Monday, January 30, 2012

I Think I am Stressed Out and It’s Making Me Crazy!

30 January 2012

Over this weekend I read the article (link posted below) “Mental Illness labels raise fears” and felt compelled to write a bit about it today. The article touched briefly on how the medical community is concerned how a panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association is making changes to the way some conditions are diagnosed and how they are treated. Essentially what’s happening is that more conditions are being described with lesser standards and definitions than before which in effect are driving them crazy because now, we can all be diagnosed with some kind of condition and be prescribed drugs that may not do us any good and may harm us. It also cites the growing concern that family doctors are treating their patients with powerful drugs after diagnosing them under these looser definitions of certain conditions often times without the consultation of any psychiatric professional.

I have experienced this myself in the past and in the present. I have sought the help of counselors and others in the psychiatric field. I’ve never followed through with continued therapy for one reason or another, mainly economics. A lot of counselors don’t accept the insurances that I have and are very expensive. I found one here in San Antonio, an actual Psychiatrist, that I am going to start seeing in March that takes my insurances. I know I have problems and issues but I have never been diagnosed with any particular condition like Depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I think that I just need to talk to someone who has a completely unbiased, third party and unattached ear about some things. I think I just need to sort a few things out so that I can deal with them better. I choose to seek professional help because if I am exhibiting the symptoms of any condition, they would be able to determine that and treat me for it properly.

I would not be surprised if I do have some form of depression or maybe even PTSD. My childhood and teen years were extremely traumatic and life has been hard but I firmly believe that God never gives you more than you can handle. I know that I may not have handled things as good and rightly as I should but they were handled. I carry a lot of things with me and it’s time to stop. I think my biggest problem is stress and stress management. But I don’t think that my circumstances, past and present, are devastating and I know others have had it harder than I. But when I recognize that my stress and my issues are manifesting themselves physically and causing me harm to my heart health, it’s time to take a firmer, more direct approach. Its time to get help. Mental health is not exclusive to the weak or weak minded. I think it’s weakness that makes you do nothing about the things that affect you in your life, It is strength that makes you do what you need to do to make things right.

I have been prescribed anti-depressants and sedatives before. Trouble is, never by a counselor or psychiatrist. When I was in the hospital for a staph infection in my leg in 2005, the ward doctor told me that I am full blown diabetic. This upset me greatly as I did not want to start taking meds for it and they had started administering shots while I was in there. I was emotional when he told me. One of the attending nurses gave me a pill to calm my nerves and prescribed daily use of Lexapro. I took it for a year and it was not really helping anything. In fact, I think it made things worse. After taking it for at least a year, I took myself off of it abruptly. Holy Cow! That was hard. I thought I was going nuts! But I recognized what was happening and handled it myself. Nowadays I am taking Clonazepam, .5 milligram twice daily as needed. I only take it if I need it. I was prescribed Xanax before that and I just didn’t do well with that one. My family doctor, who is a Nurse Practitioner, prescribed these meds to me and did so after talking to me about stress. She also informed me that her office has a list of counseling services available that could and would help me.

I like this clinic because I think they provide a great service to this community and they take a sound, reasonable approach to the care of their patients. They’ve helped me with other problems and got me where I need to be to get those problems fixed. True health care professionals. But I do tend to agree with the article I referenced before. That too many people are being diagnosed with conditions that may not exist for them and are thus being treated with drugs they do not need. This is dangerous for people. I think the diagnosis of these conditions should only be done by certified counselors and psychiatric professionals and treatments should come from them. We are quick to label a condition and we are way too quick to take pill for it when all we really might need is an unbiased ear. Someone to let us get things off our chest and remind us of the better ways to handle the daily adversities of living life, many of those lessons we have already learned and know well.

Have a great and blessed day!

Todays “Did Ya Know”: That its Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day??? Everyone is a grown-up mature adult but you break out the bubble wrap and what happens???? Insanity!!!! It’s also “Inane Answering Machine Message Day” so be sure to record your message with popping bubble wrap noises!!! I’m not sure who invented this one and I couldn’t find an “official” website but Google it and check out the links you’ll get. I plan on making some myself and I left a few this last weekend for some friends. It’s good fun!!!

Related Links:

Article in the Venice, CA Gondolier Sun “Mental illness labels raise fears” by Elizabeth Lopatto, Bloomberg News Writer

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day 2012 Official Website

National Inane Answering Message Day

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