05 November 2009

Went to see my doctor today.

She said, "damn your brain is slow. Your drugs don't work. (Unless you're secretly coked out and this is a side effect.)"

"You ARE crazy. Want me to spell that?"




I said, "schizo-a what?"

"That sounds like a fake disorder."


"Mad Bird" said...

I like gentle doctors, too. Rough or unpleasant doctors make me want to cry. I can't understand why they don't want to take the time to make their patients feel better when they don't feel well already.

I don't trust the "it won't make you fat" statement anymore, because my psychiatrist told me that with the very first antidepressant he put me on. I gained 10 pounds in 2 months, did some research on the internet, and found many other people had the same issue, even though it wasn't listed as a "side effect." Screw that, I need to do some unofficial research of what people SAY after they actually take it, such as forums and the like, before I'm willing to try a medicine now.

wrenna said...

what a gross feeling experience birdie.

i'm glad i cried and had a crisis about being schizoaffective last year. in actuality the doctor illuminated a few things about the way i experience symptoms that make diagnosis complicated. she's fast, like doctors are. i hate being so slow. being able to gain some insight into these sorts of thought processes and comparative analyses is one of the things that makes me feel okay with any of this.

"Mad Bird" said...

What is schizoaffective? I'm sorry that the doctor was moving on a different wavelength than you were. That is very frustrating. In another sense, that's how my first counselor was with me. Normally I'm a logical person and I like to sort things out systematically, but an eating disorder is the opposite of reason - it is an emotional and anti-logical thing. But he was trying to reason with me the whole time, and it just wasn't working, of course. I mean, duh, I KNEW I wasn't statistically overweight. But every time I looked in the mirror, I felt/"was" fat. That is so frustrating in a doctor when they just don't move on the same plane as you, it doesn't help. Did you end up finding a better doc?

So you are feeling better, now, then?

wrenna said...

schizoaffective means you present symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder as outlined by dsm-iv/icd-10. i get paranoia (an unpleasant feeling that people are teasing or making fun of me, that they know private things about me from reading my e-mail, etc. or that police monitoring me), delusions (fear of having diseases, extreme guilt) and thought disorder (puns and intrusive ideas where insignificant remarks, events, objects - like newspaper articles, things on the radio or things people are wearing - get personal meaning or significance). these things aren't related to my mood but can be made worse by stress, including lack of sleep and not eating well. i don't get manic but i have been depressed and have some depression-like symptoms such as poor concentration, slowed down thinking and agitation.

it's not really acute right now but I worry about things getting bad again. I can do my best to stay calm and eat my ground flax for omega 3 fatty acids but it's been a couple years of possibly low-level psychotic symptoms that medication didn't make go away. psychotic things sound really bizarre and kind of silly in the abstract but when it's happening it feels deeply convincingly real and it's scary.

i had a psychologist who i met the first time i was in the hospital who sat with me and showed me how to be calm, identify what symptoms were like and problem-solve. he made it his job to get along with me. before that i was so uncomfortable with the doctor-patient dynamic and with taking medication (and seeing them not work on my mom) it would've been really tough for me to learn to ask questions and advocate for treatment i would be comfortable with. learning to asking questions and being backed up with strong insight about my symptoms was key, if you're interested i'd say ask about these things explicitly. i like to read books by psychologists too, i like the approach.

i like that my psychiatrist, who i was talking with yesterday, is pretty open and straightforward in her communication style. i like that we can be pretty clinical about what is going on. it feels pretty intense and uncomfortable to be very familiar and "known," to me. i think what i was reacting to was not the quality of emotional connection that i was missing (that was fine) but the weight of the diagnosis and the reality that i could be pretty sick, i may get all better and not ever be as mentally acute as i was when i was 20, and there's something potentially big preventing me from relating to other people.

i had some problems with disordered eating in my teens. i try to relate but your experience but yours is different and your own. it's kind of an intoxicating thing. i was going to say, an escape from crappiness, but that's just bad. it is awful feeling trapped though, and awful to be overwhelmed by those thoughts so that they're most of what you care about.

it seems important that you really care about connecting with someone (and if it's not your doctor there's always a therapist, nurse, social worker, support group), finding ways for you guys to talk about your experience in lots of detail and for them help you honour yourself and your feelings about these things. looking from the outside it can be scary to watch someone else do something that looks like self-harm and i think to want to fix it for the other person - and i think you need that about as much as i need anyone making fun of me when i'm sick. i know i felt alone and defensive with the e.d., but also that it was a pretty creative time. i worked amazingly hard at not just the e.d. but everything, and it seemed to sort of break my spirit. i wish then i'd had more help making my way. i think i'd have wasted less time, felt much more and be in much stronger standing in the world.