The 27th of August was my last day using the CES, I’ll be calling Fisher Wallace to schedule a return and refund today. This does not mean the CES device is not effective or was not effective in my case – it is simply that due to uncontrolled variables I was unable to measure its efficacy for me and I can’t afford to spend $750 (yup, that much) on a device for which I can’t tell with certainty that it was effective.
My subjective feeling is that it helped – but I cannot quantify how much – and it would have to help a significant bit for me to be willing to pay that amount for it. My hope is to work through the current “uncontrolled variables” to a place of more stability in my life and perhaps purchase the device again and do another test run which would provide more reliable results.
I should also note that the fact that the CES did not have apparent life-altering positive effects for me does not indicate that the device will not work for many. I’d consider myself one of the worse case scenarios for treatment when it comes to OCD and Depression due to (a) childhood onset, (b) pervasive and fairly uninterrupted nature of illness throughout the course of my life, and (c) the difficulty that scrupulosity presents in treatment (I think psychologists call it “refractory”).
Until we have a better understanding of the biological, environmental, and other factors that contribute to mental illness and also how our unique set of DNA affects positively or negatively certain forms of treatment, almost every mode of treatment will succeed for some and fail for others, or at least be inhibited in its usefulness.
I’d encourage others who are experiencing depression, anxiety, insomnia, or chronic pain and are looking for treatment options to consider the Fisher Wallace CES. It doesn’t appear to cause any long-lasting side effects and is less expensive than long-term psychiatric medications. I’d love to hear from you if you have used the CES device with success – I’d also love to see some other chronological journals such as I have made here. This will help establish whether the CES is working for folks or whether there is a placebo effect.
So what happens now? A lot. First off, as I mentioned previously, I have a new psychiatrist (not sure what happened to my old one) and he took me off Adderall and upped my Wellbutrin. I have some Adderall left, but I am going to discontinue its use today and begin taking the increased Wellbutrin (which is the same dosage but taken multiple times a day). This way if I experience significant negative effects from moving to the Wellbutrin I can move back onto the Adderall until I can schedule another appointment.
I’ll probably journal over the next few days how this works for me in a similar manner to how I’ve been journaling about the CES. I know some folks are worried about me going off the Adderall – b/c it has worked VERY well for me and seems to provide boosts in mood and immune system response in addition to treating ADD symptoms. I know the timing isn’t optimal for a switch in medications – but it is a lot less expensive for me ($50 for all my medications for a month instead of nearly $200), so we’ll give it a try and I promise to keep someone informed if I experience any significant negative effects (In this case, the main concern is suicidal ideation. This is more common in teenagers but can occur in adults – but I have never responded to a medication with suicidal ideation…and Wellbutrin (Bupropion) that I’ve been taking thus far has had a positive effect without any noticeable negative side effects).
I was up till 2 am on Tuesday (27th), unable to sleep. I woke up at 8:15 and began my day. At 9 am I headed out for a meeting and was home by around noon. The meeting was difficult – but not as difficult as it had been the last time.
Yet, it must have been somewhat exhausting b/c for the first time in a number of days I took a real nap – an entire hour. Still not the usual two hours, but I think even the doubling from what has been usual recently indicates the psychological exhaustion I experienced.
I prepared for a leadership meeting in the evening with John B., John S., Will, Woo, Kyle, Brice, Sarah, Cayla, and Taylor. It was good to have John S. and Woo back with us after their absence over the summer – once Cassandra returns to us we’ll be all back together again.
I always enjoy these meetings – I love the discussion, passion, and the laughter.
The day in general was “decent” – the meeting was a high point for me – but the day throughout was more difficult than the last few – probably equivalent to Sunday. It wasn’t a bad day, but it wasn’t a good day either.
In the evening I became “listless” (unguided, dispurposeful, confused) and started sinking into depression, but I fought it off by reading 1 Chronicles and RSS feeds on Feedly and then watching some TV.
I binge ate – which I haven’t done in a long time. When I say “binge” I don’t mean “I ate huge quantities of food” but I “continued to eat past the point of satiation.” This point results in a slight nausea and discomfort. I watched some TV and then went to bed by 12 am, without taking clonazepam or using the CES (I did use it in the morning).
This could have descended into a bad day, but my usual coping mechanisms worked in this case (reading, RSS feeds, TV, food). While I attempt to use each of these in moderation, I’d say I’m just glad they worked. For a while now nothing has worked – the darkness has been too deep and the usual coping methods have been exhausted and I still find the darkness just as impenetrable as before…
I hope this means that my resilience is increasing a bit – that is, my ability to bounce back from negative experiences (and by negative I mean anything from a negative thought to a major interpersonal conflict).
This morning I have another meeting with a lot of potential for difficulty and conflict. I’m trying not to ruminate, trying to place it in God’s capable hands, trying to prepare to love someone even if they are unreasonable. I expect it will be a significant test of whether I’m actually getting better…