Saw the psych doc today. We agreed that things were going better but could be improved. I no longer hit the bottom floor of depression and stay there for days and days; the worst low I’ve had in the last month was 12 hours or so. Anxiety has mostly been tamed, and my concentration is much better.
My main complaint still is that I get “tipped over” by triggering situations and then go straight down to the worst possible place and get stuck there. Any kind of confrontation will do it, as will any situation where I feel socially or personally rejected. The reaction is vastly disproportionate to the severity of the incident. It’s been a lot more frequent (although not nearly as long-lasting) lately, probably because I’m working on that stuff with EMDR and other psychotherapeutic techniques.
So we’re increasing the serotonin drug (Lexapro), which he says may increase my ability to “not give a damn” in his words. Giving it a month’s try anyway.
Another odd brain pattern we discussed was my dissociations. When I’m feeling very bad emotionally, I alternate being flooded in anxiety and despair with a detached, anesthetized state. I have that distant “wrapped in cotton wool” feeling that I get with a fever, my senses are generally reduced, and social interaction is nearly impossible. At my worst I can cycle between these two a few times per hour even, although that’s rare. Again, this has been worse lately because I have to deal with the uglies in psychotherapy. The therapist has noticed these anesthetized moments and sometimes will walk me out of it by having me go through my senses, notice colors of objects in the room, rub my hands, etc.
The doc said that sometimes low doses of neuroleptics (the drugs most often given to people who are having serious psychotic symptoms) can be very helpful, especially over a short difficult period. That was interesting to me, since the very very worst of those horrible/anesthetized cycling times made me wonder if I was “going crazy” at times. I think this was mostly because of the rapid change in mental state, and also coming out of dissociation feels almost like waking from a fugue. I remember at one point, long ago, being afraid to sleep because I thought I would wake up “crazy”.
In any case there isn’t much need for that right now, but it made me realize that I probably had seen over the wall into psychosis a few times. Glad I’m on this side.
7 thoughts on “lower the brain!”
Apropos of nothing
Btw, have you heard this?
Re: Apropos of nothing
Very nice! Had a good laugh. I was listening to the Velvets’ “Live in 1969” tonight with a good version of that song about 10 minutes before this thing, so it was perfect timing. Thanks!
Re: Apropos of nothing
There’s more along similar lines on New Waver’s website.
Something I know from personal experience: feelings of “going crazy” and fears of same, as well as depersonlized/dissociative/de-realized states, are all symptoms of severe anxiety. In fact, the things you’re describing all sound exactly like some of my worst anxiety attacks. I once spent an entire long weekend curled up on my brother’s sofa in that anesthetized fugue-state. I remember watching the movie “Johnny Dangerously” and thinking “this is a funny movie” but not actually feeling the funny-ness.
I say all of this to point out that it may be the case that you haven’t “seen over the wall into psychosis,” but that you’re simply experiencing some of the more extreme effects of anxiety — which, at their most extreme, are off the charts of normal human experience. I say this as someone who’s personally experienced some of those. I once had a prescribing psych recommend a mild antipsychotic for some of my symptoms, but I never actually took any pills — and shortly after that, my (non-prescribing) therapist (who specialized in anxiety and panic) told me she thought those would have been the wrong choice of medication for me.
Just something to consider.
hey, we upped my Lexapro too. And on the same day! Cousins, identical cousins…
Maybe you and I should make crazymed trading cards and see how many we can collect.
I’m really glad to have found this entry. I started going through EMDR recently and I’ve been having a lot of memories. Sometimes I feel like I can’t talk to anyone because they don’t understand what I’m going through. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing the experience.
Hi – Glad you found it. EMDR is one hell of a trip, isn’t it? It seems goofy and then stuff starts to happen. It’s been useful for me, though.