I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist yesterday (my old doctor unexpectedly retired last month). Yesterday’s appointment had to be via video because of Covid. I was super anxious about it beforehand, not knowing what he was like or if we would be a good match. For a first visit, I would MUCH prefer an in-person appointment, but that wasn’t an option for now.
Fortunately, he seems caring and understanding and listened to me very well. I felt like he was trying hard to understand my situation and symptoms and that he took all of my concerns seriously. I guess I couldn’t ask for much more.
Because my anxiety and depression have both been bad lately, we are trying a new medication combo to see if that helps. I will no longer be taking the Seroquel and instead will be taking Lamictal. He is hoping I might be able to wean off the Prozac too if the new med works, since the antidepressants don’t seem to do much for me anymore (and if I take higher doses it tends to cause hypomanic symtoms).
Lamictal is known for not causing as much weight gain as other mood stabilizers, so I am all for that! I hope I won’t have many side effects from it, but we’ll see.
Ok, I’m sharing this video because I found it pretty hilarious…and a bit scary too (after all, this is coming from real psychology/psychiatry professionals!). I occasionally watch this guy’s Youtube channel and came across this gem. In the video he talks about “rogue” therapists and counselors who break or bend the rules of the profession. The hilarious part comes in when he talks about actual made-up diagnoses he has seen written down on real charts by actual mental health professionals and the ridiculous misunderstandings some mental health professionals have about what certain diagnoses even are!
The video is a little long and he can be monotone, but I hope you make it through. If you want to skip to the point where he starts talking about made up diagnoses, it starts around the 5:59 mark.
I am SO glad I never had a counselor or therapist like the ones he describes!
Sometimes I feel like mental health disorders are like Pokemon: Gotta catch’em all!!!
Is there a point where collecting mental health labels gets ridiculous and almost humorous? Sometimes I wonder if all the stuff that has been ascribed to me is really wrong with me, and if it is – is it actually just one thing with many different facets?
Here are the mental health diagnoses I have collected to this day (that I know of and can remember):
PDD-NOS (high-functioning autism)
Asperger’s Syndrome (a slightly different form of high-functioning autism lol)
Bipolar Type 2
Major Depressive Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
I may be leaving some out or have ones I don’t even know I have in my medical record, but am I getting close to winning this odd, mentally ill game of Pokemon Go yet? I CHOOSE YOU!…
I’ve started livestreaming on my YouTube channel just for something to do and another way to connect with people. I’m doing most of the streams on my personal channel, rather than my toys and books channel. My personal channel has a lot less subs (around 200 compared to over 3,000), so if you are a YouTube watcher, please consider subbing to my channel! Here are a couple recent livestreams if you are interested:
The YouTube playback for the livestreams is a bit blurrier than normal vids, but I’m working on that! You probably want to watch them in the highest quality available to minimize blurriness.
She could never let me sleep.
That would put us
on equal footing
and allow me
to be fully awake
she would sneak into my room,
shake me awake
and cry loud, calculated tears
while I practiced
hiding my true feelings
and tried my hardest
to become a limp, gray rock
held barely out of reach.
I’m still struggling quite a bit. Feeling lethargic, numb, and exhausted all the time. Still not wanting to get out of bed, even though I’m not finding much refuge in sleep either, since my dreams the last couple nights have been overrun by nightmares. Quite an assortment of bad dreams too: A dream about my husband not loving me anymore, a dream about giant ants, a dream about trying to get kicked out of high school. Even in my dreams I’m miserable. During the high school dream the reason I wanted to get kicked out was because I was so depressed I just couldn’t function and wanted to go home and crash.
I’m hoping this depressive episode passes soon. I’m not sure if it is maybe exacerbated by seasonal affective disorder since I haven’t seen the sun in a while, or if this is just a shitty coincidence, but I wish I felt better.
I’m going through a depression slump right now. I can tell because I am sleeping half the day away and not wanting to get out of bed even when I do finally wake up. I don’t feel like writing, creating art, talking to anyone, or simply functioning. I want to stay in bed and either sleep my life away or curl up under all my heavy blankets and leave reality behind.
I have some important appointments coming up soon (my Ehlers Danlos testing and my SSDI hearing top the list), but right now I don’t even care about those things. I don’t feel like doing them and the thought of dealing with them is overwhelming. I hope this slump passes soon.
I’ve had a rough few days. I think the main problem is that I’ve been out of my anxiety meds for a while because Buspirone is on national back-order for some reason, and my pharmacy doesn’t know when/if they will get it back in. I contacted my psychiatrist today to ask him to prescribe something else, hopefully he will do so soon. I was going to try to just hang on until my appointment with him at the end of the month, but I am having some real anxiety issues cropping up without my meds.
For one thing, I’ve been having some body dysmorphia issues, which happens now and then. I’ve heard that issues like these are common among high-functioning autistic people. I’m not trans or anything like that. I don’t want to be a man. But, for some reason, ever since I hit puberty, I’ve always felt kind of uncomfortable in my own body. I’m not sure why. I don’t think I’m extremely ugly or anything like that, but it is like there is some kind of disconnect in my brain when I look in the mirror. I feel like my body looks wrong somehow or like it isn’t the body I should have. It is hard to explain.
I think part of it has to do with always feeling unfeminine. Like I said, I don’t want to be a man, but I’ve always felt like I’m not very good at being a woman either lol. I feel like a tomboy, I always have, yet sometimes when I look in the mirror I look more like a woman than I feel. It is weird. I also have always wished I was thinner, more flat-chested, and athletic-looking overall, but my genes just don’t cooperate with me. It is funny to me when I hear women saying they want bigger boobs. I’m always like “why would anyone want that?”, but I know everyone has their own insecurities, and some people obviously have different ones than I do.
Recently my therapist and I have been talking about and working on my hypersensitivity to criticism. I have always had some hypersensitivity to any kind of criticism or rebuke. As a kid, I was the one you could make cry by looking at me wrong or even gently scolding me. I still tear up over things like that, even though I wish I didn’t.
This inability to deal constructively with any kind of feeling of failure has haunted me throughout my adult life, especially in the work world. I think this fear of not living up to expectations is partly why I struggle with immense anxiety around any kind of authority figure (bosses, teachers, doctors, police, etc.) Many times this anxiety is so strong that I am almost struck dumb (probably a type of selective mutism), such as when I have had to go for job reviews or any other kind of personal evaluation.
I have noticed though that my hypersensitivity to criticism focuses mainly on 5 areas. If I am criticized on something outside of these 5 topics, I am likely to be able to shake it off better or not let it bother me in the first place. Here are the subjects I am referring to:
- My art or writing. I am extremely sensitive to any criticism about my art and writing. However, I think this one is fairly normal for creative types. We all put a bit of our heart and soul into the things we create, in a sense they are our “babies” and we gave birth to them. This does create problems for me when it comes to having the confidence to share my art and writing publicly, especially in person.
- My looks and weight. I have always felt that I was rather plain or average-looking, so I have a bit of an achilles heel here. I was bullied quite a bit in middle school when I gained some weight after my dad died, and although I lost the weight a couple years later, those mean words about being “fat” have stuck with me. I have always relied on my intelligence, not my looks, to get me anywhere. I am proud of that fact, but sometimes I wish I felt more confident about the way I look.
- Any accusation of laziness or incompetence. I think the laziness thing bothers me because my mom would accuse me of that all the time. “Lazy”, “good for nothing”, “useless”…words like that stick with you. As for the incompetence, it doesn’t even have to be someone else that says something. If I feel even slightly incompetent (at anything) within myself it is enough to send me into a meltdown, probably a result of my perfectionism.
- Any perceived insult to my intelligence. As I said before, I have always relied on my intelligence to get through life, so if that is questioned or doubted, I feel worthless.
- Any insinuation implying that I am childish/immature or a crybaby. I have a lot of “childlike” qualities, as do many with Aspergers syndrome, and those can be endearing, but when people turn it into a bad thing and accuse me of childishness or immaturity, I feel misunderstood and hurt. I am extremely sensitive in some ways, but I hate the term “crybaby”.
So, what do you guys think? Do you share any of these insecurities? Are you also hypersensitive to criticism in these areas or others?
Yesterday I commented on a post by blogger Myloudbipolarwhispers about mental illness labels. In the comment, I explained how one of my foster kids once had a therapist who talked about the dangers of “alphabet soup”, which is when people start collecting so many labels (ADHD, ADD, ASD, PTSD, SAD, OCD, DID, BPD, RAD, and so on and so on) that they lose sense of themselves as a person or even worse, those treating them lose sight of their humanity and just see them as a list of diagnoses.
I shared in the comment that I even wrote a short poem about “alphabet soup”, which ended up in my book about foster care (From Both Sides). Myloudbipolarwhispers mentioned that she would like to see the poem, so I figured I would just share it in a post here, since it definitely fits the themes of this blog:
By: Maranda Russell
Some good old-fashioned RAD,
a touch of PTSD,
just a hint of OCD,
a generous helping of ADHD
and a pinch of ODD
Add it all together
and what do you get?
and a kid