I often try to write poetic pieces about my mental health, I was going to try this week but I just do not have the energy.
I don’t like to use my blog as a sort of diary or to vent, though I have done so a few times recently.
Today is one of those times.
A few weeks ago, I decided it was time for me to come off benzos, I’ve been on them a few years now at a very high dose. I had asked both my care coordinator and my GP about cutting them out or changing to something else (several times), each time I was told “just take less”, I finally got fed up with this ‘advice’ and asked for another medication review with the doctor within the community mental health team.
He has been very helpful in the benzo department, he switched me to a different one at a lower dose to help wean me off. (Even though we both agreed, I wasn’t really addicted), it’s just always better to stop these things slowly.
A few weeks later, he increased my mood stabiliser to help me cope with the change and deal with the increase in anxiety. I went from 50mg twice daily to 75mg to 100mg within a few weeks.
It has not further stabilised my mood, it has done the opposite.
I have been moodier, angrier and more tearful. This could just be due to lack of sleep from the lower dose in benzo so I said nothing.
I thought it would settle down but after a few weeks my tiredness was only increasing. I was so exhausted, I struggled to carry out my usual daily tasks, cooking the family meal was like running a marathon. (We’ve eaten far too much pizza and mcdonalds in the past few weeks!)
Towards the end of the second week on the highest dose I started breaking out in a rash (a known potentially serious side effect of this drug and something I had experienced very mildly a year ago when I was first put on it that went away on it’s own) half way through the third week however and it had spread, I was feeling very unwell, headaches, nausea, painful joints; sort of like a flu.
I went to see the GP and they agreed I may be experiencing side effects from the rapid increase, they advised I immediately drop back down a dose and wait a while before trying to increase it again… Which is great, except they refused to prescribe the lower dose until the CMHT had okayed it and I had to carry on the higher dose until they could get hold of them.
My GP always does this. They won’t change or tweak my medication in any way, it always has to come from CMHT. When my medication has been changed, they just won’t prescribe me anything for several months after even if they’ve been warned about the change. It’s so frustrating because I end up running out of pills! When my benzo was changed, the GP didn’t send over my antidepressant script and I had to get 2 emergency doses from my usual pharmacy to cover the weekend, GP still refused Monday and I had to skip a dose that day until I could get hold of CMHT.
My care coordinator is non existent, I haven’t seen nor heard from him since February, I currently have an ongoing complaint about his conduct. The psych doctors are very helpful but so over-stretched it is nearly impossible to get hold of them especially when you don’t have a care coordinator to go through. I spoke to someone on duty and was told that my care coordinator was informed and should have sorted it, I still have not heard from him…
Eventually one of the doctors within a neighbouring team agreed to prescribe for me so that’s good.
I’ve been back on the lower dose for about a week, the rash is fading, no longer itchy but still there, the flu like symptoms are also fading but I am still just so fucking tired it’s unbelievable.
By the time this has been posted, I will have seen the psych doctor again, hopefully this will be sorted.
(I schedule most of my posts so they always go up on the same days each week)
In summary, I am an angry, snotty, tearful ball of anxiety that wants to sleep for a year but can’t go a few hours without waking up.