Day 6 – Fluoxetine and Wellbutrin.

Take a wild guess how my day (9/2) started? That is right, with insomnia. I finally fell asleep around 4 and slept until 8. Not surprisingly, I did take a nap (1 hr. 40 mins.), though somewhat surprising is that I only took a single nap and it didn’t match the sleep deficit I had built.

It is Labor Day. I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated Labor Day, well maybe that is wrong. I can’t remember if Collages.net used to give us off for Labor Day…but from 2001-2005 and then from 2009-2013 when I was either a student or staff at Cairn, we didn’t get the day off. So, of course, I continued the tradition by not doing anything special on Labor Day – but that was just fine by me.

My emotional upset from Sunday continued into Monday and was accompanied by a nasty headache. I realized at some point that I was probably experiencing withdrawal. No, I haven’t started/stopped taking illicit drugs. But Adderall has some “withdrawal” symptoms – albeit minor when used as prescribed. These are the exact symptoms I had last time I went off Adderall.1When my legs were really bad I went off everything but fluoxetine b/c I was so desperate to figure out what was causing the issue towards the end…which, the doctors still haven’t figured out and which I still have, but it has generally remained at a livable level – with the exception of maybe one day every one or two months, then I’m incapacitated. If past experience holds true, the headaches should dissipate within the next day or two. In the meantime I’m taking generic Tylenol every few hours to ward off the skull ache.

I’ve decided to simplify – and am in the process of eliminating 70% or so of my personal library. I’m probably going to hold a big garage sale or something at some point – I imagine I’ll have 1,000-1,500 books to sell…So, I’ve been spending time sorting and inventorying books…still a long ways to go, I’ve maybe sorted through 20%.2My reasoning is complex – but essentially I want to have only the books I am going to be using in the immediate future, I have so many books that I will not be able to get to for 10 or 20 years, so I will just reacquire them (or get something newer and better) when I am finally ready (if ever) to read it. This will help me feel less cluttered in my mind, focus my attention, and make the books I actually want/need to read easier to find (I know that book is around here somewhere…I just can’t remember which pile of books and whether it is upstairs or downstairs).

I bought a copy of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy off Amazon a few days back. I had the old version of which I’ve read most of – which clocks in at 413 pages. The new one arrived and I noticed it was even heftier – 706 pages!

Anyways, this book is excellent and a must-read for anyone struggling with depression or anxiety. It is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which has shown itself in clinical trials to be a highly effective form of treatment (sometimes by itself, sometimes in conjunction with medication).

Dr. Burns (the author) worked with Aaron Beck and numerous other leaders in the field of CBT and is one of the leaders himself. I do wish that he had been a little less verbose (though perhaps the verbosity is part of the “cognitive” therapy – a repetition of basic but important ideas) and that he had not used such a large quantity of profane language. I say this b/c I am saddened that some might be turned off to this important book b/c of such a thing as profane language – which could be easily remedied and adds nothing (imho) to a book like this.4I understand that sometimes profane language seems the only way to express the emotions we are experiencing in the depths of depression and anxiety. I just don’t think it is necessary in this sort of book (a handbook on applying CBT to oneself) to communicate the ideas that are being presented.

Go get yourself a copy – it will be worth your money, even if you aren’t a sufferer but know someone who is suffering.

I’ve been reading the book since I received it – from the start – even though I had almost finished the old volume. I’ve also begun trying to write a “cliff notes” version which you can find here. I’m only around 1/10th done – so check back for more on a regular basis…and go get the full book – it is worth your time.

Even though Sunday and Monday have been rough – Monday especially has felt as if there is light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel is so long, when I look back I can’t see any light where I entered (early childhood) and when I look forward I see only the slightest lightening of shades in the dark – but it is a lightening…and so I feel hope like I have not felt in a long time.

I still ache. Sometimes I put my hand on my chest b/c it hurts so much and putting some pressure on it seems to help, but I think maybe there will be an end to the pain, somewhere, some day. I am constantly challenging my automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) and attempting to replace them with more positive, realistic, and plausible thoughts.

I’m still in “batten down the hatches” mode, but it is as if I am in the bowels of the ship and one can feel just the slightest lessening of the waves slamming against and washing over the ship and one knows – or one hopes – that this eternal storm will come to an end.

Now, don’t go to Feeling Good expecting miracles – I have hope, but if I apply the principles for an extended period of time and don’t experience improvement, I will lose hope. Also, I am now on twice the Wellbutrin I was before – and it is possible, rather likely, that the Wellbutrin is also significantly increasing my capacity to see/feel hope.

Interestingly, my vocal ticks, while still very subtle and infrequent have increased in frequency since going off Adderall. When I first went onto Adderall I had a significant uptick in vocal ticks to the point I would have had to discontinue the medication if they had not subsided with the passing of time.3This is a good reason not to abandon medications if they have livable side effects at the start, the side effects oftentimes taper off once your body has acclimated to the medication.

We will see where things go from here. I am a bit discouraged with the constant and significant insomnia I am experiencing and I’ve run out of clonazepam and over-the-counter medications don’t work[ref]Which is telling, since normally a little sip of Benadril will knock me out for hours. and I don’t want to go to the doctor to get a new prescription (I don’t have health insurance), but if it continues for a few more days, I will. Lets say if I am still having insomnia Thursday into Friday as bad as it has been/is, I’ll see the doctor.

Footnotes

1 When my legs were really bad I went off everything but fluoxetine b/c I was so desperate to figure out what was causing the issue towards the end…which, the doctors still haven’t figured out and which I still have, but it has generally remained at a livable level – with the exception of maybe one day every one or two months, then I’m incapacitated.
2 My reasoning is complex – but essentially I want to have only the books I am going to be using in the immediate future, I have so many books that I will not be able to get to for 10 or 20 years, so I will just reacquire them (or get something newer and better) when I am finally ready (if ever) to read it. This will help me feel less cluttered in my mind, focus my attention, and make the books I actually want/need to read easier to find (I know that book is around here somewhere…I just can’t remember which pile of books and whether it is upstairs or downstairs).

I bought a copy of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy off Amazon a few days back. I had the old version of which I’ve read most of – which clocks in at 413 pages. The new one arrived and I noticed it was even heftier – 706 pages!

Anyways, this book is excellent and a must-read for anyone struggling with depression or anxiety. It is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which has shown itself in clinical trials to be a highly effective form of treatment (sometimes by itself, sometimes in conjunction with medication).

Dr. Burns (the author) worked with Aaron Beck and numerous other leaders in the field of CBT and is one of the leaders himself. I do wish that he had been a little less verbose (though perhaps the verbosity is part of the “cognitive” therapy – a repetition of basic but important ideas) and that he had not used such a large quantity of profane language. I say this b/c I am saddened that some might be turned off to this important book b/c of such a thing as profane language – which could be easily remedied and adds nothing (imho) to a book like this.[ref]I understand that sometimes profane language seems the only way to express the emotions we are experiencing in the depths of depression and anxiety. I just don’t think it is necessary in this sort of book (a handbook on applying CBT to oneself) to communicate the ideas that are being presented.

3 This is a good reason not to abandon medications if they have livable side effects at the start, the side effects oftentimes taper off once your body has acclimated to the medication.
4 I understand that sometimes profane language seems the only way to express the emotions we are experiencing in the depths of depression and anxiety. I just don’t think it is necessary in this sort of book (a handbook on applying CBT to oneself) to communicate the ideas that are being presented.

Go get yourself a copy – it will be worth your money, even if you aren’t a sufferer but know someone who is suffering.

I’ve been reading the book since I received it – from the start – even though I had almost finished the old volume. I’ve also begun trying to write a “cliff notes” version which you can find here. I’m only around 1/10th done – so check back for more on a regular basis…and go get the full book – it is worth your time.

Even though Sunday and Monday have been rough – Monday especially has felt as if there is light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel is so long, when I look back I can’t see any light where I entered (early childhood) and when I look forward I see only the slightest lightening of shades in the dark – but it is a lightening…and so I feel hope like I have not felt in a long time.

I still ache. Sometimes I put my hand on my chest b/c it hurts so much and putting some pressure on it seems to help, but I think maybe there will be an end to the pain, somewhere, some day. I am constantly challenging my automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) and attempting to replace them with more positive, realistic, and plausible thoughts.

I’m still in “batten down the hatches” mode, but it is as if I am in the bowels of the ship and one can feel just the slightest lessening of the waves slamming against and washing over the ship and one knows – or one hopes – that this eternal storm will come to an end.

Now, don’t go to Feeling Good expecting miracles – I have hope, but if I apply the principles for an extended period of time and don’t experience improvement, I will lose hope. Also, I am now on twice the Wellbutrin I was before – and it is possible, rather likely, that the Wellbutrin is also significantly increasing my capacity to see/feel hope.

Interestingly, my vocal ticks, while still very subtle and infrequent have increased in frequency since going off Adderall. When I first went onto Adderall I had a significant uptick in vocal ticks to the point I would have had to discontinue the medication if they had not subsided with the passing of time.3This is a good reason not to abandon medications if they have livable side effects at the start, the side effects oftentimes taper off once your body has acclimated to the medication.

We will see where things go from here. I am a bit discouraged with the constant and significant insomnia I am experiencing and I’ve run out of clonazepam and over-the-counter medications don’t work[ref]Which is telling, since normally a little sip of Benadril will knock me out for hours.

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