I just really don’t trust doctors

I kind of wanted to just leave it at that and not even write a post about it. Let the title be the end of explanation.

But for real, I officially don’t trust doctors.

After driving down to this really sad part of Colorado to see a psychiatrist, I basically spent my $20 copay to get yelled at by a psychiatric nurse practitioner about my health habits. I’ve been taking klonopin for about 4 years now. After I told her that, I sensed the KLONOPIN LEADS TO EARLY ONSET DEMENTIA AND ALZHEIMERS rant at which I stopped her before she even started and almost yelled YES I KNOW THAT FROM MY 2 DOCTORS WHO DIDN’T SEEM THAT CONCERNED ABOUT IT. Clearly, my first psychiatrist didn’t seem that concerned about having me on 3 different types of mood stabilizers at once and another time when he had me taking Xanax 5 times a day in addition to taking Klonopin twice a day.

Here’s the struggle with mental illness and psychotropic drugs: finding one that works for you can be one of the biggest struggles of mental illness. It’s frustrating, time consuming, hard on your body, and endlessly exhausting. When you find one that works, that’s it. You don’t want to change because after all that struggle, why would you want to change? From weight fluctuation, to no libido to insanely high libido, to the seizure I had in high school, the manic episodes from the first SSRI I took, to the other drugs that I just felt like didn’t do anything except make me feel exhausted for no reason, yeah, when I found that klonopin was actually helping me and the side effects were bearable, no way did I want to change. Let’s be honest, who would?

Now there’s this doctor who wants to take away the one thing that’s worked for me and make me change my entire lifestyle after going through the health questionnaire. Stop drinking, don’t be vegan, don’t take the Klonopin, get my blood tested for 8 different things, start a “selective carbohydrate diet” for my IBS, take a B12 supplement… Um. I thought I was seeing a psychiatrist. Not a life coach or my physician.

Somewhere, in every psychiatrists’ education, it has slipped through the cracks that when people find a medication that works for them, that’s it. End of the road. No more trying new medications.

And then there’s my hatred for medications. I would love to not have to take medications. Honestly, I might be able to. I’ve been medicated for 9 years now, so how would I even know if there’s anything actually wrong with me?

After a lot of reading about traditional Chinese medicine, I’m starting to believe that the only way to heal myself, is by myself. Chinese medicine looks at the body as a whole, and how the body connects to nature. It’s not like modern Western medicine where we have separate doctors for each part of our body. Chinese medicine believes in having one doctor that has a complete connection with their patient, mind, body and environment. Everything is connected. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the basic concept of Chinese medicine which encompasses a life force that inhabits both the body and the earth. When Qi is not in balance in the body, the body will become ill. Having the perfect balance of Yin and Yang in the body is what will make the body whole and healthy. When both Yin and Yang are in balance, then Qi flows throughout the entire body and keeps the body in balance.

Some people may think that this whole Eastern philosophy is total bulls**t. But think about it, it really does make sense. When someone suffers from migraines, instead of treating the migraine, we should be looking at what is causing the migraine. Stress in any part of the body can trigger distress elsewhere. You know that whole thing about how depression can cause sleep disruption, appetite changes, and body aches? Well, there’s your proof that the body and mind are connected. Yes, doctors can argue that the chemical changes in a depressed person’s brain can affect the rest of the body. This argument is valid. Having taken neuroscience in college, yeah those little neurotransmitters in your brain can have a huge impact on your mind as well as your body.

But medication isn’t going to fix it. Medication is still only a band-aid and that band-aid can lead to worse problems. See the body as a whole. See the body as part of the earth. The body is an element. The body is a garden. It needs maintenance and care. If you have a garden, you would know. You can’t look at your garden, see that your tomato plants are dying and ignore the rest of your garden while you care for them. The key is balance. The key is balancing the energy in the entire body, not just one part of it.

My Yang is weak, while Yin rules most of my body. Yin gives me quiet and coolness, but in excess, it’s unhealthy. Restoring balance to the heat and activeness (Yang) and coolness and quiet (Yin) is what will eventually heal myself as a whole.

I don’t need medications to find balance. I don’t need a Western doctor to tell me to do xyz and my body will be better. Don’t see me as a brain that needs tweaking. See me. See me as a whole being.

I don’t trust Western medicine educated doctors.

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the truth about PTSD

Note: This post took me an entire afternoon to write, despite that it usually only takes me under an hour to write a post. Talking about this is hard to put into words.

To an extent, everyone is permanently traumatized by something. Maybe you got bit by a snake when you were little and now you have a completely crippling fear of snakes. Seeing snakes makes your skin crawl and the fear floods through your blood stream. Early childhood trauma can scar someone for life and may trigger other mental disorders later in life (this is usually one of the foundations of schizophrenia and most dissociative disorders and even some mood disorders).

This is PTSD. Continue reading “the truth about PTSD”

how to be human

Story time! And then some.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor to get my meds refilled. Finding a psychiatrist out here has been impossible. So, basically, this doctor thinks I’m insane. I had to answer all the normal questions of what allergies I have, what medications I’m currently on, any recent hospitalizations, medical history etc etc.

Doc: “So.. you know that klonopin is not meant to be drug used for long term use, right? How long have you been on it?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, duh, my short term memory is shot. I’ve been on it for over 4 years.”

Doc: “….have you ever tried anything else?”

Me: “Zoloft, lexapro, celexa, lithium, trileptal, lamictal, welbutrin, xanax, buspar, abilify, risperidone, effexor, cymbalta, aaaanddddd…. pristiq?”

Doc: “……………..”

Me: “Oh, and ritalin, adderall, concerta, and focalin.”

Doc: “And your diagnosis is…?” *queue the look of utter confusion*

Me: “Something between general anxiety disorder and Bipolar 1 and possibly borderline personality disorder.” Continue reading “how to be human”

that time I used a writing prompt: What’s behind that door?

Do you ever have those dreams where you’ve scrambled through a forest, or a pack of demons and you see a door? The door is glowing. You are meant to go through that door. That’s your door to something better. You reach for it, your hands firmly around the handle… and then you wake up. Happens every time doesn’t it? Kind of like those dreams where you’re falling and you wake up right before you hit the ground. Except I’d like to think the end of THAT dream would not be as happy as looking behind the door. Maybe. Continue reading “that time I used a writing prompt: What’s behind that door?”

Adulting is for kids

So I’ve had this blog for how long now? I think it started off so well because I can be hilarious. Obviously. And then recently I read through a bunch of my posts from the past couple months and I realized, goddamn this is depressing to read. Like who REALLY wants to read this? There’s a time and place for a depressing blog post (like when you realize you were dating a sociopath, see that post¬†here. *I’ll never stop reposting that one because it’s one of my most important ones, despite the lack of any type of humor). Continue reading “Adulting is for kids”

that time I realized I can’t ever run from myself

So I made it to Colorado (see previous post), and you know, Colorado is great and everything. The summertime weather is amazing with its lack of humidity and hot but not too hot days and cool nights. I haven’t come across a single person who has been blatantly rude and everyone is generally just nicer (they might be faking it, but at least it’s nice of them to put on a face for a stranger). The mountains are a really terrific sight at sunset and even during the day is comforting to see them towering in the distance. Continue reading “that time I realized I can’t ever run from myself”

that time I realized I was no longer allowed to be vulnerable

I never realized how much one person can break you so easily. In most relationships throughout my life, I’ve always been the one to end them and as time wore on, I was able to brush it off more easily. Until this one time.

Relationship abuse is a tricky subject because most people don’t even realize they’re being abused. But remember in health class when your jock gym teacher started talking about the difference between emotional and physical abuse and you probably still associated abuse with the physical type? Well, to be honest, the emotional abuse has left me more damaged than the physical abuse because at least I knew it was wrong. I could fight back or know instantly that I needed to leave. I was trapped in a cycle in which I was being pushed to be as vulnerable as I could be and being assured that I could be vulnerable, that they could be trusted. I was caught in a dream world where I was imagining things and putting this person up on a pedestal, thinking that they were someone they weren’t. As time passed, they slowly started pushing me away. They didn’t want to hear about how I was feeling or how my day went when they had pushed me so far to be vulnerable around them. In a way, I was betrayed. Suddenly, I felt like I was being punished for having emotions. They would shut down, they wouldn’t answer my texts or just sit in silence and do nothing while I’d be depressed, crying, and hiding in my bed while in the past they would tell me to let it out and that they would be there to comfort me. And they did for a while until they slowly started withdrawing from me. They didn’t understand or they didn’t care. I still don’t know which.

I should have known they stopped caring. One night, I hit rock bottom while I was with them. I started binge drinking to make myself feel better but it only made it worse. They shut down. In my drunken blur, I took a handful of Xanax. Realizing what I had done, I told them what I did and they did nothing. I remember lying on the couch wondering if I was dying and they sat beside me and said nothing. We sat in silence. It wasn’t until I texted a friend and told him what I had done that an ambulance was sent for me and I was hospitalized for 3 days because my blood pressure had dropped low enough that I was at risk of going into a coma. They visited me in the hospital. Brought me food and books and comforted me as I wallowed in my self pity. They played the boyfriend role for those few days. I told them I loved them and I thanked them for being there for me and they told me they loved me too. I later found out they only said that because they thought it was what I needed to hear. In those moments, I thought they actually cared. After I recovered, we went back to our normal routine as if nothing had ever happened.

I was lead to believe so many things that turned out to be untrue. I was more alone with them than being by myself. They said that they still cared, but I couldn’t see any hint of that being true. And when it ended, they denied us ever being a thing despite that we were more than friends for over 7 months.

I’ve suddenly come to realize all the lies I put myself through. I trusted them and let myself be vulnerable only to have that backfire and be punished for being vulnerable in the first place. Is that why I took the pills and landed myself in the hospital? My drunk self must have¬†known something that I didn’t. The truth was right there in front of me and I refused to believe it because I have a bad habit of always trying to find the good in people. But sometimes, you have to realize that there are some truly awful people out there who maybe don’t mean to hurt you, but leave you with scars that won’t fade. You can’t even look them in the eye in passing or be around them without feeling like your throat is going to close up and you spend the rest of your work shift in the back hallway trying to not have a panic attack, pushing away all the PTSD-esque flashbacks and trying to keep yourself busy until you’re allowed to leave. I still have nightmares. I still have trouble being intimate with anyone.

All those times I spent trying to defend them was just a waste of time. I was lying to myself and to everyone else. And the worst part is that I’m more angry with myself than I am with them. Angry that I let myself be so vulnerable. Angry that I trusted them. Angry that I let myself push through it believing it was going to get better and they would come back to their old ways when they sent me surprise flowers and took me to the aquarium.

Because of all of this, I have to force myself to be vulnerable. And even then it still feels fake. I feel fake. After years of me breaking people apart, the universe decided it was my turn to be broken.