My step mother is about to turn 70 next week. She has a lot of relatives coming in to town, including her sister. Her sister made a comment about whether or not I would be there- given what happened 10 years ago.
Yes, 10 years ago on my step mother's 60th birthday, I overdosed. It was very bad. Intensive care, a week in the medical hospital, then involuntary transfer to psych hospital.
I felt very bad about the timing, but I just couldn't stand one second more. In fact, the last thing I remember saying before I threw up on the EMT and then passed out was to not tell my step mother.
Of course she did find out. Of course she had her birthday ruined. She spent it at the hospital with my dad where they told them that they didn't know if I would live or die, or have brain damage, but that they would do everything they could do.
Unfortunately, the psychiatrist came around too. Even though I was unconscious, they decided to get involved- and interrogated my parents. They asked them what they had said to me, that they must have said something. They blamed them for this. That was very mean, and not true. I had even written a suicide note saying that this wasn't anyone's fault.
What was going on? I was getting extremely depressed again, even on Parnate, the best of antidepressants (for me). So my doctor raised it from 90mg to the super high dosage of 120mg, which just made me depressed and agitated, even worse. So I decided the hell with this, it is making me worse, I'm just going to stop taking it. And I need to do a washout anyway, if I want to do another antidepressant. And my doctor was out of town and unavailable. But in 48 hours I found out that things could even be worse off of Parnate, which I didn't think was possible, and I couldn't bear another minute of this- and decided I had enough of living. And hence the overdose. Topamax and Lamictal, that is what I took.
But that has been my last hospitalization. It has been almost 10 years since I have been in the psych hospital (or any hospital). What changed?
Well, partially, it was meds. Much as I hate the Zyprexa, I have never been manic on it, even on antidepressants. And much as I complain about Effexor at times, it has also been an awesome antidepressant, especially with respect to my obsessions. Plus, there are a lot of ways to augment it, change doses, prop it up and keep it going, and that is what we have been doing over the years. The MAOI's didn't have that kind of flexibility.
But partially it has also been work. I started working as an OT 8.5 years ago, and that has been a very stabilizing force in my life- from the regular hours to social interaction to feeling needed, work has (mostly) been a good thing.
I have been living closer to family too.
I also started recognizing that I am my own best expert, and that I have more at stake in this than any psychiatrist. I started trusting them a lot less, and myself a lot more. Unfortunately, no one will give me my own prescription pad yet!
10 years since I have been in a psych hospital. Maybe I should stop complaining about my current meds, given how many hospitalizations there were in previous years.
I am not going to ruin my step mother's birthday this year. I told her I can't guarantee next year, but this year's should be fine!