November was a bit of a rough month for me. I participated in Ashley Mitchell‘s Adoption Awareness Month Photo-a-Day Challenge. I somehow managed to get all of my posts up on the days they were supposed to go up, even if it wound up being at night. Granted, I did snag the sneak peek preview of Ashley’s prompts when she put them on her Insta-story in like September and started working on them then. So, I definitely had time to prep everything before they went up…
After telling my therapist that my depression has gotten so much worse, and I’m afraid that I’ll fall back into self-harm habits again, she sent me these two lists:
If you self-harm to express pain and intense emotions
Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint
Start a journal in which to express your feelings
Compose a poem or song to say what you feel
Write down any negative feelings and then rip the paper up
Listen to music that expresses what you’re feeling
To calm and soothe yourself
Take a bath or hot shower
Pet or cuddle with a dog or cat
Wrap yourself in a warm blanket
Massage your neck, hands, and feet
Listen to calming music
Put a ziploc bag full of ice under your arm, by your armpit and hold it there for 1 min
Whether any of these things are going to truly work or not, I have yet to find out. But I do intend on really trying to keep myself from repeating history. That would be a setback that no one wants.
Even with these coping methods, the temptation is still there. It always is. They’re simply other ways of releasing the pent up emotions that could lead to self-harm.
The longer I sit and binge watch shows on Netflix, the more confused I get about how I feel. There can so often be such a lack of motivation to do anything when you feel this low. And that’s what I’m dealing with.
But as the nights get later, and everyone I talked to goes to sleep, the depression rises and the voices in my head start to come back and get louder. They’re difficult to ignore. They tell me things that I already think on my own. But somehow those things just seem more intense, and sometimes even more true, when it seems like those things are coming from a voice other than my own.
Yesterday I went to a new psychiatrist for the first time in like 11+ months.
There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the appointment. I knew it was what I needed and it was a good thing in the long run, I was still nervous and scared.
But the appointment went well. I was immediately more comfortable with the psych nurse I saw than I ever was with the psychiatrists I’ve seen in the past. I felt like she was much more thorough than the others had been.
There were lots of questions, which is typical with a new psychiatrist. I didn’t feel judged or like I said things she didn’t really care about or think relevant. We even got off topic a couple times, but we quickly re-focused.
She doesn’t agree that I have Bipolar Disorder II like I was told several years ago. She thinks it’s depression with manic elements. I’ve started taking Zoloft and Seroquel.
New medications side effects always suck. The Zoloft is what’s making me feel like crap right now though. I’m got an upset stomach, and I’m not sleepy but I’m tired and I’ve got a pretty low energy level.
If I look at the paper from the pharmacy when I picked it up, typical side effects can include:
Feeling tired or weak
Nervous or excitable
Loose stools (diarrhea)
Hard stools (constipation)
Not able to sleep
However, the side effects that require immediately notifying your doctor include:
Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or changes in balance
Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blooding the urine; red, black, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason that get bigger, or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop
Change in how you act
A heartbeat that does not feel normal
Chest pain or pressure
Not able to control bladder
Very bad headache
A big weight gain or loss
Lowered interest in sex
Change in sex ability
Now, I read these things and highlight all the side effects, so that if something does happen I can see if it’s something minor that should go away or if it’s something serious.