Waking up is hard to do

A few months ago, there was a thread on here dealing with psychiatric medications. I wasn’t able to find it on search but I believe the OP introduced the point that psych meds are more bad than good. Most people defended the idea that psych meds are very helpful to a lot of people. While I tend to agree with this opinion more than I disagree, I also added my two cents, which amounted to me saying that psychiatry, as necessary as it is, is flawed and that too many doctors overprescribe meds when they should first see if therapy might be more helpful.

There are a lot of people who “know” that people with mental illness are weak and that psych drugs are only given to those who can’t help themselves or lunatics who go around biting people on the ankles on subways (or something like that). These people don’t really know anything and just get their information on mental illness from popular movies and culture. There was a great article on Cracked.com recently regarding people with OCD and the general public who think it’s cute to say things like, “I just touched a dirty tissue and had to wash my hands. I’m so OCD.” Not really. OCD is pretty debilitating and it’s never a laughing matter. I should know because I’ve had it for most of my life.

And it’s gotten worse in the past few months, probably because I tapered off Zoloft, taking my last dose in June. The million dollar question should be obvious: Why the hell would I stop taking a medicine that is making life livable? There are reasons. Lots of reasons.

First, there are side effects. Weight gain? I’ve come down big time and it wasn’t even hard to do so over these past months. But I don’t know that Zoloft does that much of a number on my weight anyway. When I was on Remeron and Abilify (not at the same time), I had appetite to eat garbage and I shoved all sorts of unsavory foods into me. Fifty pounds right there. Maybe going back on Zoloft won’t hurt my waistline too much.

However, when it comes to my teeth, that’s what really bothers me. I have every tooth in my head filled or crowned and multiple root canals. I can’t afford to have any more problems. At least now I know that dry mouth messes you up. I can incorporate a regimen every day: drink water throughout the day, use fluoride, ingest xylitol, etc. But what if that doesn’t work? What if I lose my teeth.

Then there’s lowered libido. This is one side effect I’d actually welcome. To hell with women. I’ve tried to date but I just don’t have it. I’m either too ugly, too stupid, too lame, too something or another. But if I had to choose between being sexually virulent and alone or alone and happy, I’ll take the latter. I met a very nice girl many months ago on those silly dating sites. She turned me down for a second date. I was disappointed but I took it all right. That day, my uncle died after a long battle with cancer. I took everything in stride. I went on with my life. Over the course of the summer, meeting six other women from that same site, and being turned down by all of them, all of a sudden I started asking myself, “What is wrong with me?” And I found myself inspecting my pretty face in the mirror for hours on end. OCD is no fun. Cracked.com is right.

So, lately, waking up has been hell. The anxious thoughts are excruciating. I’ve tried to meditate them away. It doesn’t really work. They come one after the other. But I’m not depressed. Not yet anyway. But that’s what my last doctor diagnosed me with. Not just that, she also added on “with psychotic tendencies.” I’m not psychotic. I know that I’m not a doctor and I don’t have the knowledge required to get a medical degree. But I do know a thing or two about my condition. I live in my body twenty four hours a day, after all. And I’ve done research. I’m also smart enough to separate the legitimate research from the garbage. Dr. Jeremy Schwartz’s books on OCD, such as Brain Lock? Good. Dr. Phil’s witty sayings? Please! No, I don’t think that doctors are drug pushers, as some person told me before insisting I take St. John’s Wort (which is all natural, don’t you know?). I think the system sucks, to be sure, but that’s not so much the doctors’ faults. I’m sure many of them would rather counsel patients for forty five minutes instread of running through fifteen minute sessions just writing one prescription after another. But it is what it is.

I accidentally hit ENTER while trying to start a new paragraph. In any case, I just wanted to ask if others here are on very low dosages of Zoloft and if it’s working for anxiety. Right now, I don’t have a doctor. It’s very hard to find one in my situation. I just have a few pills left over from months ago and I decided to take 12.5. Yeah, I know, I’m not a doctor but I don’t care. It’s my funeral. They’d probably put me on this medicine anyway. And I don’t want to wait weeks before I can find a doctor for some kind of relief.

If you want to know about the side-effects of Zoloft, you should put it in the title.

Good luck dealing with your problems.

Have you ever tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to deal with your anxious thoughts? I know I’m like a broken record on this subject, but it was so helpful to me that I think it’s at least worth trying. I like being able to work through issues with a therapist, but you can also use a good self-help book to practice CBT techniques. Learned Optimism is my favorite, but many people have had success with Feeling Good and the Feeling Good Handbook.

I’ve never tried medication, so I can’t speak to that, but I’m definitely familiar with anxiety on waking up. It’s not fun, and I hope you’re able to find some relief.

Just curious, what do you think she means by “psychotic?”