I met with the psychiatrist today, as I had previously agreed to. I don’t have a whole lot to say about the situation- it went exactly as I expected. It started with her asking why I was there and me giving my mental health and medical history. Then we discussed Eli’s accident. Then she asked several other questions about the accident and my reaction and the way things have been lately. And then she diagnosed me with PTSD with some depression and anxiety. And then started discussing medications.
It’s not that I was under any delusion that I was going to leave the office without a prescription in hand, but I guess somewhere along the line I thought we could discuss whether medication was truly necessary and I suppose the answer to that was somewhat embedded in everyone’s very serious attitude about my treatment. My doctor is a resident so I also got to meet with her attending, who I liked very much and who, half way through, asked me if I wanted to be there. And before I could even stop it, the word no blurted right out of my mouth.
But, as I went onto explain, I understand why I needed to be there. I see that my treatment was not working at its current levels, I see that I need more help and I know that I need to do this for my son.
And so I walked out with a prescription and a plan. I’m starting one medication this week (the name of which I will not be disclosing) in addition to moving one of my current meds from as needed to nightly. Next week I’ll go back and we’ll see how things are going. If the new med is working, we’ll titrate it up and add another one that’s been tested for PTSD related nightmares, but which carries a bit of a medical risk for me and will require more monitoring. If the first med doesn’t work, we’ll try a different one and so on until we find the right one. If the first med and the nightmare med both work, we’ll continue to increase the doses of both until we reach the desired level and then potentially exchange one I’m already on for a different med with a longer half-life. The answer to how long I’ll be on these medications was a hearty “it depends.”
So basically I’m going to go from one as needed medication to 2 daily and a different as needed med with no real end in sight.
I have a lot of mixed emotions about this. It’s nice to know that this is a real diagnosed condition and that there are medications that can be used to treat it. It’s nice to know that I have a bunch of medical professionals on board who are interested in helping me get better. These are good things. Taking 3 different medications for an unknown duration is difficult. Knowing that this is a long process is difficult. Fearing that it isn’t going to get better is the worst.
I’m working hard to see accepting medication as a strength not as a weakness, but it really is a process right now. It’s hard to not see this as a big loss of control, as a big fault, or at least a bigger fault since it’s not like I’m living under the impression that everything else is fine. I know that in time this will get easier, but for the current period, it’s difficult.
But it’s not something that cannot be overcome. And if anything, taking this step makes me want to fight harder to get there, to get past this, and to get the life that I want and the life my family deserves. So even if my motivation isn’t entirely pure (though it mostly is), I think the end result, getting better, is what matters the most.