Two weeks ago I had an episode that made me terrified my PPD was back in an ugly horrible way.
One week ago I admitted it here.
Wednesday I saw the psychiatrist that my therapist referred me to for re-evaluation.
I was a nervous wreck going in. I had no idea what to expect and that drives me all sorts of crazy. No pun intended. Ok, maybe a little intended.
Dr. D is a man. My therapist is a woman. I have never ever had issues with having a man as my doctor for anything until I started therapy four years ago with a man whose name I no longer remember, but refer to as Dave Thomas when I talk about him with Cort. Because that is who he looked like. A total grandpa in a cardigan.
How in the heck to you talk about major anxiety and anger or woman stuff with Grandpa Dave?
So you quit therapy because you figure you can manage your Generalized Anxiety Disorder with all coping techniques you’ve learned. And you would be right…until you have a baby.
Ok…enough with the second person…I was doing great managing my anxiety for about a year and a half…until Eddie was born.
Nine months after Eddie was born, I was diagnosed by my General Practitioner with Postpartum Depression (I’ve written about those horrible 9 months). I was put on Celexa. A few months later, I was also given Ambien to deal with my lack of sleeping due to Postpartum Anxiety.
Everyone in my life noticed a positive change once I grabbed my diagnosis and attacked the plan to make myself healthy.
And then I got knocked up with Charlie.
My OB really wanted to see me give up the Celexa while I was pregnant. My therapist and my GP didn’t think it was a good idea.
For some reason Because I put Charlie before myself, I tried to go off the meds.
I failed horribly.
But instead of being down about it, I looked at it as proof that the Celexa was still doing something, and I agreed with my therapist and GP that a healthy momma would be a MUCH better momma.
Then I started my rounds of Progesterone to help sustain the pregnancy.
Then I started barfing my face off on the daily and needed to take Zofran.
Then I went through a super ugly bout of Antenatal Depression that thankfully dissipated during the second trimester.
And then other than being uncomfortably pregnant and worrying about a placenta previa, things went smoothly. Charlie was born via a wonderful planned C-section, we bonded immediately and fiercely, and I experienced a joy I only read about on other people’s blogs.
I have raved that this time has been better. And it has. Hands down.
Charlie is an “easier” baby than Eddie was which means my anxiety hasn’t had a chance to sky-rocket. The times it has all centered around things not going my way or as it was planned. I did have a few anger issues with Eddie (never violent and I always removed myself when I could feel it building) and twitchy eye moments with stuff not being EXACTLY how I wanted it. But I was managing.
My therapist has mentioned that she thought I might have a bit of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder still lingering from Eddie’s emergency C-section since it was as much as an emergency with my health as with his. And possibly even from my miscarriages. But I didn’t think too much about it. I mean, it had been three years ago. Surely that had worked it’s way out or you know, whatever.
Anyway, that brings us to the episode in which I couldnotavoid it happening (although the thing I almost did, I didn’t do, but it was terrifying nonetheless).
So here we are. In Dr. D’s office.
He was nice, I guess. I mean, he didn’t try to get to know me since it was just an evaluation. He didn’t laugh at my lame attempts at jokes, so I sort of rung my hands the whole time, but he wasn’t a jerk or anything.
It was all just very clinical. He asked me questions about symptoms that I assume he was pulling up from his computer because he was staring at it and typing every time I would answer (or he was on twitter talking about me to his followers. “this lady is CRAY, yo!” whatever). And I would answer as best as I could.
It was sort of like the checklist of stuff you fill out with a new therapist, but instead of just checking the box, I got to explain it.
His office was also very cold and boring. I am not sure why I feel like I need to say that, but it was painted this stupid blue color which I am assuming is supposed to be calming, but there was NOTHING on the wall or on his desk to prove that he wasn’t a machine. It was…odd. But the furniture? WAY more comfy than in my therapist’s office. Which is also strange to me.
And yes, he had a couch. But no, I didn’t get to lay on it.
So at the end he looked at me and he told me this:
“So I would say that you have Generalized Anxiety, Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, a bit of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, what we will call “regular” Depression that is somewhat in remission at the moment, and you show significant signs of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.”
This is what I saw fly out of his mouth:
GA, PPD, PPA, PTSD, and OCD.
Alphabet soup. Heavy Alphabet soup as a twitter follower pointed out.
Then he talked about doubling my Celexa dose and giving me “on a need basis” anti-anxiety med that I am a little bit terrified of, if I am being completely honest. I am terrified of the drug and I am terrified of what could cause the need for me to take the drug (another episode like two weeks ago), and I’m terrified that he thinks it might happen again so it’s best if I have the drug.
I’m even a bit scared of this doubling my Celexa. Is this permanent? Why does it need to go up? Will it ever go back down? How will we know?
I am sort of looking forward to talking with my therapist about all this in a couple weeks.
I am proud of myself for stopping when the episode happened and reaching out immediately to Cort to let him know something happened. I know that getting help is what is best for me and my family. I know from experience I can’t just handle this on my own.
I just very much struggle with what I KNOW and what I feel.
I still feel very angry that I have to deal with this at all. I don’t want it. Any of it. I don’t want to be on meds, not because I don’t want to be better, but because I don’t want to have all these letters.
I know they don’t define me. But they are part of who I am. They are part of my biological make up. They are chemical imbalances in my brain.
Just like I hate that my best friend is diabetic and will be on insulin her whole life, I hate that I am a jumble of mental illnesses and I will be on medsmywhole life.
It’s not fair.
And that is what I am struggling with right now.