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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Let’s talk about physical disability

But really though, I know this blog is about mental illness, but speaking from experience, they go hand-in-hand. I don’t know a lot of people who get sick and they’re still in a cheery mood. I mean come on, you’re sick, you feel like shit and you can’t do anything and that can be just straight up depressing. You can’t see friends because you don’t want to get them sick and if you don’t live at home, mom and dad aren’t around to take care of you. 6+ hours of Netflix later… you begin to just feel bad for yourself. Feel worthless even though it’s not your fault that you’re stuck in bed being a completely unproductive member of society. Continue reading “Let’s talk about physical disability”

that time I ended my blog hiatus and stopped trusting medical doctors

Hey what’s up guys? I know I went on a bender and decided that I wasn’t going to blog anymore and never gave a reason. But let me explain. Have I lost everyone?

Long story short: I’m sick. About a month ago I started feeling unusually tired to the point that I was taking naps every day and getting 10 hours of sleep and still feeling tired. I attributed this to a medication I had recently increased the dose of so I stopped taking it. But it kept going.. and going.. I was sleeping my life away it felt like. And then other things started happening. I started getting weird slight vertigo, light headedness and overall muscle fatigue. My visual perception was off. I felt like I was in wonderland because everything looked so far away or too close or too small or too big than it should. I looked drunk most of the time because I was getting so clumsy (or more than usual). I felt so useless and started feeling depressed constantly. I was crying every day because I just felt like I couldn’t do anything anymore. I could barely keep my food down. Of course I asked Blob what it sounded like (yay for knowing nutritionists on a personal level) and he had no idea. I had no idea either. About 3 weeks into this, I finally decided to go to my doctor to get my blood tested because I figured that maybe I was anemic, or lacking some nutrient in my body. I was at the point where getting through my work shift was excruciatingly exhausting. Well here’s how the doctor visit went

Doc: what are you major symptoms?
Me: Well, I’ve been a lot more tired than usual, I can’t keep my food down and I feel weak and lightheaded. Can I get my blood tested? I think my vitamin D levels are low or I’m anemic or something.
Doc: Sounds like allergies. I’ve had a lot of patients have these kinds of symptoms for allergies. Drink more water and here’s a prescription for vertigo.
Me: Um… I don’t have allergies.
Doc: Then what do you think it is?
Me: (did you not just hear what I said?) I think I’m deficient in something. Can I please just get my blood tested????
Doc: …fine. But your insurance won’t cover it probably.

Did I mention that she didn’t even ask me about my diet (vegan), alcohol consumption, drug use, exercise, anything like that? Well I ended up getting my blood tested and guess who was right?

I don’t even need WebMD to figure these things out. My Vitamin D levels came back as low, and my white blood cell count abnormally high which “may indicate a viral infection.” BUT WHAT KIND OF VIRAL INFECTION WAY TO BE SPECIFIC. So here I still am with some kind of viral infection in my system and taking Vitamin D supplements which have helped a little, and now that the sun has decided to be a thing again I’ve at least managed to crawl out of my depression hole a little bit. Moral of the story? Don’t trust doctors. Go with your gut. But not mine because it’ll reject anything you put into it. Except bananas. I can eat an absurd amount of bananas without feeling sick. At least bananas are cheap so I can buy 5 pounds of them and not spend over $10 on my food for the week. Well thank god for that. By the way, did you know that bananas are actually a seed and not a fruit? Mind. Blown.

I don’t even really get depressed that much. Not depressed to the point where I wake up crying for no reason and shaking and throwing up almost daily. It’s been really great. Whatever this virus is, if you could kindly escort yourself out of my body… that’d be great. Depression for me usually last maybe a day and then the next day I’ll feel more than amazing. But this was persistent. Persistent, choking depression and anxiety that was taking over my life. Honestly, I blame the weather. I thought I lived in Maryland, not Seattle. ITS MAY WHY HAS IT BEEN RAINING AND COLD FOR THE PAST 3 WEEKS. But it’s sunny and WARM today. I’m enjoying my moment of just going outside and finally feeling the warmth of the sun hit my face.

I’m on my road to recovery, eventually. I’ve been able to play with my hula hoops a little more lately without tiring out within 30 minutes, some foods (besides bananas) don’t make me physically hurt and drain my energy, and that heavy depression cloud is starting to lift.

Some days are better than others. I’ll make it through with my unknown viral sickness. Thanks, Doc.