Friday, October 19, 2012

Oops!

So I was going to post today, but then I found out that a guy I know caused a situation that killed a cop. 

Like I said, oops! 

It's strange. He had been good friends with my Evil-Ex a long, long time ago, until he also realized what kind of horrific person he was. After which he met me, then he used to have a huge crush on me. This was a few years ago.

Anyways. 

I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this. At one point I knew him, eh, okay. And despite his foibles he was actually a really decent guy. However. I also know waaaaaaay too much about those foibles to have an incredible amount of sympathy for him. I've been arguing with people about what his odds are and whether or not he can expect leniency. 

Amusingly, though perhaps not surprisingly, during my brain debates how I respond, and my levels of sympathy and compassion change depending on who I picture myself talking to. 

On the one hand, I know he's a nice guy, with a BARRAGE of his own issues. He very, very clearly has anxiety and depression issues. I mean SEVERE anxiety issues. Not too mention his drug issues. 

Which have been a long line of problems and issues, and insanity in his life for way longer than I've known him. Actually they are worth mentioning. Because his extreme history of drug use is  of why I think he needs this kind of wake up call. 

On the other hand, he would never last in jail. He's really, really intelligent, and actually very caring, but he's an extreme germophobe. He's small, and frail. He would be someone's bitch and probably kill himself at the prospect of contracting something. That's is in no way an exaggeration. Him killing himself is a very real possibility. 

It's been extremely distracting today. 

So yeah. This in no way effects me directly, and yet, everyone I know feels like it's the most important topic in the world. It is for him, but I'm not sure why everyone else feels the need to get so involved, or talk to me about it. The world may never know. 

Yay Friday! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Major Depressive Disorder… or are you just depressed?


Things are about to get a little depressing around here. But that doesn’t mean we need to be sad about it! 

I’ve mentioned it many times, but I’ve never gone into greater detail about, dun Dun DUN!


Depression and Major Depressive Disorder…. Or! Depression vs. Major Depressive Disorder

Oh wait, there’s one more: Dysthymic Disorder

What the hell are you talking about? And why does it seem like things are going from bad, to worse, to worst? Or bad to worst to worse?  Whatever.

First of all, depression is a mood disorder and a very real mental health issue. It’s not something that’s just being made up in your own mind. “Just smile,” and “Snap out of it,” are not helpful or useful pieces of advice in dealing with depression.  But what’s with all the different designations? Simple. Because we live in a society that likes to categorize every bit of minutia it can and our health insurance companies need something specific to bill. Okay, there’s a bit more to it than that. So let’s break it down shall we?

Depression

Think of how you feel today? Would you describe yourself as generally sad? Melancholy? Depression used to be known as simply melancholy. And it’s a very common feeling. One that can be caused by an incredible number of things.  It’s usually described as feeling sad, blue (how does one actually feel blue?) unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Periods or episodes of depression will affect just about every single person alive at some point during their life. 

The sun is just a little bit dimmer, the sky a little bit greyer; moving seems to take more effort and nothing is as appealing as it once was. Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you. Depression can make everything seem more negative and give you an attitude to match. And it’s impossible to believe that any problem can be solved in a positive way, or even solved at all.

Depression is not a choice. No one wakes up in the morning and says, “Yanno what? I think I want to be in a pissy mood and feel like the world is against me, but just for today.” It’s not that anyone with depression wants to believe that things are more difficult and never going to end well. It actually feels inevitable.

In short, life generally sucks. Fortunately the main difference between depression and Major Depressive Disorder is duration. Depression can last a few hours, a few days, even a couple of weeks… and that’s actually pretty normal. While any period of depression is important, it’s also okay. It never feels good, but you should never feel guilty for feeling depressed or not always being your usual self.

Some things to consider if you think you may be dealing with depression –

Symptoms of depression can include:

·         Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
·         Becoming withdrawn or isolated
·         Difficulty concentrating
·         Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
·         Fatigue and lack of energy
·         Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
·         Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
·         Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
·         Thoughts of death or suicide
·         Trouble sleeping or too much sleeping
·         Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness as well.

These feelings can be inspired (read: triggered) by many very normal life events.

·         Sleeping problems
·         Stressful life events, such as:
o    Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
o    Failing a class
o    Death or illness of someone close to you
o    Divorce
o    Childhood abuse or neglect
o    Job loss
o    Social isolation (common in the elderly)
·         Certain medications or medical conditions
·         And let’s not forget how alcohol and drugs can contribute to depression as well.

Things can get even more fun when you’re a teenager or pre-teen too, when depression strikes because:

·     The normal process of maturing and the stress that occurs with it (*** this is one of the reasons medical professionals don’t diagnose personality disorders before 18. The body and brain are still maturing and hormones are just going nuts to begin with***).
·         The influence of sex hormones
·         Independence conflicts with parents
·         Bullying or harassment at school or somewhere else
·         Lack of social skills
·         Learning disabilities
·         Poor parenting or caregiving


All of these things can contribute to depression. And once depression hits; Every. Little. Thing. Can make it worse. You may not even realize things in your life are building up and producing the effects that are ultimately depression. Some days it hits and it’s like taking a truck to the face. Other times it’s so gradual that you barely even notice when it started or that anything was really happening at all,  until one day you realize that it feels like you’ve always felt this way. 



Sounds like a typical day at the office for me. And by “office”, of course I mean, “life in general”.  Which is why I’m not considered depressed, but to have Major Depressive Disorder….

Which you can find out more about tomorrow (or Monday b/c I might do an Ask Haven, tomorrow ;)).


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quotes from the Borderline






“You know that when I hate you, it is because I love you to a point of passion that unhinges my soul.”


~ Julie de Lespinasse 













*** Interestingly, of the little I know of Julie de Lespinasse, she sounds like she may have been Borderline herself. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Borderline Personality Disorder and Xanax


Anti-Anxiety medication are often used to treat the intense anxiety and agitation that come with Borderline Personality Disorder.


So why do I feel the need to single out Xanax?

Because it’s so, so, so commonly prescribed for anxiety, which is a huge contributor with BPD. I’m not a doctor or psychiatrist (obviously) so I would never tell you to take or not to take any medication that you’ve been prescribed, but I think it’s also important to be as aware of all information out there. My Psychiatrist won’t prescribe Xanax to me right now, and I’m starting to see why. When I was taking Xanax I was prescribed it by my general physician who wasn’t aware of my BPD, not my Psychiatrist. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that general practitioners of medicine aren’t aware of all the intricacies of how some medications can combine with mental health issues.  That’s probably why Psychiatry is its own field, yanno? So be sure to make sure all your doctors are in the loop with what is going on. One may be a brain specialist, the other a body specialist, but it’s all important to consider when treating you as a whole.

Antianxiety Agents and Sedatives

“Anxiety and poor sleep are common symptoms of borderline disorder. In other disorders, the benzodiazepines are most frequently used for these symptoms. These include diazipam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), temazepam (Restoril), flurazepam (Dalmane), and triazolam (Halcion). These medications should be used with caution in patients with borderline disorder because of their high addictive potential and a reported capacity to increase impulsive behavior in patients with the disorder.

Some patients with borderline disorder also experience adverse responses, such as impaired perceptions and greater sleep deterioration, to the non-benzodiazepine sedatives. Therefore, if these medications are prescribed for you, be aware of this possible problem. [1]


Two of the main problems I’ve seen repeated in terms of Xanax use and BPD are Decreased Inhibitions and Depressed Mood.

Decreased Inhibitions

“Xanax is a type of medication that works by decreasing abnormal signals within the brain that cause excitement. Use of Xanax can cause you to experience decreased inhibitions, which can lead you to engage in dangerous, unusual risk-taking behavior. You can also experience the absence of fear---even if you are in a dangerous situation---while taking this medication. Such side effects can result in abnormal behavior that may have negative consequences, such as injury or increased debt.”

Depressed Mood


“While taking Xanax, you can become depressed experiencing feelings of abnormally sad, guilt-ridden or worthless. You may also notice that you are no longer interested in participating in your usual activities or that you are more tired than usual. Xanax can also cause patients to experience dangerous thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Contact your doctor immediately if you become depressed or suicidal while receiving treatment with Xanax. [2]



With an increased potential for depressed mood and decreased inhibitions, this can quickly escalate to impulsive and dangerous behavior. Even increase the risk for self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Even Wikipedia states that particular care should be exercised with the case of people with Borderline personality disorder because it may induce suicidality and dyscontrol. By the way, Dyscontrol (or Episodic Dyscontrol syndrome) is defined as a pattern of abnormal, episodic, and frequently violent and uncontrollable social behavior in the absence of significant provocation. I don’t think I need to tell you that combining something that may lead to uncontrollable social behavior without provocation combined with someone that already has problems with controlling volatile emotions, reactions, and behavior is a very, very bad thing.

I was taking Xanax when I was still living with Evil-Ex and while I was dating Boring-Ex. I think things were so disruptive from when I was dealing with Evil-Ex (which was still while I was dating Boring-Ex) that it was probably necessary for me to have something for the intense, intense anxiety I was dealing with, but who knows if it contributed to my cutting or landing me in the Psych ER. Then again, I never took them very frequently. I’ve always been very aware of the addictive and deleterious nature of these kinds of medications so I’ve always been very wary of taking too much of them.

For occasional, situational use, they may be helpful, because for me they certainly did help calm down my brain and ease my anxiety in those moments when I was about to lose it. But long term, daily, regimented use…. ???? …. I don’t know. That’s not my call. But the dangers of addiction and the horror stories of withdrawal are also not something I would ever want to be faced with.

Other issues reported Hyperactivity, seizures, hallucinating, and jaundice. 



I’m also including a video I recently found. It’s only a couple years old so I’m fairly confident that the information is still relevant. It’s also doesn’t seem judgemental which is nice. The first bit talks about Xanax and its effects with BPD, but then it also moves on to consider other drugs as well.  Below the video you can see some of my notes and the things that caught my attention.

{{{VIDEO}}}  

“Daily use of modest dosing of Xanax lead to increased self-mutilation and suicide attempts in Borderline Patients.”

“Xanax, like alcohol, is a feel good drug in the moment but over a longer period of time, like alcohol, it disinhibited them and Borderline people are already disinhibited, so taking a drug that contributes to that and all hell can break loose.”

Occasional, targeted use, that’s probably okay, but chronic use? Not so much.

:: Interesting note:: People with Borderline Personality Disorder of some of those most likely to refuse to take a drug if it has significant side effects.

Avoid Benzos except for occasional use.

On discussion of SSRI’s there are two types of depression:
1. The classic type of Major Depressive Disorder, but also,
2. that Characterological Depression of emptiness and dysphoria that is often reported with BPD. 

SSRI’s may help the major depressive disorder type symptoms but don’t touch the characterological depression. *** This strikes a chord with me. *** Note to self to look into this further, b/c currently I feel like my major depression is practically non-existent, but I still have that feeling of emptiness.

Medications may not “cure” Borderline Personality Disorder, but they can target specific symptoms that make focusing on psychotherapy easier and functioning in day to day life, better. They may not fix it completely, but they may help raise the standard of day to day living so that we can get the rest of the way on our own.

This is essentially what I’ve found with the SNRI I’m on. My primary focus was helping my anxiety and depression

There was one last note on “Experimental “”Drug”” Study” that I thought was worth mentioning:  
Omega-3 fatty acids. A regular daily dose over an 8 week period of time showed a significant difference in reducing aggression and depression… with no side effects. I mention this, b/c it’s a good recommendation for pretty much everyone in terms of general health and heart care. Even I try to make sure I take my Omega vitamins (as I’m strict vegetarian and need the supplemental support).

So there are some things to think about. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vistaril (Hydroxyzine) for Anti-Anxiety

Does this look normal to you? 

So Psychiatrist prescribed me Vistaril (Hydroxyzine) for anxiety. He gave me 25mg to be taken twice a day to start, then as needed. I’ve never taken this before but he told me 25 mg was a very, very small dose.

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine medication that has been studied in anxiety disorders as well.  So I found out that when you’ve never taken anti-histamine’s before and you don’t realize they make you really, really drowsy… drawing the conclusion that if 25 mg is a very small dose, then taking two might be better for an anxiety attack… is not necessarily a great idea if you plan to stay awake and accomplish anything for the rest of the night… or the next morning, until about 11 a.m. In a manner that is at all expedient.

::blinks::

No, I’ve never taken anti-hystamines before. Don’t have problematic allergies. Lucky me. Didn’t realize it was that kind of drowsy. Egads. On the plus side. I got like 10 hours of sleep. And had some pretty wacky dreams. Which was actually way better than the boredom I was facing by staying awake. So, yeah, anxiety gone, however, I think anxiety gone due to being comatose is not really the solution.  

So we’ll consider that a lesson learned. Just take the “very small” dose. Even if it seems like it’s too small.  


I’ve been wondering why Psychiatrist doesn’t just give me Xanax or Klonopin like I’d been on before. Psychiatrist doesn’t like prescribing Benzodiazepines at all though.

I haven’t found out anything about Klonopin specifically yet, but as it turns out Xanax can be pretty bad for people with Borderline Personality Disorder. Some medicines like Elavil (amitryptilline) and Xanax (aplprazolam) make the symptoms of borderline worse.

Addictive problems aside, I think it’s worth it to take a look into this. I’m not a doctor, but if there are medications that we should be more wary of then usual, especially such commonly prescribed ones like Xanax, it would probably be a good idea to at least be aware of the information out there. 


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