good news/bad news

by MrsFatass on December 15, 2010

Good News: I have an awesome crazy doctor.
Bad News: I’m crazy and am in need of a crazy doctor.

Okay, so I am usually pretty good with my eccentricities, but I am occasionally heard to wail say “I wish I was normal.” I don’t know exactly what normal is, but I assume it includes a life where phones are answered, sweat happens only upon exertion, and What-Ifs are actually realistic.

That sounds like a wonderful place.

Good News: Dr. Awesome is pretty comfortable saying that my problems with panic are borderline and controllable.
Bad News: He thinks my anxiety problems are a full blown disorder.

“Full Blown.” That, my friends, is a direct quote.

Good News: There are lots of methods we can try to keep my anxiety manageable.
Bad News: Anxiety is hard to manage.

Another fun little quote from Dr. Awesome (and you have to hear it roll off the tongue in the thickest drawl. Not like a small town North Carolina twang, but like a Rich Plantation Owner drawl. Think The Prince of Tides or something), “If you came in heah with your gahden vahriety Mayjah Depression, I could prescribe you a pi-il that would have you feeling bettah in a few weeks and on to forevah. Anxahiety is a nasty little beast. Takes higheh dosages, mo-or attention, and sometahms you have to be the guinea pi-ig for awhile.”

Yep. Higher dosages. More attention. Oh, and side effects, like loss of libido and ability to hit The Big O.

Holy Crapballs.

Good News: Some people can spend some time on medication and in therapy, and eventually be weaned from both.
Bad News: I am probably not one of those people.

He gave me all the scientific gobbledygook about the impulses in my brain that handle anxiety, and how they bounce through four areas in my brain separated by gates. At some point, some of those gates are supposed to close, and then away goes that anxious response. My brain gates don’t close, and there’s some lack of serotonin or something, and so my brain is always on high alert for danger. It’s why I sweat and shake and am jumpy. It’s why when I DO get a shot of adrenaline, it can take hours or days for me to come down from it. It’s why I have trouble sleeping. It’s why Trophy Husband has heard me say “It hurts to relax.”

My brain has probably always been this way, and it probably always will be this way, and the stuff I’m seeing in Thing One? Is real. He’s probably always been this way, too. And when he has tantrums at bedtime (he has NEVER been great at unwinding and going to sleep) it is probably because his brain is fighting him, too.

And, unlike some people whose anxiety issues come and go, if I want to feel better, then I will probably always be doing the medicine dance.

Good News: There are lots of ways to help and treat this.
Bad News: It’s a process. Some things will work, some will not.

Since that first post about My Crazy, I have gotten a lot of emails asking me what can be done to feel better. Many of us, me included, want to hear that there are tricks or easy solutions. But, just like this health and fitness journey, it takes choices and changes and commitment. Trial. And Error. Focus and attention when I’d really rather get into my Snuggie and watch Christmas movies. (Okay, I don’t really have a Snuggie, but I want one. There, I said it).

As it turns out, some of the things I came to on my own are also important factors in the management of My Crazy. Daily exercise? Terribly important. Sleep schedule? Terribly important. Long, hot, candlelit baths? Terribly important. (Okay, that last one was not prescribed by Dr. Awesome, but still, I think it belongs there, no?)

Because of all of those emails, I’ve wavered about how much to talk about my actual treatment. Because I am NOT an expert, and, as Dr. Awesome said, because I’m really just a guinea pig. But you ask, and I’m kind of used to being honest, so I guess that includes talking about being real about my process. So here’s what I’m doing between now and my next appointment:

20mg of Celexa for 6 weeks, at which point I should be feeling somewhat less anxiety. Dr. Awesome says “mah guess is that you’ll be feeling bettah, but no way will 20mg be enough to make you we-el.”

Klonopin as needed. “Ah think this is a good one to help you through some hard tahms, but these drugs are wohndahful, aw-ful little thangs.” Meaning this kind of drug can be habit forming, and the idea with prescribing them is that the better the Celexa works, the smaller the need for Klonipin.

Physical activity every day.

Activities with Thing One that are both recreational and aimless, so we can learn together how to relax.

Bad News: “Anxahetay is tehrrible. It’s debilitatin’, can make you fe-el crahzy as anahthang.”
Good News: I’m working with somebody who doesn’t need to be convinced of that very fact.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Skinny Sushi December 15, 2010 at 7:48 am

I’m glad you found a doc who understands what you need. I hope the process of finding a treatment that works is short and easy for you.


Miz December 15, 2010 at 8:04 am

I’m not a doctor nor do in play one on the ‘net
But I am your friend. I’m here to help.


Jenn December 15, 2010 at 8:05 am

You know I’m a huge fan of Dr. Awesome, and your imitation of him was PERFECT. He sounds exactly like that. And, unfortunately it’s true, you do feel like a guinea pig but when you DO find the right medicine for you, it’s definitely life changing. I hope your journey is short and as always feel free to drop me a note if you just need someone to talk to who understands the journey all too well.


Drazil December 15, 2010 at 8:24 am

All the way into work this morning I was freaking out wondering if I responded to your text yesterday or not. Ugh. Did I? If I didn’t – you have to know I was with you in spirit right? Can I just say JESUS – this scares the crap out of me. Like treat the anxiety instead of shoving it down, pretending it doesn’t exist and hiding it? Novel idea. I love your crazy…because it is mine and through you – many of us out here will heal.


Coco December 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

Dr. Awesome sounds great. I felt like I was hearing him talk to you as I read. Nothing like having to face scary treatments and scary choices to treat your anxiety, eh?
Good news: You have lots of support and are encouraged to lean on it!


KCLAnderson (Karen) December 15, 2010 at 9:09 am


I don’t have a diagnosis yet but I went to see a therapist yesterday and had several ah-ha moments. I am not sure if I’ll need meds or not. My therapist can’t prescribe but she works with someone who can, if need be. And here I thought I was done with the majority of the “work”. Not that I ever thought I’d be completely done, but what stands in front of me is much bigger than what’s behind me.


Kimberly December 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

I am crazy too – probably full blown. I have anxiety sometimes that is so bad I can hardly breathe. It freaks me out how sudden it can be. So you are not alone in crazyville.

And just so you know, the accent killed me. My family is based in VA/NC and that is dead on. The drawl is the most important part.


carrie @ December 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

too funny! I’m a friend of Jen’s and so I know all about dr. awesome!! 🙂 So glad he’s working out for you and I hope the meds help! 🙂 Looking forward to reading your blog! Looks like we’re somewhat neighbors too!!


Kelly @Happy Texans December 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

Anxiety is serious. Hubby has/had it and dr put him on some meds to help with seratonin meds. He got so sick when he first started the meds but eventually got straightened out. The problem was decreased sex drive, sometimes “equipment” failure, and generally not caring about anything. He was just there but not himself. He decided he’d rather be off the meds but you don’t just stop taking them. You have to get off them gradually and it was so hard for him. Dizzy, nausea, headaches. It took a couple of months.

It’s tough. You have to do what works for you. I hope the doc finds the right meds that help you out.


Paige December 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

Fellow Panic Disorder patient checking in 😉 I’m someone who can go off and on the meds depending on the situation, but am currently am in need of the meds. And apparently the med I normally use (Prozac 20mg), isn’t working, so I’m right there with you in the experimentation game as well. Also have been ‘prescribed’ exercise, clean eating and talk therapy. Always happy to hear of others with equally great Dr. Awesome’s!


Jack Sh*t December 15, 2010 at 9:52 am

Y’know, if I listened to every crazy thing my doctor said, I’d really be messed up. The trick is to think about your favorite TV show while he’s talking. Then it becomes like the teacher’s voice on Charlie Brown: Wah wah wah, wah waaah wah wah.

Glad I could help!


Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story December 15, 2010 at 10:05 am

Great News: You found a good doctor in NC – that is rare. *hugs* Hang in there. We all love you sugar. Bless your heart… 😉


Lyla December 15, 2010 at 10:28 am

I’m glad you like your doctor so much. That is extremely important to the process and cannot be discounted.

However, as a psychologist, I’m concerned about this idea that you are a guinea pig. There is no reason whatsoever for you to be a guinea pig. Anxiety has very very very successful therapy to treat it– it’s called cognitive behavioral therapy. Medication– yes, you’ll have to try lots of different things and it won’t treat underlying issues (the way we think and avoid avoid avoid when we’re anxious). That’s why medication alone is not considered the treatment of choice for anxiety. See if your doc can give you a referral to a psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety. There is no reason whatsoever for you to have to try twenty different things to see what works.


JourneyBeyondSurvival December 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Good news:
You have lots of good friends that understand and will see you through this.
Bad news:
You have lots of good friends that understand and will see you through this.



Lisa December 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Happy to read that you have found a doc you like and who understands what you’re fighting. You write Dr. Awesome’s accent beauuu-tif-ally! I think he is right to warn you that it can take some trial and error to find the most effective medication with the fewest side effects for you. I agree with Lyla that drugs combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for anxiety. It is my impression that is what you are doing. Yes?

I know that you will find your way with this and be able to help your son do the same!


Sagan December 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I know you’ve likely been flooded with bits of ideas and such – but have you given thought to acupuncture? It’s kind of amazing how it can help tons with anxiety.

I hope that you can find something that works for YOU.


HCGWillpower December 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm

So glad to hear that there is something that can help. Love Love your twangyness.


Quix December 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

I’m glad you found a Doctor Awesome. Wishing you a short time of guinea pig-ness before you find what makes you right.

And I have two snuggies and am RARELY without one at home (I am always cold).


chris December 16, 2010 at 1:39 am

I am glad your doctor listens and that your doctor has something that can help…even cooler is that part of getting ‘bettah’ includes aimless activities with your kid. Have fun with that!


Kirsten (results not typical girl) December 16, 2010 at 6:47 am

My doc prescribed Celexa but I wouldn’t even fulfill the damn scrip cuz I didn’t want to lose my horniness. Nice fucking priorities.


LaniePainie December 16, 2010 at 9:56 am

Kirsten, I don’t think there is enough Celexa in the WORLD to dampen your horniness (pun intended).

By the way, when it says “sexual side effects” on the label, it can also mean that it increases labido, btw. Trust me on this one. Woot!

I feel your pain. I’m feeling it a lot more again the last few days actually. I like hiding in my own house just fine, thank you!


Kendra December 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Okay, so years ago before I learned to control and cope with my anxiety sans medication I was put on that same combination of medicines. It was highly effective for me with the exception of a very strange side effect I had for about a week. It was a really rare one, though, and most people don’t have problems on Celexa.

Klonopin might have been a life saver for me on a few occasions.

Funny story: the doc who put me on those medications, I called Dr. Awkward. This totally feels like a blast from the past for me.

While the whole process definitely takes time (and feels like waaay too much time), it really is managable. If you want to talk to someone who’s been there (three times) and is now in control again, I’d love to chat.


merri December 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm

10 yrs ago, one of the times when i was very depressed, i was on a few different meds (which didnt work btw) which were supposed to decrease your sex drive, but they did just the opposite to me. which was bad because i had no one to have sex with. lol. very frustrating. anyway, side effect warnings dont always happen the way they write them, so maybe your libido will go up instead of down as well.


Bitchilla December 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Hey girl, long time no talk. I recommend acupuncture. I suffer from terrible anxiety too. Acupuncture is the first thing I’ve found that worked. I actually made it through my Thing 1’s latest surgery with none of my usual psychotic stress.

I’m now weaning myself off of Celexa, which makes me happy. Also, be careful with that klonopin. One thing I found which was great about it is it seems to prevent hangovers :-), but man, it is a bitch to get off of. I felt sick (like coming down with a cold) for a few weeks. Good luck and hang in there.


anne h January 1, 2011 at 7:15 am

I just found this wonderfully well-written post!
Hope you feel better and stay that-a-way!
Love the accent. I can almost hear it!


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