IV Ketamine

I started IV Ketamine this past November. I’m doing the treatment every week (for now). I’m hoping to be able to change that to once every three weeks fairly soon. I was resistant to trying IV Ketamine for a while. Then, my depression got extremely bad, and none of my meds or treatments were helping, so I finally decided to give IV Ketamine a try. It works so well, I wish I tried it a while ago.

The IV Ketamine is working very well for me. It’s the reason that I can finally stop the ECT treatments. I’ve actually already started to wean off of ECT, thank goodness.

Another ECT Treatment

Another ECT Treatment

I had an ECT treatment just a few hours ago. The treatment went well. I got home and rested on the couch. I keep falling asleep and waking up. It’s somewhat annoying. I don’t mind that I’m falling asleep, I just wish I could stay asleep and actually get some rest. Sometimes, after ECT, I fall asleep for hours, and some other times I can’t fall asleep at all. Today, I’m only getting about 30 minutes of rest at a time, and my body needs more than that. In fact, I’ve fallen asleep about 3 or 4 times while writing this. At this point, I’m going to go lay down and try to get some more rest. Hopefully, if I get some rest, I’ll be able to stay awake and watch a movie.

Restarting ECT

Restarting ECT

I restart ECT again on Monday. It’s been over six months since my last treatment. I’ve been waiting for about a month to restart ECT, and now that it’s about to happen, I’m not sure if I’m ready. At least I’ve done it before, so it’s not as nerve-racking. My anxiety is so high right now. What do I do if ECT doesn’t work? I know there are other options, but there’s not many left. I’m just nervous and scared. It will work. I’m trying to stay positive.

Apparently, ECT is twice as effective when being used with Clozapine, and even more effective when being used with Clozapine and Lithium. I’m take both Clozapine and Lithium (and many other meds), so there’s a really good chance that this will work for me. I’m trying to stay positive. It’s not easy, but I’m working at it.

They also changed how some of it goes. They now allow one person to go back with you, stay with you until you go under, and then they can wait for you in recovery. That makes it a lot easier for me. My husband already said he will be doing that for me on Monday.

Treatment Resistant Bipolar

Treatment Resistant Bipolar

My psychiatrist has categorized me as treatment resistant. Basically, that means that I don’t respond to at least two standard treatments. It means I’m non-responsive to the normal treatments that usually work for others. There are a lot of medications that I’ve tried that don’t work for me. I also tried ECT, which worked for a while, but after quite some time it became too much for me to handle.

No matter what, I keep trying, even if I’m not getting positive results. If I don’t try, then there’s no way to find a solution. By trying to work at it, there’s a possibility, no matter how big or small, that something good could come out of it. At least I’m only considered treatment resistant, and not treatment intolerant.

Medication Changes Me: Good or Bad?

Medication Changes Me: Good or Bad?

I have been taking psych meds since I was 14 years old. Ever since I started taking medication, I have always been on a lot of meds. I currently take eight different psych meds, plus other medication for my physical health. I’ve spent more than half my life on medications, and I’ll probably spend the rest of my life taking medications.

Sometimes the meds help and sometimes they make things worse. Medications always have side effects that need to be treated. It’s a pain in the butt. Meds can cause both physical and mental changes. They tend to change the way I act, which is helpful for bipolar treatment, but sometimes it goes too far. I feel like the medications change who I am to begin with. The mental changes that take place are hard to deal with. Right now, I don’t like to go out in public unless I have to and I don’t enjoy things I used to care about. This sounds like depression, but it’s been this way even through manic episodes. Maybe it’s part of the PTSD. I can never tell what’s what anymore.

Will I ever know who I really am? Am I just going to continue to change depending on my medications? How much change is good, and how much is too much? These are questions I ask myself all the time. I was a different person when I was younger; I was social. Now, I’m nothing like that. I know a lot of it is because of my bipolar disorder, but I wonder if some of it is because of the medication as well. Will I ever really know? I guess I just wonder what’s really me and what’s because of the medicine?

The First Downfall – My Life: Part 3

The First Downfall – My Life: Part 3

Just before I turned 17, I met a guy and was immediately attracted to him. Jared had a personality that was appealing to many. He made friends with people easily, but he only let them see the side of his personality that he wanted them to see. For the first couple months of our relationship, he only let me see positive traits. Once we moved in together, everything changed. He became physically and emotionally abusive. He would tell me when I could see my friends. I had to have dinner on the table when he got home, or else. We did a lot of drugs together. I fell for every trick he played and didn’t stand up for myself at all. He had me convinced that I was lucky to have him; he made me believe that no one else would want me. The worst part of it all is that he broke up with me. He said I wasn’t happy anymore. I remember telling him he would regret it. I was devastated. I don’t know why I was so hung up on a guy that treated me like crap, but I was.

At a party, I met a guy who was so sweet. Chris was the exact opposite of Jared, except for the drug use. I started smoking crack when I met Chris. Jared tried to get back together with me, but I finally stood up for myself and told him no. Jared started stalking me at that point, so I became terrified for my safety even more than I already was. Chris and I dated for several months. He kept talking about getting sober, but I wasn’t ready for that. I was completely addicted to crack that it came before everything. I was even with Chris getting high instead of being at the hospital when my dad died. That is one of the biggest regrets I have. Chris ended up getting killed only a few months after we met.

The loss of my father was exceedingly difficult, even though I knew for years that it was coming. He had been sick for many years with cancer and kidney failure. He ended up dying from an infection on October 10th, 2003. He was in the ICU for a while before his death. I miss my father and think of him every day. Losing him was like losing a part of myself. I wish I had been there to support my family, but I was too far into my addiction. I wish he could have seen me get sober.

My drug use was insane, I was almost always drunk or high on something. All of this made my mental health even worse. I was dealing with rapid cycling; I was either manic or depressed at all times. I didn’t want to spend much time with my friends, the few that I had left. All I wanted to do was die. This was probably my lowest point in life. I finally decided I wanted to quit drinking and using, but I couldn’t do it. I wished I was dead every day. I had lost so much in life, but the worst thing I lost was my self-respect.

One day, I had finally had enough. I went to my mom and told her I couldn’t take it anymore. I told her I needed to go back into the hospital. She told me that a behavioral health hospital would not fix things. I needed more than that; I needed to get sober. Apparently, she had already been looking at places to send me. She showed me some of the places she found. I was interested in this one place in Arizona; it was a year-long in-patient treatment center. It treated drug and alcohol abuse as well as mental health. I actually became excited; I finally felt a glimmer of hope. I was scared, but so enthused about the possibility of feeling better, that it actually lessened the fear. Most people don’t go to rehab willingly. I went not only willingly, but eagerly. I was also terrified; the thought of something new scared me, but the depression was so horrible that I felt my only other option was death.

After ECT

After ECT

ECT went well today. I’ve done it more than 30 times; it’s become normal for me. When I woke up from anesthesia, I felt fine, no pain. By the time I got home, the pain set it, so I had to take a Percocet. I have a pounding headache and my jaw hurts terribly. I’m just waiting for the pain meds to kick in.  I wish I could go to sleep, but for some reason, I can’t, I’m just not tired. If I could sleep, it would probably make me feel even a little bit better.

My memory is back to being crappy. I can’t remember where my husband is, although I know I knew his plans before the ECT treatment today. I looked in my calendar and saw that I recently went to visit my family in Connecticut, but I don’t remember any of it. I can’t remember my wedding, that one really bothers me. I went through my wedding album; it brought back some of the memories. That was helpful, but still not enough. I’ll probably watch my wedding video later today. I hate the memory loss. Every time it finally starts to improve, it’s time for another treatment that causes memory loss again. It’s a vicious cycle.

I don’t want to continue (I think I’ve mentioned that many times), but I just do what I’m told to do. One of these days, I’m going to stop being so compliant. I know that my being compliant regarding my psychiatric treatment is extremely helpful, but it’s also exhausting. I’m afraid that one day I’m just going to do what I want to do instead of what I’m told to do. Following my bipolar treatments is overwhelming. I’m going to rest today, or I’m going to clean the house and go play cards with my family. I know I should rest, but I doubt that will happen.