Fine Balance Between Meds and Refills
There is a debate in my community of PTSD discussing the benefits of using medication to treat PTSD vs. the side effects. There are individuals who are completely against medication and feel it is over prescribed. Then there are individuals like me who have found that the benefit heavily outweighs the side effect. When I think of this debate I think of the quote I heard over and over during the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). “It’s not for everyone.” When I discuss my treatment I want everyone out there to understand this and know I mean every word of it. My treatment, my choice of meds and counseling is not for everyone. I refuse to claim that I have found a perfect combination to treat PTSD. I have found a method in which I can be successful battling MY PTSD.
It’s not for everyone
I point this out because I spent quite a bit of time cursing my wife in the beginning of treatment. She would read something on the internet or on a Facebook group and then make me do it. When it did not work for me it only caused a fight between my wife and I. Did this method not work because I was so negative that I did not want it to work? Or, did this method just not do what I needed? This is the “chicken before the egg” debate. We could be up all night trying to determine which came first, but really does it matter? No. Fact is there are chickens and they are tasty!
I have not discussed much of the type of treatment I have been through or the battles I had with them. I have tried a few different methods and found a combination of things that helps me incredibly. I am 10 times better today then I was last year. With that said, I am nowhere near where I would like to be. During my cognitive treatment I tried and failed at several different methods to handle my PTSD. My problem was there was exactly ZERO seconds between “OK” Dave and PTSD Dave. I told my counselor that if there was only a moment in between where I could see it happening, THEN the methods I was learning would come in handy. Many methods are useless if you do not see the explosion of anger and hatred coming. My counselor was really good at not forcing meds on me. I told her in the beginning, “no meds!” I hit a point though where I KNEW the methods. For the life of me there was not a good time to use them. Afterwards, after my PTSD craziness, it was too late. The damage had been done and there was plenty to rebuild and apologize for.
Have you ever been so drunk you hit blackout mode? You are not passed out, you are drunk as hell and doing and/or saying a bunch of sh*T that you shouldn’t. The next morning you know somewhere inside you that something went horribly wrong but for the life of you, there is non recollection of what happened. You cannot even remember how you ended up in bed changed into your pajamas. This is my best description of the PTSD craziness. I snap! I say and do alot of things in a fit of absolute RAGE and cannot recall what I did. There is no recollection of what started it or anything I said. Many times my wife has came to me with tears, telling me what I said. During the beginning of treatment I did not believe her. In my mind those things would never be said about my wife, let alone by me. My wife is a liar, she regrets marrying me, and she is trying to get me to divorce her so she gets my kids, house, benefits, and I get jack sh*T! None of this is true of course and over time I started realizing that these were things I said and did. I carry a horrible guilt for this and I have no idea why she is still with me. She has endured more than any wife should be asked to endure.
Ultimately, I asked my counselor about meds. She sent me to the Psych to get a prescription, which is a whole other story for a whole other time. I started at 25mg’s of Zoloft. This worked fantastic! I could breathe! I could not remember when the last time I could breathe was! My counselor was amazed at how well such a small dose worked. Over time I decided to up the dosage a bit at a time until I hit my magical dose. By magical I mean it’s not so much that I am a zombie, but it is enough that more times than none I can see the PTSD coming. I fear upping it anymore for I do not want to mess with the balance I have found. No, it does not cure everything, it takes me just as much effort at using different methods to address the PTSD moments. The other challenge is I am on Lyrica for my back issues as well. Both of these meds are the kind that you do not want to just stop taking. I was told this, but have found out the hard way. It’s challenging to plan the right time to call the refill in. They mail me my meds and at times the mail and my timing is off by a day or two one way or the other. Sometimes it means it comes before I run out, sometimes I run out. The times I do run out are very difficult.
Today was a very difficult day for me. All day I have been high anxiety, high depression, high pain, all because my lyrica did not come as soon as I hoped it would. I was off by a day and a half or so. Being off lyrica, already having issues makes for a bad day. For example, my wife woke me up, instantly I feel I am late for work and try and head out the door as quickly as possible. The kids aren’t up, but now I cannot say goodbye, and I know they will not like this. So my wife is frustrated because I am trying to rush out. I then rush to the kids rooms, kiss them goodbye for work, kiss my wife and leave. Keep in mind I am leaving like 30 minutes earlier than ever but this does not matter. I FEEL late. I also feel depressed. I feel my wife is pissed at me but will not tell me why. All day I cannot talk to her as much as I would like and the thoughts of her being pissed just get worse as my imagination makes it a huge deal. I know logically she is not pissed at me, but emotionally I am exploding inside with horrible thoughts of losing my wife. I realize later in the day that I had a dream she was pissed and left me and would not tell me why. Now I know the reason I have spent all day feeling this. It’s difficult when my meds are messed up to differentiate dreams and reality. I spent most of my day in a mental fog, unable to concentrate like normal, waiting for my whole world to go upside down. Thank God my lyrica made it in the mail today. I did not know how much longer I could go as it really does affect me. I hate that I am dependent upon these meds, but I am grateful that I can give my wife and kids a somewhat normal life with them. These meds and my methods of addressing my PTSD moments combined are what keeps me able progressively get better.