Tales from the Psych Ward Part VI

Friday was my last day of dealing with the half-deaf psychiatrist who was covering while my regular doctor has been away. Half-deaf dude was fond of asking about the tedious minutiae of events from 15 years ago, and wanting me to come up with hypothetical what ifs also related to things from 15 years ago. It made me want to pull my hair out. He wanted to have a “long phone call” with my brother, but I didn’t want to subject my poor brother to what would probably be an hour of irrelevant questions about stuff from childhood. I considered lying and saying my brother didn’t have time, but decided to just say it didn’t make sense for him to talk to my brother when he was never going to see me again.

This week I’ve got a different doctor covering, as my regular doctor. She’s talking about options for med changes. She mentioned a tricyclic antidepressants, but those can cause fatal cardiac arrhythmias in overdose, and I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to have something like that on hand at home. Lamotrigine is another option she brought up, although the evidence for it in unipolar depression is much weaker than for bipolar depression. My blogging friend Genevieve has found the MAOI antidepressant selegiline (Emsam) helpful; it comes in patch form and doesn’t require a tyramine-restricted diet like other MAOIs do (and I’d have a hard time motivating myself to take an MAOI that required me to stop eating cheese, which contains tyramine). Has anyone tried selegiline or any other MAOI?

My ECT has been changed from bifrontal to bitemporal electrode placement, as that’s been most effective for me in the past. It’s also more likely to have memory-related side effects, but I figure that’s just part of the process.

My brother brought my niece by on Sunday to take me home on a pass. It was nice to see her and the guinea pigs. The guinea pig boys have always been scared of her for some reason.

We also picked up lunch from a take-out place, and either I got food poisoning from it or I picked up the GI bug that my niece had. Yesterday morning I fainted while walking from the bathroom back to bed, but luckily didn’t hit my head on anything when I fell.

The computers are in the ward dining room, where there also happens to be a tv. Often, the tv is on, and sometimes, the person at the other computer will also have something noisy going on on that computer. My concentration is lousy to begin with, and trying to concentrate with noisy stuff going on is particularly challenging.

Thanks to everyone who gave input on advice and resources for newly diagnosed people (and feel free to pop on over to those posts if you have anything you’d like to add). I’m working on putting the page together, and it should be ready to publish later this week.

Thanks also to everyone for your ongoing support!

You can also read Tales from the Psych Ward part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V

46 thoughts on “Tales from the Psych Ward Part VI”

  1. My concentration is nonexistent when there is noise. So much so I order airpod pros yesterday. They are noise-canceling earbuds. There are on the expensive side but I borrowed my sisters for a few days to make sure they are worth it. I deemed them so โ˜บ๏ธ they will be here Saturday and for some odd reason, I feel like they may change my life ๐Ÿ˜‚ lets hope so as my focus is horrid!

    1. My BFF bought me airpods cause he was tired of me having to put him on speaker when I had to get chores done. They are SUPER expensive (at least to me) but that noise canceling feature is the thing of DREAMS.

  2. I’m sorry you had food poisoning. Are you feeling any better? I hope your current psychiatrist is better than the previous ones.

    I’ve never been on a MOAI. I wouldn’t like to give up cheese either, although I dod for a bit when I had IBS.

  3. Never really heard too much about MOAI’s. This doctor seems to be a bit on the ball so that sounds like a good thing for you–I hope she listens to your opinions on med changes because I think that’s really important.
    Glad to hear you’re feeling a bit better today. What a terrible place to have a tummy bug! I’m glad you get to go out once in awhile and see the piggies. I’m sure they miss you too. Take good care of yourself….xx

  4. I’m glad your ECT was changed, and I hope the new format will work better for you. I am glad you got to go home on Sunday for a day pass, but sorry you picked up a bug, those things are nasty! Big hugs, you know I love you and am always thinking of you. Xoxo

  5. Fainting sounds scary. So does heart attack from meds. Memory loss sounds more tempting lol

    Any interest in digging into your past once youโ€™re out of acute care?

    Glad you got to see niece and piggies

    1. There isn’t anything all that interesting in my past. My illness generally hasn’t felt like a proportionate response to what’s been going on in my life. Still, memory loss definitely has an appeal to it.

  6. Oh crap, how is your stomach feeling today? I hope you’re doing better. I never realized there were different electrode positions for ECT. I wonder what I had done ๐Ÿค”. I had a lot of memory loss, but it was quite effective.

    1. The stomach bug has passed by today, thankfully.

      Usually they start with right-sided unilateral ECT, and then move to bifrontal or bitemporal if there’s an inadequate response.

  7. Glad your stomach bug has passed and no injuries from passing out with it.

    Glad you get to see your guinea pigs , as I know you will be missing one another.

    I think I would have said the same thing to the doctor regarding whats the point phoning brother when the doc is only temporary there covering. Its not like anything would have got followed through.

  8. Glad you’re doing better, though not glad about the stomach bug. Phew glad you weren’t injured. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

    I’ve never been on a MAOI and I didn’t know tricyclic antidepressants can cause heart stuff in overdose!

    Much admiration for how you’re advocating for yourself. The half deaf psychiatrist would be really annoying if I saw him. Questioning about the past, particularly as he seemed to be trying to dig around to some kind of trauma(s)… shouldn’t be done in that manner even when the patient has trauma, omfg. Is he like…stuck in the 1980s when they thought all you’d need to do is talk amd cry about trauma to heal? That backfired horrifically and Janina Fisher has written a reflection on her 40 years of psychology and the harm she did back then…

  9. It’s great that you got to see the piggies, they must’ve missed you! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ugh, food poisoning/bug in psych hospital sounds just like the perfect combination. Sorry you had to deal with this, but I’m glad you’re feeling better by now.
    I wouldn’t be too keen on a MAOI either, not only because of having to give up cheese but also kefir. I’d have to be really desperate to go that route and deprive myself of kefir I suppose. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Hi Ashley! I’m really glad to hear that things are slowly moving in the right direction. Hopefully the new doc takes better care of you :/ the last one sounded like he was trying to do way too much for both of your own good! Sending good vibes, I’m looking forward to that page you’re putting together ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel better soon!

  11. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I think all illnesses should be cancelled for the duration of psychiatric/recovery inpatient treatment. There’s enough going on. Sending recovery energy and vibes ๐Ÿ’–

  12. Sounds like a Freudian wannabe half-deaf psychiatrist. Nice. Glad heโ€™s gone.

    Iโ€™m sorry Iโ€™ve no experience with an MAOI, only SSRIs. Iโ€™ve looked up selegiline, which is foremost used for Parkinsons. The first info that came up was for the oral form which seems like it can dissolve on the tongue, but it still comes with cautions for gastric ulceration so Iโ€™d imagine they should include something like Omeprazole to protect the stomach when taking it. It says high blood pressure is predicted if you take it with tyramine-rich food so yeah, no Bovril (who likes that?) or Marmite. Seriously, does anyone like Bovril? Even those who haven’t tried it don’t like it ๐Ÿ˜†

    For the patch, it says it has been shown to be safe and effective for major depressive disorder in short and long term studies according to the FDA. At the lowest dose, no modified diet required, like you said. Reviews are like the reviews for any other medication – some are glowing, some are hideous, but I guess Iโ€™ve seen a little more on the positive side than not. But youโ€™re somewhere where you can be monitored so if you get shitty side-effects quickly, they can swap Emsam out for something else. To end on a positive note, one reviewer says heโ€™s been on โ€œloadsโ€ of psych meds that have never worked. Heโ€™s now on 6mg Emsam and has โ€œNever had any adverse reactions. Feel great and love life!โ€

    Iโ€™m glad you got to see your brother, niece and guinea pigs. What luck to get some bug or poisoning from the outing though, that sucks. I hope allโ€™s okay now.

    Sending lots of love and best wishes, Ashley. We’re all rooting for you ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’›

    Caz xxxx

    1. Thanks, sweet pea!

      I guess that’ll teach me to stick my two-year-old niece’s fingers in my mouth and nibble on them…

      Thanks for the selegiline research! I’ve discovered that my drug plan doesn’t fully cover it, so I’ll have to check with a pharmacist to see what percentage is covered, and whether it’ll be cost-prohibitive.

  13. I wish I could help with the MOIโ€™s but I have no experienceโ€ฆlamogatrine worked decently for me but as you said, itโ€™s for bipolar depression. It also makes it even harder to concentrate so I think it might suck for you. Good luck Ashley!

  14. Here’s hoping the proposed med changes are helpful without a lot of potentially harmful side effects. Also glad you got to see family and pets again. Sorry about the food poisoning and fainting. So glad you’re OK!

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