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Who am I?

I am not me. This happens sometimes. My mental health ebbs and flows and can manifest in different ways. Usually, I have panic attacks where my chest gets tight, and I feel like I can’t breathe. Recently it manifested in a way that is scary and new. For the last few weeks, I have been in a depressed state. This usually includes me not doing my normal chores around the house and sleeping a lot. The opposite of my normal overly productive self. I get in this apathetic space where when the kids want 5 pieces of candy I say yes because I don’t have the energy to fight with them. When this happens, I usually contact my mental health professional and adjust my meds. This time my anxiety took on a new form and I scared myself. I was having problems remembering things. There were an amazing number of times that I was in the middle of a task and completely forgot what I was doing. I know that this happens as we age, but forgetting a conversation you had a mere 20 minutes ago is not normal. I was confused and I felt like my brain had stopped working. I was nervous to even study for my CFP exam because I was afraid, I wouldn’t remember what I read. (Also, I was apathetic and did not want to do anything, so I kind of used losing my mind as an excuse). These new signs of my anxiety have never happened to me before and it really scared me.

I contacted my mental health professional immediately and shared my symptoms and concerns. I have been with the same mental health professional for the last 15 years. I am so in tune with my anxiety that I know when an emergency call to her is necessary. When I called her, I really thought that I was having a stroke or something, that is how bad my symptoms were. I shared what was happening and how I felt like I was losing my mind. When she returned my call, she asked me a series of questions to determine my state of well-being. After a 10-minute call, she increased the dosage of my meds and charged me $125. I have not seen her in person since Covid. Her practice switched entirely to phone appointments. At first, I didn’t mind the phone calls, it was easier to fit in my day and there was no driving involved. But this was a completely different situation than I am used to, and I felt like she didn’t see the magnitude of the situation because we were on the phone. I am losing my mind!

She calmly increased my meds after a 10-minute assessment and told me to follow up in a week. In her defense, I do have times where I am extra anxious or depressed and need my meds adjust to even me out and that usually works. This time though, I felt I needed more support than she was giving me. If I must pay $125 every time I have a crisis, which is maybe once or twice a year, the effect is that I do not want to contact her since I will have to pay for the call and then for follow up sessions to make sure I am stabilized. I don’t know, I guess it rubbed me the wrong way this time. I was looking for more help and I got meds. I do need to be medicated at some level to function normally, but I think that I was seeking more of the counseling side. Some support for a very new and scary situation. Maybe talking to someone would help. I haven’t really talked to her in years. (If you have a good mental health professional, I am open to referrals). It got me thinking though, I do need meds, I know this, but maybe not 3 or 4 different meds to function daily. I remember when I first went on meds for my mental health, I felt like a failure. I couldn’t beat my mental health demons on my own, I needed medicine to conquer them. After some time, I realized that medicine isn’t losing the fight, it’s improving my life. I support all those folks that need medicine to have manageable mental health daily. It took me many years though to come to this realization and accept that the meds do help me live a normal life.

At this point, I have been on my adjusted meds for 4 days, and I feel more like myself. I am back to my, sometimes manic, productive self. But this episode really scared me. I felt so out of control and like my brain was asleep. I had symptoms that I have never had before, and it made me worry that my mental health is growing and evolving in a bad way. Considering that, I am seeking a mental health professional (preferably female) that can prescribe medication for a second opinion. Maybe after 15 years, I need to move on to someone new for this stage of life. Anyways, if you know of someone, please send me their contact info. For now, I am back in action, waiting to see what happens next.

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