Today, I met with my psychiatrist for the first time since I overdosed twice. So we had a lot to talk about.
We spent more time than I would have preferred talking about my recent breakup. I usually don’t mind probing questions from mental health professionals, but I was surprised that saying “I’m depressed because of the breakup” wasn’t enough information. I had to list the specific breakup-related thoughts that were causing me distress. I can recognize the value in discussing these specifics, but it was still annoying. I’ve been carrying my sadness around in a giant package labelled “breakup things,” and so far, nobody else has asked me to unpack it. I have offered these details to both my counselor and my best friend, but in both cases, it was my idea. Maybe I felt invalidated when my psychiatrist didn’t consider the end of my relationship to be an inherently depressing thing. Maybe I felt like she was blaming me for my own unhappiness, attributing my pain to negative thinking. Regardless, the topic left me slightly uneasy.
Another major theme was my recent eating patterns. My depression has significantly reduced my appetite for the past month, causing me to eat smaller amounts with less variety. For the first few weeks, I fought this symptom, actively trying to increase my caloric intake. I know how easily I can settle into unhealthy patterns, and that I find situational weight loss is incredibly triggering. Despite these efforts to protect my recovery, my weight has decreased along with my desire to eat more. This unnoticeable amount of weight loss is all I have going for me right now, so it’s nearly impossible to resist letting it continue. Even when I do feel motivated to nourish my body, my appetite doesn’t cooperate. I don’t think I need to be too worried at this point, and it isn’t exactly relevant until my appetite returns, but my psychiatrist is already looking into eating disorder treatment referrals. So there’s that.
I filled out the PHQ-9/GAD-7 questionnaire. It’s a standardized tool used to quantify symptoms of depression and anxiety. According to this test, my anxiety level has remained relatively constant, while the Mild Depression I was experiencing in July has become Moderately-Severe. Apparently, my depression score hasn’t been this high since 2014, when I experienced my first Major Depressive episode. Neat.
In terms of medication, I am now taking Seroquel to calm my anxiety and somewhat stabilize my mood. This will replace the Lyrica I have taken since June to alleviate my anxiety. The Effexor and Welbutrin doses are unchanged, although I was told that I will need to stop taking Welbutrin if my eating doesn’t improve. It lowers the seizure threshold and is contraindicated in patients with eating disorders. To be honest, I was expecting a more drastic change in meds, as something clearly isn’t working right now. But I see the psychiatrist again in three weeks, so maybe I’ll see a bigger change at that time if things are still bad. I’m a little desperate to feel better at this point, so I’m open to almost anything.
That sums up today’s appointment. It has taken me a ridiculous amount of time to write this because I am Moderately-Severely depressed and my eating patterns are strange right now. I need to do homework and go to bed, but I’ll be back with The Life and Times of Girl who had no Serotonin before you know it.
P.S. Thank you for reading. Seriously.