Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I am Back

So I am back. Here I am after not blogging about OCD in almost two years. There is a reason I deleted my last blog. My security was compromised by Blogger.com themselves. I chose to do this blog with some anonymity but people could see my entire info when a search was done for certain info in my blog. OCD isn't exactly something you want to scream to the whole world that you have. It is a painful and embarrassing disease. It is an inherited disease that most people don't understand.I started my blog because after many years of trying just about every medicine to get rid of OCD, I am still back at square one.

I started meds almost ten years ago and none of the 10 or so have ever worked one bit. I am one of the 40% of OCD sufferers that are not helped by meds. Also, I have no health insurance so I cannot afford Behavioral Therapy.

We with OCD know that the rituals and obsessions we have are ridiculous and totally unfounded. But, we cannot stop them. We cannot control the impulses. Sometimes, I can almost feel the extra energy in the part of my brain causing the symptoms. And it causes a burning sensation in my chest. It causes an unbearable anxiety related pain and actual physical heart ache.

For those of us OCD patients that are religious, we ask God on a daily basis "why me?" And we feel cursed. And for those of us who are med resistant, we feel we are doubly cursed. Not only do we have a terrible affliction, but we are in the minority of sufferers who cannot be helped.

So here I am, ten years after diagnosis, 23 years after my first memories of symptoms, and 30 years on this planet earth. Still there is no help in sight. I have exhausted all my current options. The only options I really have left are behavioral therapy, which I cannot afford, and brain surgery. There is a brain "pace maker" that can stimulate parts of the brain and has ben proven to help 2/3 of the patients treated with said operation. Of course, I will probably be in the 1/3 minority that it won't help. Then the only therapy left will be to join the army and go out in a blaze of glory, because living with this disease is unbearable. Back to the operation. The operation is derived from a similar therapy currently used for Parkinsons patients. The operation is very rarely performed and they make you jump through hoops for years before they even consider you for it. There are only a handful of surgeons willing to perform it. And it can costs $30,000 – $40,000!!!!! Nuff said.

I will come back later with some more info….

Still Searching for the right Med

Originally Posted November 28, 2005

I saw a post recently by an OCD sufferer that said Effexor worked for her. Effexor is another Serotonin drug that also works on other nuerotransmitters. I am going to give this a try. I have ordered the drug from betterlifepharmacy.com because it is only $12 US for a month supply! I have conversed with a member of their company and they say that they get them so cheap direct from a manufacturing company in India. And I guess the US dollar is strong enough to get the drug for only $12. The company is located in Australia. Only setback is the orders take 10-21 days to get here and rush delivery is not available.

I took abilify for a few days and felt like a zombie! I couldn't get my work done and I was in the dumps. Plus the OCD was still there. I know most drugs take a few weeks to kick in but I couldn't take that drug anymore. Back to the SSRI drug search. There are a dozen or two of them and I have tried about 8, all to no avail.
I have been shot down for insurance so cannot afford weekly therapy. I do a lot of self talk to get through the OCD symptoms. If the Effexir pill can reduce the symptoms by half I will be very happy with that. I have a broken brain. Hopefully I can fix it…………………

What to do if you think you have OCD

Originally Posted November 5, 2005

I have been writing this OCD Blog for well over a year now. It is cathardic for me and helps me analyze the disease from a third person perspective as well as from an introspective viewpoint. I hope this blog helps people looking for answers and info regarding OCD. So much has been discovered about this disease in the last 15 years and a great deal of people are much better off because of drugs and therapy for OCD symptoms.
If you are OCD and you need help, here are the steps I suggest. First consult your doctor and tell them you think you have OCD. Your general practicioner can help, it doesn't have to be a shrink. And tell him you want a starting does of an SSRI (Selective Serotonin ReUptake Inhibitor). Give that a month. If no improvement, increase dosage. If still no improvement, switch to another SSRI. Also, by this point you will want to find a psychologist that knows OCD. They will give you some exercises to help guide you away from major attacks. If your second SSRI doesn't work, then you are probably like me and are one of the 30-40% of people in which the drugs do not work. You are now in my shoes. I am currently trying anti-psychotic drugs to see if they work I have read some studies that show that OCD and Schizophrenia are loosely related and in CAT scans, the same realm of the brain is overactive. That would explain the unnecessary and imagined crisis in which we suffer.

I am completely dominated by this disease and it will be my life goal to control it. I am 28 years old now and want to have this thing under control in the next year or so. Life would be so much more enjoyable. I am willing to risk my physical health in search to find the right drug. Then I must find a balance. I really believe these drugs are not good for the human body, but you have to give them a shot because OCD can be a very destructive force. Look at Howard Hughes. If the poor bastard was born 50 years later, he maybe could have enjoyed life (SSRI's didn't arrive ont he scene til 1988).

By the way, the best movies that incorporate this disease are as follows:
1. The Aviator
2. As good as it gets
3. What about Bob (although Bill Murray's character was more of an agoraphobic and germ phobe, he exuded OCD traits.)

TV Show:1. Monk
Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't get the credit he deserves as a serious actor because he is a pretty boy. But he is truly a great actor. When he has the OCD fits in the Aviator movie, it is so true to life and well portrayed, it almost made me slip into an OCD episode of my own. Also, check out "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "Basketball Diaries" for more great acting by DiCaprio.

OCD is worse than ever. I am desperate!

Originally Posted November 3, 2005

Oh my friends, It comes and it goes. It is less powerful sometimes, but always looming. The last week or two have been a nightmare. The OCD has dominated my awake time. If I do not touch something just right, or I am interrupted while contemplating, I go into an internal, but very violent fit. My palms get sweaty, my mind races and I am terrified that the cycle is about to start. I then re-play that moment in my head trying to get it just right for hours. People in the room will think everything is alright, but inside my head, I am being dominated. Three to four major episodes a day now. Each one lasting from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

I had to stop Risperdal. I couldn't function and was like a Zombie. I am going to try Abilify, a psychotic drug for bi-polar and schizophrenia. It is in the same realm as Risperdal but not exactly the same drug. I wish I did not have to take these poisons but it is my only hope. My OCD is very powerful and a curse on my existence. It is the only thing bad in my life. I wonder why I couldn't be one of the 60-70% of people in which SSRI's worked. Sad part of this new drug is I just ordered it from an online cheap meds site that may be a scam and send me sugar pills. The site is http://www.betterlifepharmacy.com/. They have Abilify for $17 per 30 pills instead of $200. I know, sounds like a scam, but no insurance company will pick me back up after seeing my affliction. Check out their site and tell me what you think.

Medicines and Their Costs – Treating OCD

May 19, 2005

This post is about the cost of the medicine I have taken, both financially and physically.
First, I'll address the physical. Most of these SSRI's have a max half life of no more than two weeks. This is the period that traces of the meds can still be found in your system. So, if anyone is suffering from side effects, it is safe to say they should subside within two weeks of stopping treatment. Some SSRI's last longer than others.
There are no studies on long term effects of SSRI medications on the body. This is because SSRI's are relatively new to science and medicine. Mid to late eighties to be exact. Before Prozac, they used MAOI's. These are a pain in the ass drug. Lots of side effects and bad stuff.

Financially, these drugs can take a bite out of your income. Not only that, you can lose your Health Insurance. I recently moved to a new state and lost my old insurance because it was not offered in my new state. So when I applied to a company called Humana for insurance, they freaked out about being diagnosed with OCD over five years ago! They shot me down. Then I tried to buy my Zoloft without insurance. Get ready for this…. They wanted $242 for a 90 day supply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I stop the meds, I get very light headed and wishy washy as well as very tired. You can say I am addicted to the pills because I go through withdrawal symptoms when I stop them. So my best bet is to go to my doc and get prescribed Generic Prozac, the only generic SSRI available. The reason for this is that patents on drugs expires somewhere around 14 years. This gives the developer the ability to charge huge prices to recoup costs of development and then eventually get rich from it. These development costs can be in the hundred of millions of dollars. And the reason for this, here in America, everybody wants to get rich, including the government. So they make it virtually impossible to bring a new drug to market. We are talking millions of dollars for each trial application and a minimum of ten years of trials. So, there may be a cure for Aids and Cancer discovered tomorrow, but you wont see it for at least ten years.

Fear and Loathing for no reason: Where I am with my seemingly eternal struggle with OCD

Originally Posted Febuary 28, 2005

To go back over the reasons why I created this blog. First, I feel there aren't enough accounts available for people looking to find out exactly what is wrong with them. I didn't know what OCD was until I took a psychology course in college. So, for almost ten years, I performed stupid rituals and had nagging thoughts and had no idea what was causing them. I didn't know if I was insane or a victim of environmental contaminant causing my brain to misbehave. Hopefully, numerous people will find this site and learn about what may be affecting them. Especially because, according to conservative stimates, 4% of the population suffers from some variation of destructive OCD. In my estimation in may be as high as ten. This estimation comes from the fact that only half of most sufferers of psychological disorders ever seek help. It can be an embarrassing thing to admit you have a mental disorder. But it is not your fault. Gene mutation through years of human development has caused your brain to act incorrectly.

The other major reason I keep this journal is for me. When I am feeling the effects of the OCD, I can write inthis thing and it seems to be cathardic. I just had a terrible OCD attack. I will go most of the day and manage OCD attacks and put them off and live a pretty normal existence. But, when I by myself and my brain has full free time to be overactive, I may suffer the worst. I have spent the last two hours obsessing over ruminating thought and why something happened. I just couldn't let it go. And I have to keep playing the event over and over in my mind until I figure out a solution or reason. It is so fucking stupid and pointless.

It is stated that up to %40 of people using medication may not be helped by them. I now believe after about four years of trying and switching medication, that, of course, I am one of the unlucky ones. This proves that these disorders are not strictly serotonin related problems. There are some of these disorder that are more hard wired than that and if they are Serotonin related, then the SSRI's used to help, just simply can't get the job done.

There are days that go by where I feel good. I feel almost like the OCD isn't there. And other days, where it really wreaks havoc on my mind. It is actually a painful and physiological reaction. My palms will go sweaty and my heart rate will rise. And I have that burning in my chest like you get when a person breaks your heart.
I have been able to be a successful business man and get a great amount of work done. But, when it rains it pours and I am frozen for hours on end.

So what's next? Partial lobotomy? I will try the Cognitive behavioral Therapy like one of my readers mentioned. What else is there? Medication isn't the answer that I hoped it was.

Back to Square 1 – Failure of yet another OCD Drug

Originall Posted Feb. 11, 2005

I think Risperdal was working well with my OCD. But, it started to make me so tired I could hardly get out of bed. I had to hang that stuff up for good. Now I am on 200 mgs of Zoloft and 150mgs of Wellbutrin. I still have severe OCD attackes though. Last night was parylized for an hour with the fact that I didn't put my shirt on just right. Now for all you non- OCD people out there, I imagine how insane that sounds. But you must understand, OCD sufferers are totally normal with fully functioning cognitive brains, but one little part of the brain which lets you handle task after task has a defect. You can handle a bunch of tasks, but when there is a spike of electricity in that part of your brain, that's it. You get stuck on whatever you were doing. replaying over and over again in your head until you get it "just right". Anyone with OCD reading this is thinking "amen brother".
I moved to a new town so I haven't found a Dr. to help me try some new meds. Me stopping Risperdal along with the stress of the move, have really caused for some OCD terrors. Every night I pray to god to help me find a cure, or a potent treatment. And everyttime I think I may have found it, the plan blows up in my face. Here is what i would say to the OCD if it were personified.

"You want a piece of me?… Come and get it you son of a bitch!" You hide in the recesses of my brain and do your little deed. But you won't come and face me like a man. Let's get this on right now. One on one. If you win, you can keep playing little tricks and attack my thoughts. But, if I win, which I know I will, you pack your shit and get the hell out of town, that is assuming I don't kill your dumb ass."

I know that seemed a little extreme. But, after 17 years of mild to moderate torture from within, what else do you want me to say. keep on keeping on…..

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