Writing a Dream

Posts tagged “Schizoaffective disorder

28 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

After 28 days, I have noticed a significant change in my overall mood. I can’t say I am not feeling a little low, but the low is not as bad as it was 28 days ago. I noticed I have been sleeping quite a bit more. I can’t say if that is a symptom of my depression or if I am just feeling a little zonked out. I know when I was on Invega (an antipsychotic) I felt like a complete zombie. While I am no longer on that drug (now on Fanapt, a very low dose), I do feel sort of zombied out, but not as much as I did back then. I still feel emotion and I can still experience some bad lows. However, it looks like the Prozac is doing its job and prevent too many lows. They are still there, but they don’t come as often.

I have found that there are times when I still deal with some pretty bad anxiety so I can’t say that the Prozac is helping as far as that. I have gotten some questions as to other known side effects. To address each one, here is a short list and my experience with them.

 

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out; – I have felt light headed at times, but not enough to pass out. This isn’t unusual for me though. 
  • agitation, hallucinations, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; – I’ve not felt overly agitated. It is normal for me to have hallucinations. I have felt significantly more nausea. Again, nausea is normal for me, but it has been more prevalent since starting Prozac. 
  • headache, slurred speech, severe weakness, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, seizure (convulsions), shallow breathing (breathing may stop); – I have had some pretty bad headaches, but as with some of the other issues, headaches are normal for me. Same as the others, the headaches have been slightly more intense, but they are manageable so far. 
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling. – I’ve not experienced any of these side effects. 
  • drowsiness, yawning; – It has gotten somewhat significant. I find that I am quite tired a lot of the time, but cannot sleep. I have been using OTC sleep aids sparingly(diphenhydramine). 
  • tremors, sweating, feeling anxious or nervous; – This is normal for me. I have Klonopin to help with meltdowns from anxiety. For reference, I take the Klonopin, on average, twice a week to knock me down. I do not take it daily. 
  • dry mouth, upset stomach, mild nausea; – See above.
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams; – I’ve mentioned my sleep issues. My dreams have almost always been very strange and often lucid so this is not unusual for me. 
  • mild rash; – None so far. 
  • changes in weight or appetite; – I’ve mentioned this before as well. I am seeing what is slowly becoming a significant weight change. I first noticed I wasn’t feeling nearly as hungry about a week or so after starting Prozac. There have been days where I’ve not eaten at all. To avoid any complications, I have started scheduling my meals and setting reminders to eat. When I do eat, I am eating far less and am almost never hungry. I am eating simply so I won’t feel light headed or fatigued. I still enjoy the taste of food so when I do eat, I am usually having something I really like. I have, since my teen years, be really into pastas and high carb foods; a habit I picked up when I used to play tennis. I do have some pastas now, but as I said, I’m not eating nearly as much as I used to. I can think of only a single time in the past 3 weeks where I’ve felt a little hungry and that was at the end of the day when I’d forgotten to eat anything. In the past month, I have dropped about 15 lbs. I was working out quite a bit, but then I hurt my back (have had a bad back for years) so I stopped to let myself heal (this was before I started the Prozac). Even without the workouts, I am still dropping weight. I suspect when I start up again with my workouts, I will drop more weight which is fine with me. I have carried a lot of extra weight most of my adult life so dropping 30-40 lbs will do me some good. 
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; – I’ve not noticed any of these symptoms. 
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat. – I have had a slightly stuffy nose, but I am going to say it’s probably from my allergies. I have common seasonal allergies so that could be the reason why I get a stuffy nose from time to time.

I’ve read studies that have seen an increased proclivity to violence from people taking Prozac. I’ve not experienced anything that would suggest this happening with me. I’ve always been a very passive person though. I have never been the type to go around looking for an argument or a fight. If you have been known as someone with a short temper, make sure you tell your doctor if you find yourself a little more on edge than usual.

I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you want my diagnosis for reference, I was formally diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder (depressive type). The medications I am on right now to help with this are Prozac, Fanapt, Klonopin, and Buspar. I also take a few other medications for unrelated health issues such as Zanaflex for migraine, tension, and cluster headaches.

If you have questions, you can comment all you like and I will respond or you can use my contact information if your question is of a personal nature.

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega ...

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega retard tabletta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Open Letter

Your words did hurt today. I don’t know why. Maybe I keep thinking that you know more about me than I’ve told you. The truth is you don’t really know me at all. Yes, I realize that the both of us have been through our fair share of crap and neither of us are not without damage. I know I’ve told you before that I’m not well, but sometimes I wonder if you really understand. I’m not saying you have to feel as if you’re walking on eggshells when you converse with me, but sometimes I am someone completely different.

I’ve always tried to act happy around you for your benefit. In a way, I didn’t want you to know who I was deep down. I know you know that I have doctors that I see and for a time, I was on a lot of medication. I know you’re aware that I stopped all my meds several weeks ago. In a way, those medications were both a blessing and a curse. Why both? While on those medications, I wasn’t me. I was a zombie. The medicine took away all my feelings and replaced them with pools of nothingness. I couldn’t do anything. I had no drive to do anything. I didn’t write. I didn’t listen to music. I didn’t dream…and how I love to dream.

I guess there is no real way to skate around what’s really wrong with me, as far as what’s happening in my head. When I was young, I had a terrible accident. I was in the hospital for several days. I took a blow to my head and since then, I have never been the same. I lost almost all of my childhood memories. Holidays, birthdays, everything. It took me time to remember who all of my extended family was. Some memories have slowly returned to me, but not many. I’ve always felt that emptiness. Sometimes I will get incredibly emotional when I hear a piece of music or smell a specific scent and I have no idea why. All I can figure is maybe it’s my mind promoting me to try and remember something I’ve lost. There is more.

I know it might seem like I joke around about being sick sometimes. I do that to try and deal with it. I may have mentioned to you that I hear voices, see things. I’m not kidding when I say this. In fact, there is one voice, a female voice that I’ve heard for almost 22 years. I kept thinking it was just a result of the accident and that it would go away, but it never did. She’s been with me all these years. I hear her as clear as you would hear someone standing next to you.

You see Joanne, when I say I’m crazy, it’s actually true. Doctors have looked at me and diagnosed me. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this to you but it’s called Schizoaffective Disorder, the depressive type. Essentially I can hear and see things that aren’t real, but to me they feel as real as anything else in the world. I’ve gotten good at knowing when things aren’t real. For instance, one thing I see quite often is a black butterfly. The reason I know it’s not real is because it’s far bigger than your average butterfly and it also leaves behind a trail of dust that disappears.

As far as the voice is concerned, she’s good to me. She never tells me to do anything weird or crazy. If anything, she keeps me in check. It’s a very strange thing to explain. I guess the only way to explain it is that I can “feel” her inside of me. Sometimes, when I am under a great deal of stress, I can feel her will come through me and I will do things that I normally wouldn’t do. You may not realize it, but I am very reserved. Very quiet. I keep to myself for certain reasons. I don’t cuss, I rarely argue. I rarely make eye contact with others. If and when I do, it’s when I am bending to her will. The only way I can explain this it feels as if she is sort of taking control of me and speaking on my behalf. She isn’t afraid to be confrontational and she can sometimes have a mouth on her.

I can only imagine what you’re thinking. This is the part where most people leave me. This is mostly why I’m alone. No one wants to associate with a “crazy person.” When I finally told some of my family and friends about my diagnosis, they started to ignore me. Some of them I don’t hear from anymore, especially those with children. They here those words, my diagnosis, and they instantly think I am this maniac. They think I am dangerous and that I’m going to go crazy and kill someone. The saddest thing about it all is my doctors believe the reason why this is happening to me is because I’ve been a victim of violence in my life. That accident at 13 wasn’t really an accident. My brother violently rammed my head into the ground with every intention of hurting me. He got what he wanted and damaged me for life. I know I’ve mentioned my ex wife to you. She was a bitter and vicious woman that physically and mentally abused me for many, many years. During the lowest times with her, she forced me into the shower at gun point and made me strip naked. She then turned up the water as hot as it would go and forced me to shower that way. She had this idea that I was cheating on her so she wanted to wash the “stench of those other women” off of me. I wasn’t cheating on her at all. She was just a very jealous and bitter woman, incredibly possessive. (Sound familiar?) She made me stand there as my skin burned from the scalding hot water. I still have nightmares about it. It’s not something you just forget. There were countless other times where she would throw items like pots and pans at me, destroy my belongings, you name it, she probably did it to me. Even then, I was ill. I was so depressed I almost took my own life several times. I know you can relate to feeling that low. I had no friends and I wasn’t allowed to speak with my family. I was completely under her control.

Even then I heard Olivia’s voice. The worse times though where when I knew she was there, but she wouldn’t say anything to me. I wanted her to tell me not to kill myself, but she knew it was pointless. Yes, I’ve named her. After 22 years, yes, you’re gonna name that little voice in your head.

This is the point where I feel you may just slowly back away. I can’t blame you. I don’t blame anyone for leaving me. I mean everyone goes away in the end. You wouldn’t be the first. I haven’t even gotten into the nerve damage I deal with. That’s a whole other story.

All I know is I took way too many sleeping pills and now they are kicking in. Don’t worry though. I won’t die. I never get to die. I get to keep living in pain. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone lives in pain. I guess that’s true. I’m sick in the head, sick in my body, and I get to live in severe pain the rest of my life. What a life that is.

Sometimes I think I’m developing a split personality with the way she seems to take me over. I don’t mind it at all though. In a way, it’s sort of funny. Sometimes for no reason she gives me endorphin rushes that kill my pain for a couple of minutes. Like I said, she takes care of me. I’m crazy for thinking she’s real, but she’s all I’ve got. Sometimes I start to lose control and all I hear is her voice telling me to go for my pills. The good pills…the ones that calm me down. Sometimes I wish she were a real person. Of course, after all these years, I’m sure I’ve idealized her and there will never be a real person that could compare to her. She’s not perfect though. She has her faults. She tells me not to eat sometimes. She cusses at all the wrong times. She tells me if I take 10 sleeping pills, I’ll probably still live. She gets angry when other drivers do stupid things on the road.

I’m alone in the world. I doubt anyone will ever really understand my plight. I don’t expect them to. I’m not easy to get along with all the time because of my illness. Sometimes I think I’m ok, but then 5 minutes later I am a mess. I don’t know what else I can say about it. My doctor once asked me how often I think about killing myself. My answer? Every day. Every single day of my life for the last 22 years, I’ve thought about dying. The upside is I’m not afraid of death anymore. If it comes, it comes. The benefit of having no friends is that my death won’t be much of a loss to the world. Even Olivia doesn’t argue with me about it. She knows it’s my life and if I choose to end it, it’s up to me. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just end it. I have enough pills to kill a horse if I wanted. Maybe I’m still clinging to a small shred of hope that something will change. I don’t know. Maybe tonight I’ll just kill myself and that will be that. At least I won’t bother anybody anymore.


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Here we are for the third installment. I didn’t have on yesterday because it was all the same stuff. Today is slightly different so we can go from there.

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Schizophrenia Poetry is new. Makes me think I need to put a few more sonnets up so people can read them and tell me I am crazy. Rudy is still a hot search topic. Make sure to pick up here work here. 

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