decrease in self-harm. When I initially mentioned it, she asked where I got it, forgetting she herself had prescribed it back in May (where did she think I got it?!).

She asked if it'd helped with my anxiety at all, and asked mum if she'd noticed a change too. She had, quite dramatically. It's no longer a daily occurrence for me to spend several hours straight in hysterics, crying and panicking and breaking down over the smallest things. I mean, my mood hasn't particularly improved, mornings are difficult and I still have episodes, but they're no longer a constant and they usually don't last as long.

She agreed to keep me on it, much to my relief, but she can't raise the dose, which is fine. It's the most useful thing I've been prescribed in a long time.

As for the antidepressants... It looks like I'm stuck with Zyban for a while longer, even though it hasn't really helped at all. My insurance pays back a certain amount per year, but not enough for it to be affordable for longterm treatment as my pension no longer covers it. Mum said she was willing to pay for it, but it's just not practical for longterm treatment, especially for when I move out, and I couldn't carry the guilt.

But my GP won't take me off them. She and mum talked numbers and insurance and pensions and rebates, and it all went over my head. Long story short, I can get them at a reasonable price for the next 3-6 months, then she'll review them.

But here's the problem. No matter what, I won't be taking them in six months time. Even if they did eventually help, they're too expensive to be a viable option for longterm treatment. I don't see why I have to keep taking them, especially when they aren't helping. No matter what, I'll need to be on another antidepressant in six months time.

I'd barely been speaking but at this point I just gave up, feeling that my voice wasn't being heard anyway. She tried to ask about my weight and exercise, but my only response was nodding when she asked if I was exercising. She said we'd talk about it next time as I obviously wasn't in a talking mood today. I was quiet to the point that we wrapped up my double-appointment markedly early.

Just before I left, she asked if there was anything else I wanted to mention to her. I had a list running through my mind but I just shook my head and pushed out the words 'I just don't want to take Zyban anymore'. She insists.

Once in the safety of the car with mum, I broke down into tears and rambles that continued for hours.

I don't know what to do. 
I don't want to keep taking these antidepressants. 
I don't want to talk to this mental health nurse. 
I don't want to work forwards with my dietician. 
I don't want to deal with any of this.
I don't want to do anything.
I just want to hide away from the world for a little while. 
And I'm doubting myself more than ever.



  1. hello, beautiful girl.
    i've not read your post yet. i'm going to comment on the one you've left on my blog: don't worry, sweetie! the only thing i need to recover is my shitty health atm. i'm doing well emotionally which i think is the source of 90% of my sleeping problems. i find it impossible to fix my sleep schedule when i feel happy. not sure why.
    okay. onto your post.
    i'm sorry to hear about the nurse and the self-harm. honestly, i want to coddle you sometimes. you're so lovely and it hurts to know that you are not in the best place right now and under all this pain. you sure as hell do not deserve it.
    i'm glad the pills are at least doing something. ugh. those episodes though. definitely been there, done that. never want to do it again sort of thing.
    i don't know what to say, darling. just that if you're miserable the way you are right now, the only thing we can work at is to change it. probably not with the Zyban. try to have another chat, this time with your Mother about it. honestly, there's nothing worse than useless medication.
    honestly, if there's anyone in the world i want to get better, it's you. i'd trade the world in order for you to get better and feel better and not be miserable or self-harm because you of all people don't deserve this. not one bit.
    when in doubt, thing of the things you are certain of and weigh it out. makes things a bit more clearer for me.
    if you want, you can hide away from the world from a little whine but the world won't let you stay in hiding for long unfortunately.

    i love you, sweetie. do take care of yourself. your value is far more than silver. xxx

    -Sam Lupin

  2. Sending you a big bear hug and snow from way way across the globe. I know the feeling, when it feels like wasted breath to speak up and say words and opinions that you feel won't make a difference anyway. I just hope you don't let it break you. You were created with a voice for a reason, use it however you want to. Try not to get lost in the system of scripts and pills and docs. I've seen people go through that system of trial and error and it's hopeless.

    I hope you find whatever it is that you need. You know I'll still be on e-mail, we should definitely keep in touch through that. I know social media can be a pain and it's not your favorite thing, but hit me up through there if you feel like it. I hope you take care of yourself and know that you're not alone in this. As scary as the mental health nurse may sound, talking sometimes can help us realize somethings, even if it's a whole hour of rambling to ourselves.

    Love you hon, xx

  3. It makes me so angry that you can't afford medications. I live in Sweden. When you have bought prescribed medications for 2000 Swedish crowns (around 325 Australian dollars), you don't have to pay any more for a year, counting from the first time you bought meds. I usually reach that 2000:- fast and then I just pick up meds every other week without paying for almost a whole year. No insurance needed. And that is why I am a socialist.

  4. Oh Bella, I'm sorry your appointment left you feeling the way it did. I know some days, and some problems, are just too overwhelming. And it feels like you cannot process anything, like you're paralyzed in these sad/angry thoughts. I'm sending much love & light your way and hope somehow you can start to break out of it. I know I'm awful and keep bringing it up, but I think the caffeine and even the herb might be making things more difficult for you, emotionally. I'm gluttons for them both myself, but I do believe they are affecting my moods as well, and making any kind of forward progress impossible. Perhaps not, but it's something I want you to think about, truly. It would suck for a week or two but I think after that, you might have an easier time thinking and processing emotions.

    Sorry to hear you won't be able to continue your medicine due to money, it's horrible that treatment is only available to people with money. At least it is in America. Our healthcare just got even more fucked than it was. I can't afford therapist OR insurance to pay a therapist, and I work 40 hours a week making over $15 an hour. So what am I supposed to do?? ::sigh:: But maybe it is for the best, if the Zyban is not helping you, maybe this will help you find another medication that will.

    Best of luck, and you'll be in my thoughts as always <3 Anna

  5. Awe sweetie, it sound like you have so much on your plate and you're a bit overwhelmed. I understand not wanting to be on the antidepressants anymore, seeing as they are not helping. I am glad that she will continue on the anxiety meds though. Thinking of you. Love and hugs.

  6. I've just read through the comments and wish I were better with words. I'm sorry you feel like hiding. I'm sorry about the antidepressants. I wish I could hug you. Maybe write down what you'd like to say and give it to your mom before the next appointment? It might be worth a try<3

  7. It is much to handle to answer all the demands of the people who want the best for you. One thing at the time honey, it's always hard to bring new people in the picture. Self harm is not a good thing honey but I'm glad about the reduce anyway... i used to cut too and then I changed it pressing nails into my skin and later stopped. I got tired of hiding the scars.

    Hugs and kisses, i wish i could put the planket over you and hide you from the world. <3

  8. hello, sweetie.
    some part of me gets gleeful whenever i see you commenting on my posts and i'm just like: I'LL COMMENT BACK. I HAVE TO. YES. oh my God, scales that weigh .01 of a gram, i'm in bloody love *w*
    usually i just add 1-2g to the value that i have just because oh my God, i never trust those nut butters at all. i don't understand people that just smear peanut butter, i'm just like: ARE YOU INSANE
    oh my god scales that weigh .01 of a gram. we have those in labs here but i can never find out where they get them! mad! i've gone to stores and i've found these nifty ones. my loves. *w* and oh my God, when you talked about knowing what every plate weighed in your house, i laughed. i place a bowl and calibrate and never read the number of the actual bowl beforehand. yikes!
    i'm feeling just fine and dandy, sweetie. no need to worry about me. <3 take care of you.
    the worst of me is that i don't know when to stop exercising. i've told myself i'll just have an off day and eat fairly little (for me. fairly little for me is a lot more than fairly little for most chicks around here.)
    anyway, enough rambling.

    i hope you have a good day. you are a sweetheart. and you just make me giggle and smile and do all the nice things.

    take care,
    love you!

    -Sam Lupin

  9. Don't give up. I wish I had something better to say than that but it's what I feel inside: don't give up.


  10. I think it's crazy you can't get the medication you need at a price you can afford. I know people over here take antidepressants as a first resort just because they're free, but denying people in genuine need is not the way forward.

    I think you do know what you need to do, even though you say you don't. The only problem is: it's going to be really tough. If you want to have more of a say in your treatment the only way is to play their game a little bit. It sucks, but there's no way around it.

    Don't doubt yourself. You're the only person with the power to change things. x

  11. There is probably something to say, and I keep reading all my counseling textbooks and they keep enforcing that we have to show people they have strengths and they can make the change. I absolutely believe you can. I absolutely feel that you have so many beautiful and great qualities if only you will explore them and give them a little faith. I don't have the right things to say so I'll say that you ARE beautiful and you ARE worth more than this season of your life. I love you.

  12. I don't know what to say.
    She seems so insensitive to your wishes and needs, but on the other hand her job IS to be helping you. The question is what did you exactly mean by helping and is it the kind of help you want.
    I'm sure it will all work out in the end. Have a little faith in life.
    much love <3

  13. You're one of the toughest people I've come across in a while, I know you'll get through this. And I hope things will get better soon!<3 Reading how you've been overcoming your disorder has been inspirational for me to overcome mine. Stay strong, you're in my prayers!