Reach Far and Wide

My last blog post about geriatric consulting is one to reference in a less more formal call to action. Within the next month I will be doing research as to the plausibility of completing the circle of mental health care for elderly in long-term care facilities. I seek to obtain the perspective of every person effected by this gap in care. I wish to obtain the insight of nursing professionals, family members of residents, Certified Nurse’s Aide’s, and I will be speaking to long-term care facility administrators to present them the opportunity to provide services such as these to their residents.

A quick recap for those that have not been made aware; the mental health treatment of the elderly in long-term care facilities is provided at the suggestion of the overstaffed nurses to the psychiatrist/physician rather than a psychiatrist with a specific plan of action for progress including regular counseling which is a part of every treatment plan for adults under the care of a psychiatrist. In my three years as a CNA, working in four different facilities, not once did I ever see a psychiatrist personally evaluate a patient. Not once did I see a therapist/counselor come to the facility for an appointment for a patient, neither did I see a resident/patient transported away from the facility for this service. We have to ask why is there such a gap in the circle of mental health care for the elderly, and what can we do to remedy this?

I plan to work with psychiatrists and nursing home professionals to provide complete mental health care to residents/patients of long-term care facilities with one-on-one appointments. My goal being to provide educated evaluations to provide to the individual’s psychiatrist, as well as an opportunity for personal therapy which is sorely lacking for residents/patients no longer in their homes, under conditions they have very little control over, and potentially very little family near or available to be there when needed. I want to be that person to make the difference. For scheduled appointments, regular appointments, emergency appointments, or anything else that comes up to potentially be beneficial.

Please take the few seconds to share this information on any source you possibly can. It could literally change and potentially lengthen the lives of elderly loved ones. Link to my original business proposal below. Thank you!!

https://lifewithoutpain186595278.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/psychiatric-consulting-in-long-term-care-facilities/

Advertisements

Unnecessary Medications

I have come to the realization that I have been taking the wrong medication for far too long, and I wonder how many people are in the same boat. How long have we been taking medications with more side effects than there are benefits? How do we realize this? How do we bring it to our doctor’s attention? Isn’t that truly their job to conclude? How long do we put up with this nonsense and continue to pump unnecessary chemicals into our bodies? Do we finally just adjust the meds down/out ourselves? How safe is this decision? How many of you are having to pay out of pocket for these medications causing unruly side effects with no real improvement in the quality of life? I can only share my story, but I know there are literally millions of people dealing with the same qualms.

I have been on a medication called quetiapine (along with many others) for probably around eight months now. And for those eight months getting out of bed in the morning has been physically impossible. Some doctors have referred to this as the “hangover” effect, and I have been told to just wait it out and “hopefully” it will just go away. It has been eight months and I still cry nearly every morning with overwhelming emotions and a body that feels like lead when it’s time for me to rise for the day. Though, there have been three specific times where this did not occur. When prescribed the medication I was told not to take it if I was not going to be able to get a full eight hours of sleep. Three times I have gone to bed super late, knowing I wasn’t going to get a full eight hours, and I did not take my nighttime medications. Even on only two hours of sleep, I felt better waking up those mornings than I had in many months. Why could this be?

Perhaps these medications are simply not right for me specifically, and I simply need to find another course. I recently started seeing a different psychiatrist, though instead of changing any of my current medications he simply added another one – a tranquilizer. He told me this would help with those overwhelming emotions, racing thoughts, and anxiety. Neither my partner nor myself have noticed any difference in those facets of my life. This doctor truly believes this medication will help me. I disagree. At what point do I take the situation into my own hands and just stop taking the medication(s)? If I feel a million times better (and less depressed and hopeless) in the morning without the medication, how can there truly be a benefit?

I have to acknowledge the danger of just stopping a medication – particularly some of the antipsychotics – without a doctor’s review. There can be more major side effects from this; another downside to these medications. Psychosis and depression can worsen to an extreme degree for the first several weeks off of a medication that was providing a steady level of chemical to the brain particularly for an extended period of time. When taking those medications it is, generally, supplying the brain with chemicals that the brain is supposedly not producing sufficient amounts of naturally – so the brain will stop self-producing these chemicals entirely because the pills are keeping the steady levels. So, when one removes those chemicals the brain goes into a varying level of shock – which can produce a multitude of different side effects on the brain and body.

Thankfully, I have insurance that pays for the doctors to keep throwing these different pills at me. Though, I’m aware of plenty of people that are actually throwing their hard earned money into these “treatments” – just to end up with horrible side effects and little-to-no benefit. People that are reaching out for assistance because this world and society have simply become too much to bear on our own. This is NOT a weakness. It takes a massive level of strength to ask for help. I would know – because I never do. I am one of those people that is entirely too stubborn and would rather fail on my own than ask for help to succeed. It’s a problem. Though, a long time ago I started down this path of medicinal mental health treatment because if I didn’t I was going to end my life. And that’s a kind of failure that was not fair to the individuals around me to embrace.

That is the primary reason I still support the current mental health system even with all of its flaws and broken aspects. Because there are people out there that do benefit from medicinal treatment. Less than we would desire or expect, but they are still out there. People that would be ending their lives otherwise and diminishing any potential they may have had. Yet, there are some people that have been in treatment for most of their lives and still can’t manage to survive. Robin Williams is the primary example. He struggled with anxiety and depression his entire life. He was also in treatment for it for most of his life. Though at a certain point, he simply couldn’t handle it anymore. He wasn’t seeing enough benefit from the treatment his surplus of money could easily afford to WANT to survive. There are all too many of us living a similar reality. At what point do we take a stand? HOW  do we even take a stand?

I am lucky enough to love and live with someone that accepts all of my flaws and helps me monitor myself. He reigns me in when my emotions become uncontrollable or unbearable, and he steadies me when I feel like I’m in a tailspin. I would do anything to wish upon all of you still reading this a person like I have. I would not still be breathing or typing this today if I had not met him. And it truly sucks to be dependent on another human in this way, but just the other day he was telling me how much better I am at handling myself and my emotions from a year ago. Not since the medications, because they came later, but because he has helped me to improve myself and make myself better.

Part of our treatment has to be what exists within our surroundings and the people we allow to be present in our lives. There are too many people suffering from depression and anxiety that is made entirely worse due to the toxic people they keep around them. A toxic job will also play a huge part in this. Leave that job, and leave that relationship. Even if the toxicity is caused by a parent or relative. Just because you may share some of the same genetic markers as another human does not mean they have to remain within your life and environment. It’s clearly easier said than done, but it is so very essential for our treatment. Perhaps it is only for a short while that you have to remove them from your environment in order for you to do some self-healing, but it is so very essential to be able to acknowledge these toxic markers that are preventing one from improving themselves.

I’ve clearly varied slightly from the topic of medications, but every word I’ve relayed is essential. It has taken over two decades of suffering to put the pieces together. And in reality, I’m still working on my self-healing. My brain suffered such severe PTSD that it actually developed narcolepsy. As if my brain just said, “I can’t handle this anymore, I’m just going to shut down and sleep at random times”. This is something that is going to take an extensive amount of time to heal. And I hope using the word “heal” is understood not in the way of repair, but rather the capability to move beyond the damage to still have a relatively happy and fulfilling life despite the things we are lacking. This is something we all deserve, and should never stop fighting for until we find it.

Psychosis

I’m going to start off by saying I’m using this title word very broadly here. This topic generally includes several smaller concepts that work together into one little word that many people are terrified to use. Why can’t we be honest about what is ailing us? How can a doctor, a medical professional, sit across from you and tell you that they do not “believe in” your illness? Why do we not have free healthcare across the board like so many countries that we claim to be lesser than us in stature and economy? These are our decisions, but the reason nothing changes is that we don’t talk about it. That’s how we end up with something so atrocious as the Fetal Heart Bill in Iowa. I will re-iterate it again and again; we have to talk about these chronic ailments, the lack of appropriate healthcare available, and how our government is making money off of all of us for these precise reasons.

Above the depression and anxiety I have been labeled with for years, I struggle severely with paranoia. It took a long time for anyone to help me identify that there was a word for what I was feeling. How, when I get into my car I have to check the backseat, my exposed trunk, and look all around me before jumping in and locking the doors immediately. Every. Single. Time. I have a locked garage. I do it every time. I do not have any explanation for this. At no point have I had a traumatic experience in or around a vehicle. My therapist believes there may be some suppressed memories. I did read an article a couple of years ago about women getting grabbed from their cars while they are getting in and to be wary, but I’ve been in this practice for as long as I’ve been driving. I’ve also experienced extremely rapid heartbeat, instant sweating while entering the vehicle, as well as loss of breath as if the act caused me to be tiresome. It was years before realizing this was not normal.

It doesn’t feel good to be different from this concept of “normal” when in school. That was only one symptom of the paranoia. There were plenty of others that caused numerous issues in my daily life. Like, serious issues; with my personal relationships, the care I took of myself, and for a spell I didn’t think I “deserved” to eat. I’ve been told consistently that it is all in my head, I just don’t try hard enough, and so many more. I beg you to get help. If any of this sounds familiar just talk to your doctor. If they respond in any other way than immediate concern, get a new doctor. And that’s no shit. You have the choice to pick another physician. Get a referral to someone more specialized or educated in this area. Please.

The paranoia generally goes hand in hand with depression. I’ve already written about this here so just to touch base, the paranoia and resulting negative emotions/feelings most often cause different kinds of depression. I say different kinds because there absolutely are, and labeling someone with major depressive order could mean different things. And my doctors have told me this. Some people withdraw. Some people self harm, yet keep a perfect public face. Some take up a hobby that they are able to completely absorb themselves in and obsess over. I’ve seen it all. Remember, all of this shit runs in the family; mother dearest being most bonkers of them all.

Anxiety and paranoia are different. This is an important distinction. Though, these do often go hand in hand with each other, but can still present differently in different people. This is why mental health treatment is so difficult because each human is unique, and the world is changing. We are exposed to chemicals every day, now, that did not exist even 100 years ago. And let’s not start on big pharma. Paranoia is most often coined as hearing voices that are not from other humans within your general vicinity. Some people hear voices outside of their head that are not other people. I hear my own. My own voice, distinctly separate from “myself” within my head, is telling me every single second of every single day the worst case scenario. When I’m driving my brain tells me every single way I could potentially get into an accident every trip I make. It is impossible for me to go up the stairs with someone behind me. There is too much risk that they may just be a friend playing a trick, or I’m just too vulnerable if there were a threat. I can’t do it. My significant other suffers from this paranoia the most for reasons I feel can be imagined. It fucking sucks yo.

Remedies! First and foremost, I encourage anyone that believes they are suffering from any type of mental illness or ailment to speak to your doctor or someone more qualified if at all possible. There are other things that can help besides the chemicals, however. Essential oils, for one, are near and dear to my heart for the many different healing properties they have. I have three bottles that literally are for three different types of anxiety I experience. They are superb. The other best legal treatment I have found is CBD. There are numerous forms and there happens to be quick access through yours truly; many ways to get in touch available. This is the aid I have found to be the fastest and most certain relief from anxieties and paranoia.

I will shit on big pharma and the use of chemical pharmaceutical treatments all day long, but I will also acknowledge that there are some ailments that are simply best treated with their use. Even over the side effects. Though, there are other options that may be more appropriate and therefore less harmful for some people. Any of you reading are near and dear to my heart, and if I reach even one person that needed this wake up call then my goal is complete.

 

 

Depression

Let’s get real. I’m going to share some seriously personal shit because people don’t talk about this stuff like they should. For the longest time depression was not even recognized by health professionals as something to be treated. The primary reason is because nobody talked about it in order to study or treat it. I’m fairly open about my mental health, but there’s still things people generally keep to themselves in conversation because it scares people to say that you hate every single second of your existence and if it didn’t negatively affect so many people financially in my life I’d slit my wrists right now. You just can’t really say that out loud.

The biggest obstacle I feel is trying to tell your therapist/psychiatrist just enough information to the point where they don’t feel the need to involuntarily hospitalize you. The ones of us that are able to get treatment and have access to affordable medications probably take it for granted. I am on title 19 Medicaid which means I only get to see the crappiest of doctors, but that’s still more than some people have access to. It doesn’t help that our government keeps lobbying back and forth whether mental health services should be covered by insurance. Then we have a president currently who is basically criminalizing mental illness; so the rednecks that didn’t “believe in” depression before sure as hell don’t now.

I feel the biggest struggle in communicating about this illness is the fear of the reprisal from the other person. Because every now and then you’ll get bullshit comments and/or suggestions; “You should just try harder”, “We didn’t have any of that in my day so you should just put on your big girl panties and get over it”, “If you just smiled more you would be so much happier”, or “Oh yeah, I was depressed once”. Mmmkay. I’m not going to address these individually because they all get my blood boiling. Every single time this shit comes out of a persons mouth all we do is smile politely and change the subject when what we really want to do is crush their larynx under the bottom of our shoe. It’s hard to educate those that haven’t lived through it, but I can’t express how important it is for us to try.

I was first diagnosed when I was 13, and at that point I had been begging my mother to let me get help for years. She was another one of those that didn’t believe in it. She called me a bratty kid and told me I would just get over it. Some might say this is malicious but I find it funny that she’s now disabled after a mental breakdown and three suicide attempts, but this same woman wouldn’t let her 12-year-old daughter (that was on her knees on the floor in front of her crying and begging) see a counselor. It makes me sick and so very angry. I simply have no empathy left for that woman, but the pain she has inflicted is for review another day.

Since then I have dealt with a multitude of different issues, had several different diagnoses, been on at least three dozen different medications, dealt with eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia), self harm (cutting), and many other struggles. It’s an odd feeling to post a fact that only three people on this entire earth know to the internet; please don’t abuse it. Most recently I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy as a result of the trauma of my childhood and early adulthood which led to “brain damage I’ve only seen in PTSD victims that have returned from war” according to my sleep doctor. I had no clue that trauma and such could lead to literal brain damage.

What I want the take-away to be here is that we HAVE to talk about it. We have to talk about our struggles and triumphs to find like-minded people. Not one of us is alone in this and we have to do our due diligence to find others; for our sake and theirs. Humans are not meant to be alone (as much as the depression makes us think we want/deserve to be). We exist as a species on this planet to lean on and learn from each other. And know that in all of this I am personally someone who will be there if anyone is in need; for any and all.

Medications & Side Effects

I can’t possibly fathom why so many medications have side effects of suicidal thoughts, weight gain, anal leakage….why can’t they be more along the lines of perfectly white teeth as a side effect or spontaneous orgasms? I just feel like I shouldn’t have to feel like death when prescribed a new medication, and I don’t understand why that is so much to ask.

In the last week I have been prescribed two new medications. To start with the first, the doctor warned me that I would feel hung over the next morning as I was supposed to take it before going to bed. Well after the most recent narcolepsy drug change that had me sprinting for the bathroom with my pants already down and not being able to exist in any fashion besides horizontal (as soon as I stood up I would be instantly nauseous but there was nothing in my stomach to vomit), I thought I was prepared for this new medication because it couldn’t possibly be worse than that right? Well…while i’m not in as much physical distress, getting out of bed in the morning is physically impossible. Yesterday, after sleeping 12 hours (way more than I had since I was a kid), I finally rolled myself off the bed to land (not so pleasantly) on the floor at one o’clock and said “alright, we’re doing this”.

The newest narcolepsy medication they put me on was just started this morning. My entire treatment has revolved around the prescriptions of various kinds of meth from the very beginning, but they have had names that disguise it a little bit such as dextroamphetamine or methylphenidate. But today I pick up a medication called Evekeo which had no generic name which was odd. Until I started searching on the paperwork with the pharmacist to discover the generic name is just amphetamine. They’re not even trying to hide it anymore. They are giving me prescription grade meth to treat this narcolepsy and I’m really just not okay with that, but what else do I do?

I found a recipe/mixture of essential oils the other day that are to help with wakefulness and such, but I don’t have all of the oils that are most helpful. And being unemployed means I can’t just run and get the things that I need. Such as conditioner; I have been living without conditioner for more than two weeks now. My hair is completely dead and straw-like.

But I simply can’t understand why these side effects have to be so awful. It’s almost comical at times because if you prescribe an antidepressant to a young girl (for example) that has side effects of weight gain and suicidal thoughts, how in the world is that drug supposed to actually help her? If she’s already depressed you think weight gain is going to help or improve the self-confidence that is probably lacking? Depression medications are a joke and need to be completely re-evaluated.

Narcolepsy on the other hand, I barely understand. I keep reading reviews of each of these drugs, and people saying each of them has helped immensely. Yet, I’m still nodding off while driving and falling out of my chair doing homework; because I forced myself to sit at the kitchen table to do my homework thinking that would keep me awake. Literally nothing I do stops me from sleeping when I least desire to. So, I finally succumbed to the conventional chemical methods, but those don’t work either. If anything I’ve gotten worse.

I just know that the big pharmaceutical companies don’t give a damn about any human as an individual. Their only concern is how to make the most money, and in this country without free healthcare it makes sense because primarily it is the insurance companies or government being charged for these medications. But that still leaves out the other part of the population, nearly half, without healthcare or access to the drugs that could potentially save their lives (such as insulin for diabetics). I’ve seen so many articles where a pill that costs over $200 here costs only $4 in another country, and the pharmeceutical companies are only doing this BECAUSE THEY CAN. Because there are no regulations or stipulations to stop them.

Pay attention to your politicians folks because many of them are backed by big pharma too. Research the medications your doctors prescribe you and see if the manufacturer is a benefactor of that clinic or hospital. A lot of this stuff is public record, people just don’t know to look. We can’t always fight the use of prescription and chemical medications to treat our ailments, but we can fight the big pharma to try and get the care we deserve.

CBD – Changing the Future Outcome

CBD is life changing for so many people that if you have the capability you must at LEAST give it a try; particularly anyone in chronic pain of any kind. Cannabidiol is a quickly rising business because of the fresh legality (Farm Act of 2014) of this. This is a product made from hemp which is why some people may shy away from it, but it contains ZERO THC, and is completely legal in every way. Most malls have a store within them that sell it if you know where to look, but I found a company and a way to be receiving this on your doorstep which I will share later on.

CBD was labeled as powerful thearapeutic property by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, because of it’s properties used to aide with chronic pain, nausea, anxiety, digestive issues, and so much more. Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on drug abuse verified that there are absolutely zero addictive effects, and agrees that this product is of therapeautic value for a number of medical conditions.

A more thorough, yet still not entirely extensive, list of ailments which CBD aides with…

  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Automimmune disorders
  • Metabolism
  • Appetite
  • Energy Regulation
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Reproductive function
  • Cancer

The reason this product works is because there are specific cannabinoid receptors in more than one place in our bodies. The CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor is located in the brain which obviously controls so many different bodily conditions, and the CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor is located in the thymus of the immune system. This product is entirely safe and encouraged to use for our pets as well to help with arthritis or other pains such as nausea and a variety of skin issues.

There are many different ways in which to consume CBD such as orally in pill form, orally in *tincture form, and there’s even one company that provides it in breath sprays and chews. The chews are incorporated with many other beneficial elements in order to replace your daily vitamin with them, and have the added benefit of CBD. The chews also make administration to our pets so much easier.

So, the company I referenced before is actually called Changing The Future Outcome (CTFO). It is by far the most reputable site I have yet found for these products. I get emails every single day about free CBD trials, but you never know who exactly that is coming from or the quality. I believe in these products so damn much I became a representative myself (which was totally free to do by the way) in order to have the information and capability of sharing this with others.

This company’s products are all vegan, organic, and naturally sourced from the highest grade, Non-GMO, and pesticide free hemp. They create a multitude of products I would have never expected. They have an entire pet line of pet treats and oral sprays. They have a CBD health line with anti-wrinkle/aging creams, pain-relief creams (nerve and muscle), and an abundance of oral sprays to help with weightloss, pain relief, energy blast/focus, sleep support, and an antistress/relaxation spray. They even have a small non-CBD line with supplements, meal-replacement shakes, and gummies that help to control hunger-cravings and boost metabolism.

I encourage everyone living with pain every day, suffering from any ailment above, or just interested in these super great products to get in touch with me. I’d love to get you any more information you’d like or if you wanted to jump on board to get some discounts then more power to you. I can absolutely get you involved and like I said before, becoming an associate for CTFO is completely free. You register, and if you end up selling some of these amazing products (as you cannot just order off the website, which is dumb i’ll agree; as I looked all over to try to find this option for you guys) then you get a bit of a commission there through the website. Which I would like to clarify is clearly not the reason I would share this information with you guys; I just have literally tried CBD tincture and it has worked wonders.

*Tincture is the most common (and in my opinion most effective) method of administration. It is a liquid in a bottle that can be dropped under the tongue a few times a day as needed for pain or other ailments, can be added to drinks such as coffee and tea, or even used in vape pens for a more portable (and for some easier to use) method.

Get in touch guys; I’d love to chat 🙂

Anxiety

This is a subject in which I have absolutely no idea where to begin, but I still feel it’s important to address and be open about. Too many people suffer in silence and it’s just not necessary. This stigma on mental illnesses seriously needs to end. Yesterday.

My favorite is when people claim anxiety wasn’t a problem 100 years ago, and that people just “got over it”. Because what happened behind closed doors stayed behind closed doors, and that is why we have so many adults that aren’t able to function as successful members of society and the children they raised that are now shooting up schools primarily due to untreated mental illness. And I am one of them that simply is not able to function as a productive human at this time, no matter how hard I try.

This is not the time to re-live the past or the reasons I developed this awful condition. It literally affects every single aspect of my day. Every thought running through my head is laced with a touch of anxiety; meaning there is always the potential for something to go wrong and my brain has to process every single potential reality at all times. Every single time I get into my car I have to check the backseat and trunk. Then I have to check all around me before hopping in the car and locking it immediately. This may be more appropriate behavior when in a parking lot late at night, but I have to do this every single time I get into my car; even if it’s in my locked garage. There’s no real reason, except the anxiety.

I spend a lot of time in my house alone which is not beneficial to my mental health AT ALL. There are always odd noises that bother me enough without the dogs barking at every single noise as well. I have to check my windows and doors multiple times to make sure they are all locked; even if I only checked them the hour before and nothing had changed. I just don’t remember the last time I felt truly safe in my environment. And I have medications that are supposed to help with these things, but just another case where the pharmeceuticals are just keeping me in this condition in order to make more money.

I believe the worst anxiety is when I can’t initially recognize it. Over the years I have been fairly suggessful in acknowledging when the anxiety is starting to take over and to start taking measures to prevent it. I always start with meditation, deep breathing, essential oils, and other measures. But they might work 35% of the time. So, I’ll be restless with an increased heart rate. I’ll become manic and speaking really fast, and the irritability causes the most issues. It is at this point where I can generally acknowledge the anxiety…it just depends on the level. Whether it turns into a panic attack or not.

Now onto what anxiety can look like…the worst I ever experienced as a panic attack was when I had to lock myself in the trunk of my car with the keys because it was the only place where I could feel safe. Small dark places, like my closet and under the bed, are my go-to’s  when I just need a place to feel safe. Reading used to be of help when I was younger, or being outdoors. But now being out of my house causes more anxiety than anything else. The idea of people’s eyes on me is simply unbearable. It doesn’t help that I’m not necessarily entirely awful to look at, so I wear baggy and dark clothes to try to blend in and not be seen.

Other times it is the separation anxiety that scares me the most. The world is a dangerous place as my brain reminds me frequently, and any person could die at any time. Every time a loved one steps out of my door I feel my heart tearing. It’s not that I hear voices per say, but my brain regularly tells me the worst case scenario that could ever possibly occur at any time. Just my significant other backing out of the driveway worries me that someone could be coming down the road and side-swipe him. I’ve never experienced a love where I was terrified to the core of my soul and being that something might happen to them. The worst part is that I don’t even feel this way about my biological family. After everything that has happened…..I just don’t care. And that is an awful thing to say or even think.

I could write a book. And I’ve honestly thought about it. Similar to “The Child Called It” type lifestyle. There is so much more to write on this topic, but I would much rather hear from others about what they experience and what they do to aide the daily anxiety. Can comment on this or contact me through the site itself. I just want to live in a world where none of us have to deal with this debilitating mental illness.