Medication, medication and more medicaton

So it seems I am in a blogging mood again. I think it’s a good thing that I am, it’s a goal that I have, getting back to being able to write again.

I saw my psychiatrist again today, he has signed me off for a further fortnight. I go back to see him in about 10 days and hopefully we will be talking about me going back to work. Not to sure though, next week I am having a procedure to determine if there is any issues with my digestive tract. I am fairly nervous about it. With all the medical stuff that I have been going through since I was in hospital, I think it has been contributing poorly to my recovery. I mean I’m not just dealing with recovering from mental health issues, I am having to deal with a bunch of medical shit and some of the stuff they are looking into is fairly serious. Sometimes it really messes with my head. I really don’t need all this shit on top of the mental health stuff, though I don’t really need the mental health shit either. Just would rather be able to manage my life, get on with it and get back to normal.

Before I went into hospital I was on a couple of medications to help manage my mental health stuff. Since then they have added heaps more to the regime and increased the dose of all bar one of the medications.

Before I went in I was on

  • 20mg Nexium
  • 1oomg of Seroquel
  • 60mg of Paroxetine

Now I take

  • 20mg Nexium
  • 3oomg of Seroqual XR
  • 60mg of Paroxetine
  • 4mg Edronax
  • 300mg Lyrica
  • 1000mg Metformin
  • up to 210mg of Norgesic

and PRN medications

  • 30mg Oxazepam
  • 25mg Seroquel

It’s pretty insane. After seeing my psychiatrist today he has increased the Edronax to 6mg. What does my head in even more is the reasons I take some of them. Let me explain what they are for and why I take them.

Nexium is used to manage reflux. I’ve been on them for a number of years. Part of the reason I take them is because some of my medications make my reflux worse than it should be.

Seroquel/Seroquel XR is a atypical antipsychotics used primarily to help manage my anxiety issues. Part of the reason I am on this is because the Paroxetine does not help enough. It also is used to calm my mind and help me to sleep. The difference between Seroqual and Seroqual XR is XR is a slow release variation of Seroqual. Seroqual is also used to treat Major Depressive Disorder.

Paroxetine is a Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors anti-depressant, it is common for people who have anxiety issues and Major Depressive Disorder to be put on this anti-depressant because it has been found to help more than other anti-depressants.

Endronax is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor which my psychiatrist has prescribed to help me to get some motivation and to help me my mind to get going during the day. Here’s the fun thing with me being on this, I’m on this because the Seroquel dulls my mind so much that I am not hugely functional, it’s part of what Seroquel does. So to counter act this side of Seroquel, when I should be awake, I take Endronax.

Lyrica is used to treat nerve pain. Helps to manage the pain.

Norgesic is a muscle relaxant combined with Paracetamol. This is used to relax the muscles around my spine spasm and tighten, but wont relax.

Metformin is for Diabetes. It protects insulin and helps it work properly.

PRN medication is medication you use on an as needed basis, so like Nurofen, if you get a headache you take a couple of Nurofen to stop the pain.

Oxazepam is used when my anxiety levels are too high and I am unable to bring it under control with non-medication based relaxation techniques. It is fast acting and helps to calm me down quite rapidly. I only use it a few times a week at the moment. As a benzodiazepine it is important that I am cautious about how often I use it as it can be quite addictive.

Seroquel is used in a similar manner as Oxazepam. It helps to calm me down and bring anxiety levels back under control.

Generally speaking I use Oxazepam primarily if I am out or I don’t want to get drowsy, whereas if I am trying to sleep but can’t or I am home and I need to switch off, I take Seroquel.

It’s a lot of medication, what bugs me is the ones I take because of the other ones I take. One of the things I used to be terrified of was that if I took the medications, I wouldn’t be me anymore or I would lose my intelligence. My mind, my intelligence is probably the most treasured possession I have. It is, for me the only thing I really have to offer to others.

Due to my back issues, physically I am unable to do a fair bit of stuff. I can’t lift anything that is heavy, I struggle to walk long distances, if it’s bad I pretty much can’t do anything. Physically, I am over weight and not what you would call good looking. I don’t think I am ugly, I would call myself pretty plain looking. Even when I was not over weight (all those years ago), I was still pretty plain looking, there is nothing overly special about my looks. What I am is intelligent, I’m not saying that I am a genius, someone who will invent something or do something that will change the whole world. But I’m smart, I am able to process information and use it quickly. I don’t look at things the same way as other people.

So, I am pretty careful that my medications don’t mess this up. It is something that I am pretty scared will happen. But, now days I am far less concerned about it, I’ve come to realize that without the medications my mind is messed up. If I don’t take the medication I can be smart as the smartest person ever, but I wouldn’t be able to do anything with it. Most of the time when they have added or increased my medications I am still pretty concerned and pay a lot of attention to how I react to them. While I was in hospital though, if the doctor prescribed something, I took it. I wanted to get back to normal, I wanted out of the hospital, I wanted to feel better and the medications were about the only source of hope that I had.

I am really looking forward to finally starting to see a psychologist next week. I am really hoping that she will be able to help me learn some strategies to cope with the anxiety and the depression without medication. One of the bigger concerns I have about returning to work is how I cope. Even thinking about returning to work I start to get anxious and I start to shake. If I do get to worked up I want to be able to do something other than take medication to calm me down. I can’t rely on them, especially the Oxazepam as a benzodiazepine I don’t want to get addicted to it, but it is the only one I could take if I got to anxious at work.

Going back to work is something I am both looking forward to and dreading at the same time. I want to get back on with life, get back to things I enjoy. But it presents a lot of challenges for me. I still have trouble going into supermarkets, doctors rooms, pretty much anywhere where there are people, I have to think or make decisions. Even watching TV causes issues. Often if there is an argument or any strong emotions I start to struggle. I become really anxious, like someone is going to attack me. Going out in public where there is a lot of people I start to feel really nervous and exposed, like I am being watched and judged.

Well that’s it for today. Time for me to work out what I am going to have for tea and maybe try and do some cleaning.

Cheers for reading. If anyone who reads my blog has questions or comments I encourage you to ask or comment. If you want to ask a question privately message me via Facebook and I will do my best to answer it.


About malensteptoe
I am work for one of Australia's big 4 banks in the System Admin Team. I am also a mental health sufferer. Currently diagnosed with OCD, MDD, Panic Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia and Trichotillomania. I also write books and a blog. I am an advocate for change of the view towards mental health sufferers. We can and are beneficial people in society, with much to offer and contribute. We are not all violent, actually the percentage of violent tendencies in the mentally ill and those without mental illness are no different. You may work with someone right next to someone with mental illness and never know. So maybe it's time to re-evaluate your opinions?

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