Despite the silence, life continues un-abated here. Oh so very much life, oh yes. Some of it might even be something I will write about… someday.
For the moment, here’s some food for thought.
Ever since the spring of 2001, I’ve been on varying amounts of Effexor, to help me manage my chronic, clinical-level of depression. The very first version of it were called that, then shortly they had to re-jig the way it was made so it was more ‘time-released’, as well as fixing a few things in the way they marketed it. Initially they claimed that the dosages could go up, go down, start, and stop all at a moment’s notice without any problems.
Oh my, no that wasn’t the case.
Once they got word of an on-going number of suicides (completed and not), the common denominator being the reduction or complete stopping of intake of the anti-depressant, they realized the claim above wasn’t as reliable as the testing documentation was purported to be.
Well, dang, it’s a good thing that they got all that squared away and it’s all fine now, I hear you say on behalf of me and anyone else who are prescribed the Venlafaxine.
Sadly, no, it’s not.
Corinna is someone I’ve met and got to know a bit, as we’re both artsy, cat-mad, and living with mental health issues. Recently she and her doctor decided to shift her – very slowly – from Effexor over to another medication. They were just about at the last stage of things when…
But then, my doctor and I both mistook symptoms of Effexor withdrawal – heightened agitation, irritability, larger than life mood swings, plus the onset of some random crying, to name just a few, for a depressive episode that made sense based on the fact that there have been a lot of changes in my life recently and I was also processing an upcoming 10 year anniversary of a friend lost to suicide.
You can read the rest of this RIGHT HERE, and it’s recommended that you do.
I had harboured the hope that, someday, I could stop taking this stuff. Having watched Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (I’m not manic, but about half of the show was spot-on to my experience) and being met with the news that medication once begun can never be eliminated, I got a bit scared. Then, upon thinking more about the fact that things have changed since that Emmy Award winning “Best Documentary” was released in 2006 or so, hoped that medication had changed enough that this was no longer the case. Besides, mine is less complicated by ‘manic states’ and so on.
Then I read about this experience of Corinna’s, and started wondering. This section particularly grabbed my attention:
I actually don’t feel that bad if I keep my head still but haven’t been able to keep other symptoms such as bursting into tears or feeling so dysphoric that suicidal thoughts have become overwhelming and I’ve simply slouched over on the couch like a rag doll or meandered back to my bed.
How I remember what that’s like. So clearly, for that matter, that I wish not to return to that ever.
There’s a few quite substantial changes coming in the next 12 months for me (which are for a future post), but part of the fact that I’ve been able to survive this long is that I’ve qualified for the Provincial Government covering my shed-load dimension of daily dose, and this might get pretty expensive for me in short order if I get a decent job to help me support myself in the way I’ll have to… which then means I’ll be back to having no money once I pay for the expensive and massive daily medication.
The end result of all this for me is an on-going serious concern for my continuing mental health.
The end result of all this for you is that you ought to read Corinna’s post, in order to better understand how come [INSERT NAME HERE] went all crazy the other day on Facebook /their blog /on Twitter /at the party in reply to me? Because there’s a good number of people who quietly deal with things their own way, without wearing their heart on their sleeve like I do. There’s loads of people dealing with the same shit that I do about which I am ignorant. Everyone deals with it in their own way; mine is to ‘let it all hang out there’ and hope that people take the bits from my output that they find entertaining and /or useful.
Meanwhile, if things do have to be changed dramatically, I know that I’m not alone for others have gone before me and will be able to point the way.
@ianamartin if i can do it you can do it and if you do it, i’ll be here for you. you can put a cold million on that.
— Corinna Carlson (@gusgreeper) February 15, 2013
So… there’s that, at least…