Tales from the Psych Ward Part VI

hospital psych ward hallway with one open door
Photo by Erkan Utu on Pexels.com

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. 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

The post Cell Phones on Psych Wards—Yea or Nay? is the hub for all psychiatric hospitalization-related content on Mental Health @ Home.

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

  1. Sounds like a Freudian wannabe half-deaf psychiatrist. Nice. Glad he’s gone.

    I’m sorry I’ve no experience with an MAOI, only SSRIs. I’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 I’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 😆

    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 I’ve seen a little more on the positive side than not. But you’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 he’s been on “loads” of psych meds that have never worked. He’s now on 6mg Emsam and has “Never had any adverse reactions. Feel great and love life!”

    I’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 all’s okay now.

    Sending lots of love and best wishes, Ashley. We’re all rooting for you 💜💙💚💛

    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.

  2. I wish I could help with the MOI’s but I have no experience…lamogatrine worked decently for me but as you said, it’s for bipolar depression. It also makes it even harder to concentrate so I think it might suck for you. Good luck Ashley!

  3. 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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