ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
my medication story [cc]


this is my first scripted video which is
wild. today I want to talk about something that happens to me more often than I’d like it to, which is going off of my meds. I talk about it a little bit in my vlog that’s coming out on the 7th, which I filmed like during my most recent time off of my meds. I should probably tell you my story of getting on to meds, so here’s that. when I was in my junior or sophomore year of high school, I finally started seeing a therapist after I had a really big big breakdown. said therapist honestly wasn’t that good. she didn’t really seem to listen to me, she used my birth name. she used the wrong pronouns despite the fact that I was out- and she knew that I was out to my parents. she also never firmly diagnosed me with anything, which was aggravating because it made me feel really lost and
misunderstood and unheard. however, she did prescribe me zoloft. I saw her for about a year, I think, before I stopped and went off the zoloft for a bit over like the summer, while I was searching for a psychiatrist. I found one and he did put me back on Zoloft, and I would see him once a month. however, I was also going to him with the intent to get medication for my ADHD. I’ve been on strattera since I was little- about seven or so, which was right after I got diagnosed, but I weaned myself off of them. because a seven-year-old should totally have control over the their own psychiatric medication. I actually do think that kids should get a say in the treatment, but nobody in my life actually explained to me what the hell was happening so… I went back on the meds for a short bit of time between 10th and 11th grade, which wasn’t as good of an experience as intended. they didn’t really help me. but when I went off of them I would become terribly nauseous for a day or two, and then become nauseous again when I went back on them. not an ideal setup so I’m at this psychiatrist because I wanted to get ADHD meds that could work without me feeling like I was maybe possibly dying. because psychiatrists can’t diagnose people, I had to get a diagnosis on my own, which was very hard. I was very anxious, especially about phone calls and talking to new people. at my second appointment he told me not to come back until I had a proper diagnosis, because it had been nine or ten years since my first diagnosis, and ADHD, a lifelong condition, apparently needs to be retested just in case. and because I was too anxious to find someone to diagnose me, i ended up going off my meds for like a month. it was a low dose and I don’t quite remember what happened, but i know I was miserable that much I do remember. around that time, though, I did go to my physician for my like bi annual checkup, and I learned that: one) they had a social worker who could diagnose me with ADHD. two) they could fill my zoloft prescriptions. so I was back on the meds, and I saw their social worker she did diagnose me with ADHD and I think anxiety? but it wasn’t really clicking so like between that and the fact that I had to go away for school, I stopped seeing her. but I’m still on Zoloft through my physician. anyways! so on to what prompted me to make this video. after this also- this is a Content warning for graphic talk about like a mental breakdown kind of, and also discussion of suicidal thoughts and such. so I’m totally cool if you click away if you’re uncomfortable hearing about that, or that’s upsetting to you. no hard feelings. so earlier this week- for me like the past two days because I’m filming this the day I wrote this because I’m on top of my shit- about a week before this will be uploaded, I accidentally went off of my meds for the second time in about a month. and I’m gonna use the rest of this video to talk about both of those times. i’m gonna start with the like prior time and then do the most recent time. so I mentioned that I have ADHD, and that means i can be, you know, very forgetful. and the thing I’m most liable to forget is to take my meds. the first time I went off my meds was because of that. I forgot to take my meds for two days in a row, which for me meant that I got very low energy and my emotional regulation just kind of vanished. I can’t remember the exact contents of the day, but if it was the same day that I think it was, in one day I got in an argument with someone I trusted who thought it was okay to use the r slur, which makes me feel very unsafe, and then act like I was the aggressor in the situation for asking them to check their privilege. and then also I got the lowest grade I’ve gotten in my French class all year, which was way lower than I expected. and I think that was also the day that I learned that Charley staying in Boston this summer. and like each of these things I could for sure handle if they happened, like, individually. definitely if I was on my meds. but when they piled up and I was medless, I was brought to what was probably my most suicidal in a very long time. I think from like since like last semester? I did not trust myself to be alone so I set up shop in the library, and I asked my friends if I could hang out in their dorm to feel safe, once they were out of classes. and after I made it back to my dorm I did take my meds and I showered, and I did feel a little better. but I was still rattled, so I went over to my friends until I felt stable enough to be alone again. I know that the logical thing to do would have been to just go back to my dorm and take my meds as soon as possible after I remembered that I hadn’t taken them, but the multiple times I went back to my dorm that day, I would get there and completely forget that I needed to take my meds. even with it written on my hand. I was also so immobilized by fear that it felt safer to stay where I was in the library than to try to go back to my dorm. I do also have a toolbox in my dorm and I keep a knife in my purse which was in my dorm at the time, so I didn’t trust myself to go back and behave safely until my meds kicked in. the second time I went off my meds was the past couple of days. for when you’re watching that’s about a week ago. I didn’t know what to anticipate though. it wasn’t a slip of the mind that let led me to forgetting them, it was instead an event that made me realize that my life definitely sounds like a sitcom. Saturday, i went down in New York City, and as I was leaving I tried to pull open the top drawer of my dresser, which is where I keep my extra Polaroid film. I wanted to have some on hand, because I didn’t have a lot of shots left in the current pack that’s in my camera. and the drawer was stuck. I had to leave so I didn’t really think much about it, and I forgot until the next day. the problem is, I also keep my meds in that drawer. this wasn’t really a problem Saturday, because I kept my I keep my meds in a pill container which I fell at the beginning of every week and so I had Saturday’s meds but Sunday obviously wasn’t filled yet. I realized I had no idea when I would be able to access my meds next, so I buckled down knowing it might be a few days. so I had to plan for what that would entail, first I knew I would be able to go outside, because it’s spring and I wouldn’t be able to take my allergy medications, and I’ve really bad seasonal allergies. secondly i knew i would be exhausted, so I resolved to minimize my energy output usage, and let myself sleep as much as needed. i ended up not going to class on Monday, because I knew that that would take too much energy and I ended up sleeping instead, because I felt like I was like I felt like I was completely drained of all energy. and thirdly, I knew that my emotional regulation would be complete mess, so I decided to only surround myself with things that would make like said dysregulated emotions positive ones kind of? which took the form of watching John Mulaney videos on Netflix, and videos of the great comic cast being amazing. I also did put in a work order to have maintenance help me, but because it was the weekend I would have to wait a few days. so I got help from friends. one broken spoo,n four unsuccessful queer kids, an impromptu deep cleaning of the area behind my dresser, and learning what was blocking the drawer (it was my curling iron), we did manage to at least rescue my meds Monday afternoon. but the drawer was still like wedged shut. when I wrote this earlier today, I had come back from the dining hall and my drawers were just sitting on the floor. all the stuff that was like on top of the dresser was also on the floor or my desk. and so the frame of the dresser was just gone. so I got changed left and was like, “well I sure hope that they fixed that” and I came back after class and they did and everything’s fine now. I told the story partly as like a storytime type thing, because my life is absolutely ridiculous sometimes, and partly to normalize medication. like I used to worry a lot, and I still do sometimes, about meds changing who I am, or me becoming like super dependent on them. but the thing is people who don’t take meds? they’re just as a reliant on what my meds do for me, because their brain just does it for them naturally. so zoloft is an SSRI, which is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. *finger guns* it doesn’t make serotonin, but what happens is the serotonin is released and then after a period of time it gets like sucked back in. except my brain naturally does that too fast, so I don’t get the benefits of the serotonin. but my meds are like, ‘you need to stop slow down and let the serotonin chill for a little while.’ and it’s great. I love it. I love having that. I – it’s fabulous. for me that allows me to be able to regulate my emotions better, as I, without my meds, experience really intense, sudden, and short-lived mood swings. and also the meds do help me counteract my chronic fatigue which is awesome. going off my meds is definitely terrifying, but I’m slowly learning how to cope if it is out of my hands. also as far as, like, it changing who I am- this is who I would be if my brain functioned the way it’s supposed to. my meds are just letting me be who I should be. so to anyone who is watching this who’s on meds or might go on meds: there’s nothing wrong with that. you’re just getting your brain and body functioning closer to how other people’s do. and I’m very proud of you for that. because there’s so much stigma behind it, so good on you. (generic upbeat lo fi vlog music)

1 thought on “my medication story [cc]

  1. agh, i’ve had my share of bad therapists. sorry you went through that! it’s so nice to hear about someone’s treatment, i’m so glad you’re speaking out about this, there’s definitely not enough vids on the subject!

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