Depression & Fatigue

I must admit that I not only suffer from depression but also from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Lately I was wondering, “How do I tell the difference between depression and fatigue?” So I thought I’d look it up.

I read this article: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/fatigue#fatigue-vs-depression

It helped me to see that depression and fatigue often get confused for being one or the other. I have been seeing that I have been saying I’m depressed but really I think it’s the chronic fatigue that has been kicking because I don’t feel sad during moments I feel like I want to do something but don’t have the energy. It’s been like this for a long time. Seeing my fatigue for what it is and not depression helps me to put things in perspective.

I have been taking ketamine infusions for depression and was going to call this doctor and tell her I didn’t think the infusions were working as well as the first time, but I think I am going to hold off. I do think the infusions are helping and I don’t want to say anything to jeopardize that.

So now we all know that depression, chronic fatigue, an fibromyalgia coexist in my little body. It’s just the matter of keeping the symptoms strait, which is not always easy to do.

What about you? Do you suffer from depression, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia? Please fee free to leave a comment.

Advertisements

Ketamine Infusions

My first round of ketamine infusions was October 31, November 1,3, and 6th.  So what are ketamines? Ketamines are a “dissociate anesthetic”. It’s used to help put people to sleep, but obviously has other uses as well. It has also been used as a Date Rape drug.

So I went into the same place, the ECT department of the hospital but I was taken back to a different room where I laid on a hospital bed. There they put the IV in and asked the same list of questions that determines your depression score. My score was in the 30s which is high.

Then the doctor comes in and asks if we’re ready for “time out”. Which is asking your name, birth date, and permission to proceed. I gave the go ahead and wait to find out what the ketamines were going to do as they were slowly injected into my IV line.

About fiften to twenty minutes passed and I started to notice I physically was started to feel funny. My body went numb and I couldn’t tell if I was breathing. The room started to look weird and holding my hand up in front of my face and moving was like I had multiple hands all moving the same direction at once. I could hear myself talk but I couldn’t really feel my mouth moving. I didn’t have any hallucinations as far as seeing someone at the end of my bed kind of thing, but I was tripping just the same.

I was scared because I had never experienced anything like this before, but I finally understood what tripping felt like. Everything continued to be distorted and it was difficult to focus. It took about forty-five minutes for the medication to slowly be pumped into me and then another fifteen minutes for the side effects to ebb. I was a little unsteady on my feet as I got up, but things got better the more I walked.

After these four treatments they had me take the depression score again and my depression score was 0! Talk about a huge difference.

I felt awesome for about two to three weeks and that’s when I felt the effects slowly starting to wear off. Here it is December 23, 2017 and I have really low days where I cry and just bottom out and call for help. But then around that day I have really good days where I feel good and get things done in the first half of the day. The second half I am in bed sleeping for a couple of hours before I have to get back up and try to get dinner and get the kids to bed. The second half of the day is the hardest for me and the easiest for me to break down.

I’m scheduled to go back in for another round of ketamine infusions starting January 3rd, 2018. I have four treatments scheduled, but they may do 6-8 to try and get the ketamines to last longer.

I have to be careful because I can only get these treatments four times a year, because it’s still experimental and they don’t know what the long term effects are.

Now the doctor did explain that if we have to move past the ketamines that there is still hope. They are trying to get a machine that uses magnetics. Apparently, you go into the machine, sit in there for a half hour while magnets go around your head. I fail to see what magnets do, but I’m not the doctor so don’t know any of the science behind it.

Then she also told me, that there is a drug that is like ketamines only without the side effects that is being tested right now, so it would be a couple of years before it was on the market.

So that is my experience with ketamines. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or send me and email at janissoucieministries@gmail.com.

To learn more about ketamines please visit the following sites:

https://www.drugs.com/cdi/ketamine.html

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/ketamine.html

ECT or Shock Therapy

I originally started this post back in September but never posted it so here goes.

It has begun! I have started ECT or shock therapy. I have had three treatments so far. My fourth one is tomorrow. I get called back into the IV prep room where a nurse inserets the needle with the small tube on it that sits inside my vein and the tubes coming out of that she tapes to my arm. I then use the bathroom and then walk across the hall into the ECT room. I lay down on the hospital bed where the nurses hook me up to the IV. There is a medication they give me that counteracts the klonopin I’m taking. It makes me severely panic stricken and it’s extremely hard to deal with.  They put a mask over my nose and mouth and pull the sides of the bed up and stuff pillows between the sides of the bed and me so I don’t move so much. Thankfully after that it’s sleepy time meds so I’m out when treatment begins.

Shortly after that I wake up in the recovery room, not aware that anything had happened. (Thankful for that.) I don’t know how the staff can deal with seeing people convulse during treatment. Anyway, Ingrid asks me several questions such as date of birth, where am I, name, and several other questions and they use my reaction time and responses to judge if I am ready to go home.

It’s only the beginning and I haven’t really noticed too much as far as a change in my mood. I have noticed some improvement but nothing that would make me jump for joy. Of course I can’t really determine if my depression would have gotten better if I had continued ECT because I had to stop the treatments due to memory problems.

So that’s out! Now what am I supposed to do, go back to my mediccations and live a life that’s a little better on meds, but still pretty miserable? And it’s not just affecting me but my family. There’s got to be something else. There just HAS to be! Enter: ketamine infusions.

I’ll talk about ketamine infusions and my experience with them in another post.

Links for further reading about ECT:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ect

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/electroconvulsive-therapy/basics/definition/prc-20014161

 

If you have any questions feel free to ask me. You can leave me a comment or send me an email at janissoucieministries@gmail.com.

Emergency Room

Early yesterday morning I woke up with severe anxiety and just feeling sick. I couldn’t calm myself down and my coping skills weren’t working. That is how I know I need more help. I called the on-call doctor for my primary physician’s office because my psychiatrist’s office doesn’t have an on call doctor. The doctor told me to go to the ER and they would give me something to help calm me down. So I went. I feared going because the last time I ended up in the ER for anxiety they didn’t give me anything to help me. I had to wait and suffer through the panic attack.

So I went in anyway and was assessed by the doctor who cleared me medically. He asked me if I was on any new medication and I told him Bactrim for a UTI. He said that Bactrim can change how meds like Latuda and Prozac are metabolized in the liver and that might be so,etching that mis going on a well. I know the antibiotic Clairithromycin does the same thing to me. This is something I will have to be aware of in the future. I told the doctor I felt guilty for having a mental illness. He asked me if I would feel guilty if I had kidney failure. I told him no. He said then I shouldn’t feel guilty about having a mental illness. Many people have problems with their organs, mine just happens to be the brain where something is not operating efficiently. He said they treat the brain with medications just like they do with other organs that are malfunctioning. This made me feel much better.

Then the doctor put in the call to my psychiatrist’s office to get a psychiatrist over to the hospital to talk to me. We arrived at the hospital at 8 AM and it was just after 1PM when we decided to leave. My panic attack had subsided by this point and we were tired of waiting for the psychiatrist. We had waited a couple of hours already. I decided I would just call my psychiatrist’s office in the morning and let them know what’s going on and ask about a PRN for anxiety flares.

Darkest Night

It’s been a long week. I started Latuda on Tuesday, July 25,  for my bipolar and my brain has been going haywire trying to figure out what to do with all the med changes. I go from functioning one minute to breaking down the next to feeling okay and then back around again. I’m also on a high dose of prozac for someone with bipolar. So it looks like I’ll have to come off that because it may be making my moods cycle more quickly. I’m not looking forward to coming off the prozac because it has helped with anxiety so I can only imagine what I’ll be put on for that. I’m already on klonopin and my doctor doesn’t want to go up on the dosage because it’s already pretty high.

My mind is in a whirlwind with all this as well as having IOP groups to go to and homework for my CBT-O class. It’s pretty intense stuff which I’ll share my notes with you in another post once my CBT-O classes are finished which will be this Thursday, August 3rd.

So yesterday, I had a med management appointment and Latuda was increased from 30mg to 40mg and I was told if I don’t feel better, then to call and let them know because they will have to start reducing the prozac.

My poor brain! I already feel like it’s having a hard enough time with med changes and everything else that is going on.

When I have some time, I am continuing to work on my book about my mental health journey so you can see the overall picture of what I went through, how it affected me, and what I am doing to aid in my recovery. I’m still working on writing the first draft and doing some formatting as well. I’m still toying with the title for the book, but right now it is called God Never Forgets. Even though I’m going through all of this, I know God is right there helping me through every step of the way. He has placed the people, medications, and facilities to aid in my recovery and maintain mood stability. There are some things I have learned through IOP classes and CBT-O and some other reading that have given me ideas. One, make sure your home is free of clutter because that can actually be bad for your mental health, and two, make a structured day and have lists because this helps people with bipolar maintain stability. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Until next time, have  a wonderful week.

JIS

Sunny Tuesday

It's a good day to reflect on the many things that have been happening as far as mental health is concerned. In one of my recent posts I talked about having a psych evaluation done which showed atypical bipolar disorder and strong depersonalization disorder. So I've been on zyprexa for bipolar but had to be taken if from that due to weight gain. It had been working really well to help my moods. Now I am on saphris and have been on it for almost two weeks. Now I'm not sure if my instability is because saphris still needs time to build up in my system or if it's just not working well. I just reach moments of wanting to cry and struggle to stop as well as having urges to self harm. I was told that if I thought saphris wasn't working or if I was doing worse on it then to stop taking it. I have an appointment coming up to discuss possibly moving to a new medication. So we'll see what happens with that. 

Now aside from medications, I have been going through intensive out patient groups at my local mental health facility. I have been attending groups with topics such as self esteem, self empowerment, art therapy, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, spirituality, group therapy, among others. Since attending these groups and also accepting help with the kids from family I have had improvement in my mental health. So that is great news! I just fear when these groups will end because I fear a backslide. But I have to think positively. Trying to stay focused on the good and learning coping skills and creative outlets to fill my "toolbox" with for when I feel anxious, or emotionally upset. I have things in my toolbox like prayer, journaling, coloring in adult coloring books with gel pens, crochet, quilting, learning electric guitar, reading, writing poetry, writing stories, blogging, calling family and friends and of course just crying it out.

So that is the update I have so far. Today I start a cognitive behavioral therapy group that goes for two hours. I'll write a post on how that goes and what I think of it. I'll be back later.

Have a great and blessed day! God bless!

Psych Testing

A week ago, I went into the local mental health hospital and took a psychological test that asked me 567 true or false questions. Some of the questions were really bizarre and I couldn’t answer them right away.  It took me two hours to do the test and I won’t find out the results until April 26th.

You see, my psychiatrist and I were questioning if I had bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. So he ordered the psych test to clarify my diagnosis and thus tailor the treatment accordingly. It’s just a waiting game now.

Here is an example of what is on the test:

MMPI 2 TEST QUESTIONS IN ORDER
TRUE OR FALSE (567 QUESTIONS)

1.I like mechanics magazines
2.I have a good appetite
3.I wake up fresh & rested most mornings
4.I think I would like the work of a librarian
5.I am easily awakened by noise
6.I like to read newspaper articles on crime
7.My hands and feet are usually warm enough
8.My daily life is full of things that keep me interested
9.I am about as able to work as I ever was
10.There seems to be a lump in my throat much of the time
11.A person should try to understand his dreams and be guided by or take warning from them
12.I enjoy detective or mystery stories
13.I work under a great deal of tension
14.I have diarrhea once a month or more
15.Once in a while I think of things too bad to talk about
16.I am sure I get a raw deal from life
17.My father was a good man
18.I am very seldom troubled by constipation
19.When I take a new, I like to be tipped off on whom should be gotten next to
20.My sex life is satisfactory
21.At times I have very much wanted to leave home
22.At times I have fits of laughing & crying that I cannot control
23.I am troubled by attacks of nausea and vomiting
24.No one seems to understand me
25.I would like to be a singer
26.I feel that it is certainly best to keep my mouth shut when I’m in trouble
27.Evil spirits possess me at times
28.When someone does me a wrong I feel I should pay him back if I can, just for the principle of the thing.
29.I am bothered by acid stomach several times a week
30.At times I feel like swearing
31.I have nightmares every few nights
32.I find it hard to keep my mind on a task or job
33.I have had very peculiar and strange experiences
34.I have a cough most of the time
35.If people had not had it in for me I would have been much more successful
36.I seldom worry about my heath
37.I have never been in trouble because of my sex behavior
38.During one period when I was a youngster I engaged in petty thievery
39.At times I feel like smashing things
40.Most any time I would rather sit and daydream than to do anything else
41.I have had periods of days, weeks, or months when I couldn’t take care of things because I couldn’t “get going”
42.My family does not like the work I have chosen ( or the work I intend to choose for my life work)
43.My sleep is fitful and disturbed
44.Much of the time my head seems to hurt all over
45.I do not always tell the truth
46.My judgment is better than it ever was
47.Once a week or oftener I feel suddenly hot all over without apparent cause
48.When I am with people I am bothered by hearing very queer things
49.It would be better if almost all laws were thrown away
50.My soul sometimes leaves my body
51.I am in just as good physical health as most of my friends
52.I prefer to pass by school friends, or people I know but have not seen for a long time, unless they speak to me first
53.A minister can cure disease by praying and putting his hand on your head
54.I am liked by most people who know me
55.I am almost never bothered by pains over the heart or in my chest
56.As a youngster I was suspended from school one or more times for cutting up
57.I am a good mixer
58.Everything is turning out just like the prophets of the Bible said it would
59.I have often had to take orders from someone who did not know as much as I did
60.I do not read every editorial in the newspaper everyday
61.I have not lived the right kind of life
62.Parts of my body often have feeling like burning, tingling, crawling, or like “going to sleep”
63.I have had no difficulty in starting or holding my bowel movement
64.I sometimes keep on at a thing until others lose their patience with me
65.I loved my father
66.I see things or animals or people around me that others do not see
67.I wish I could be as happy as others seem to be
68.I hardly ever feel pain in the back of the neck
69.I am very strongly attracted by members of my own sex
70.I used to like drop-the-handkerchief
71.I think a great many people exaggerate their misfortunes in order to gain the sympathy and help of others
72.I am troubled by discomfort in the pit of my stomach every few days or oftener
73.I am an important person
74.I have often wished I were a girl.  (Or if you are a girl) I have never been sorry that I am a girl
75.I get angry sometimes

_______________________________________________________________________

Have you ever had to take a psych test? Did it help you in finding your diagnosis?

Please leave your answers in the comments section so we can see just how much these tests actually help people.

Thanks and have a great day!