Been in Hiding a Bit

I’ve been in a bit of a low point for the last bit. I had a great time over the 4th, but then my mood has settled back into the basic just blah feeling. I’m going to have to switch my doctor because my current one is moving his office and it is just too far out of my way to go see him. I guess I should find a new one and start working on something different that will stop the blah feeling from being around most of the time.

Until next time, “wishing you all good mental health”.

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‘Black Box’ Warning on Antidepressants Raised Suicide Attempts

‘Black Box’ Warning on Antidepressants Raised Suicide Attempts.

So I come across an article with this as the headline. Of course it catches my attention and I have to read it.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/black-box-warning-antidepressants-raised-suicide-attempts-n134896

Interesting article that brought up a couple of things.

First off, I had no idea what a black box warning was. Apparently, the FDA can mandate that, in the case of severe issues with a drug, a warning be placed inside a black box on the labeling of the drug itself or in the literature. Fair enough, seen those forever and never considered they might have a name. Chalk this one up in the “Learn something new every day” category.

The article basically says that the FDA had mandated antidepressant manufacturers include a black box warning that the drug could increase suicidal thoughts and behaviors in kids. Another one, fair enough. Any of us on these types of meds know this comes with the territory. And, suicide is bad, so the government is trying to protect us. Shocker.

This is where it gets odd. Suicide attempts among adolescents went UP 22% and went UP 34% among young adults. WTF? Back up. I had to reread the paragraph a couple of times. It appears that after the warning, antidepressant use in the target age of this warning DROPPED 31%. Now I was totally confused. Then the rest of the article goes on to explain the study. It was a massive cause-and-effect chain. The warning didn’t say anything about this happening in only less than 1% of kids and young adults taking the drugs. And, it didn’t say anything about how the benefits of treatment far outweighed the risk. So, being the loving, caring parents we are (and I mean this in all seriousness), we get home, open the med, read up on it, see this warning and immediately say to ourselves “No way am I giving my kid a drug that may make him want to commit suicide!”. So, we don’t give them the medicine and merrily move along.

This is where several things suddenly popped into my head:

  1. Why didn’t a doctor explain this to them? Seriously, this is a no-brainer if you know the statistics.
  2. As a parent with a child being treated for these type of things, learn to ask questions. Challenge your doctor. They are not gods who know everything. Question them. About everything. Always.
  3. To any caregiver, you are not the one going through the problems. Unless you have experienced these things for yourself, you can’t even imagine what the person is going through. Don’t withhold treatment. Again, question your doctors. You see something like that on a prescription and it scares you, pick up the phone, stop by the doctors office, call your pharmacist. A lot of folks overlook their pharmacist as a source of information, but they are a great source when it comes to drugs. I ask mine questions all the time. They aren’t just folks behind the counter shoveling pills into bottles. They know this stuff.
  4. Sometimes the smallest of things can have a large, unintended side-effect. Really, who would have guessed that warning would have done that? Not me, for sure.

Anyway, I just found that very interesting and spurred a bit of thoughts for me. Thought I’d pass it along.

 

Until next time, “wishing you all good mental health”.

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

Edgar Allan Poe, one of my favorite authors/poets. I have always loved his works. So dark, so macabre. I realize now why I have been so drawn into them. He writes about madmen. He writes about something I can relate to, and he does it so very well.

It’s believed Poe had bipolar. Doctors have studied his works, personal letters, and have decided based on those, that he certainly had some issues going on 🙂 He wrote personal letters where he wanted to commit suicide, he drank to an excess, probably an alcoholic. Definitely signs of depression, if nothing else. Sometimes referred to as the “man that never smiled”. Quoted as saying “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”. Sounds a lot like bipolar to me.

The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, Never Bet the Devil Your Head, and many more. Dark, dealing with death, hate, revenge.

Of all his work, though, my favorite is Eldorado, first published in 1849. It’s not one of his more popular works, not something you’ll read in school. I often mention it and people have no clue what I’m talking about. I’ve had it memorize for like 25 years now.

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?”

“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for Eldorado!”

Something about it just appeals to me. Starts out with hope, youth, bright (unusual for Poe). Moves on to the older man, unhappy that he has yet to find his “Eldorado”. Then to his deathbed, he asks the ghost at his side where he can find his “Eldorado”, to which the ghost replies, basically, in death.

Poe died in 1849. The reason for his death is really an unknown. There are a million guesses running around, but in the end, it remains a mystery. I often wonder if he saw it coming. Was this, perhaps, a quick look at his life? 40 years summed up in four verses? It makes me laugh to think so, wouldn’t that be so, well, poetic 🙂

 

Until next time, “wishing you all good mental health”.

Ouch, this Hurts, Part II

Ouch, this Hurts, Part II. AKA Emergency Room visit.

Well, the rash got worse, so I called my doctor. We halved the dosage the previous night. Woke up this morning and felt like I had been hit by a train. On top of that, the rash got worse. I called my doctor and he suggested the ER was the next stop. We had dropped the dosage and I shouldn’t be getting new symptoms.

So, off to the ER I go. Pumped a bag or so of liquid into me. Ran some test, all my organs are working properly. They pumped me full of all sorts of junk to counter allergic reactions and out I went. Woke up later and felt a bit better. Not great, but better. The bottom line, they aren’t real sure what the rash is about, so they sent me home with more medicine and a recommendation to a Dermatologist. I’ll call him in the morning and go from there.

Until then, my doctor has me rapidly dumping the Lamictal, so I”ll be off it by the end of the week. We’ll see what happens.

 

Until next time, “wishing you all good mental health”.

Out for a Walk

Image

The whole family (including our Husky, Snowy) went out for a nice walk this evening. I’ve been meaning to take some pictures of the Hill Country, so I drug the camera along. It’s nice just to get out and enjoy the view.

Ouch, this hurts

Ouch, this hurts.

Well, I’ve had a bad reaction to the Lamictal. Yup. Rash all over my face. And, it itches and hurts, bad. Couldn’t just be some little rash that you barely know is there. Noooo, not for me. Called the doctor and I’m cutting the dosage back down and adding back in the Effexor. Keeping an eye on it for a couple days after the dosage change and see what happens. Hopefully it clears up fairly fast because this is really a pain in the, well, face 🙂

 

Until next time, “wishing you all good mental health”.

Exercise II

Exercise II.

I’ve been running. I’m trying to build up to a 5k. Well, to at least be able to run that distance. I’m not sure I’d go and try actually run in a 5k race. Who knows. I’ve got this little couch potato to 5k app on my phone and it’s pretty nice. Takes you through a steadily progressing workout, alternating between running and walking. The the next workout the run period gets a little longer and the walk period a little shorter. Right now I’m covering 2 miles with this routine. 5 minutes warmup. 10 times thru 1 minute walk, 1 minute run and then a 5 minute walk cool down. So about 30 minutes. it’s start at least. I’m looking forward to gradually getting better at it. It would be really awesome if my oldest sticks with me. I would love for us to go do an actual 5k race together. That would be so much fun. Matching shirts and all 🙂

 

Until next time, “wishing you all good mental health”.