My Med Holiday Is Over

So, as you might know if you’ve already troubled to check out my recent post on LiveJournal, I managed to lose my medical insurance at the end of August, and my supply of atypical antipsychotic (AP) medication ran out at the beginning of this month. Without insurance, APs are ungodly expensive, and I am not a wealthy man, so I have been on what’s called a ‘med holiday’ for a few weeks.

The AP remains in my system for a couple of weeks after I stop taking it, gradually lessening in effect, with a corresponding increase in symptoms. Which means that for the past week, I have been suffering more and more from ‘voices’.

My experience of voices does not quite rise to the level of auditory hallucination. It’s definitely like hearing a voice, or more than one voice, but the voices don’t seem to be in the same room as me. They seem to be coming from the near distance, or coming in telepathically.

Two clinical terms for schizophrenia symptoms are ‘thought insertion’ and ‘thought broadcasting’. With insertion, the sufferer feels that thoughts not his own are somehow being put into his head. With broadcasting, he feels that his own thoughts can be heard by others. These symptoms combine hallucination with delusion.

someone

I have not been delusional this past week. I know that the voices I am experiencing are my own thoughts, just manifesting in a different way than is the norm. This important truth can be hard to hold onto, though, because the voices often address me by name or as ‘you’, or talk together about me using ‘he’. As you can imagine, it is supremely disconcerting.

Hearing voices is not only confusing and irritating and frustrating, but also very distracting and fatiguing. It can make it hard to function, especially at work. Imagine having someone over your shoulder talking to you every minute. Or a few people within earshot talking about you all the time. They just won’t shut up! They pounce on every thought or impression I have, and reiterate it or comment (usually disparagingly) on it. Every little thought. After a few hours of it, I just want to be asleep.

The great news is that today I saw my head shrinker and she pulled some strings and got me an AP injection free of charge. The injectables are time-released in a big way, so I will need a shot only every six weeks. Since today was my first AP shot ever, I will need to continue with oral meds for the next three weeks while the injectable kicks in. Happily, the pharmacy also cut me a break, and I was able to get 21 of these pills, which usually run almost ten bucks a pop, for just $80. Long story short, my med holiday has ended.

Why am I going into all this detail about symptoms and meds here on wee ditty? Well, I have the pleasant feeling that a few of the kind people who are following me here are actually concerned and interested. If ‘concerned and interested’ does not describe you, then I’m surprised you’ve bothered to read this far into this post, but maybe it can do you a little good to be exposed to the realities of life with Sz, as opposed to what the entertainment industry feeds us about it, which is generally scary misinformation, or what we see in the media, which is often even scarier. The atrocious stigma on Sz is unacceptable!

Anyway, yeah, had a rough week of symptoms. In addition to the voices, when I’m symptomatic, my willpower drops to nil. This is avolition. In its grips, I can’t for the life of me get myself to do all the little things I need to be doing like keeping up with the housework and even personal hygiene. I also suffer depression, though differently I think than most. For me, depression is physical. It is total lack of vim and vigor and vitality.

Looking forward to feeling better and doing better on my new regimen of medication.

floyd

“Brain Damage”

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You rearrange me ’till I’m sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
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9 comments

  1. So great to hear all of this and I for one am very glad you are high-functioning despite all of the challenges. You are a more interesting person than 99% of the people I know, which is saying something, so don’t ever forget how much you have to offer to those who seek intellectual stimulation.

    Like

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