Aftermath of the Psychiatric Consult

In November, I went to for a medication consult to a professor of psychiatry at the local university (and wrote about what I learned here.) Earlier this week I met with the psychiatric nurse practitioner who has been prescribing meds for me over the past five years.

It was as though nothing happened. I’m doing well right now. Being off work the past ten weeks and spending three weeks in South America has been good for me (as it would be for so many, I’m sure). Since I’m doing well, she doesn’t want to change anything.

“But I wasn’t doing well on these meds before,” I told her.

“Once you reduced the stress in your life, the meds were able to work,” she replied.

“But I am going back to work in a couple of weeks.”

She was quite firm, “Well, we can check in on how you are doing in February.”

I don’t know. Should I only expect meds to help when I relinquish a lot of my responsibilities? Is it okay that they weren’t helping me before? Will they be any help once I pick those responsibilities up again? Six months ago, I was self-harming on the same set of meds. It’s just hard for me to believe that this is best I can get.

Yet maybe she is right. After all, if I am feeling well now, and we switch meds, unless I go crashing into the pit, how will we know if the new combination is better?

Those of you who also count on the support of psychiatric meds, what’s your experience? And when you start to question the decisions of a provider, do you hang on and see how it goes, or do you seek someone else?

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Aftermath of the Psychiatric Consult

  1. Since you feel well at the moment I think that’s going to help you transition more smoothly into your newly-defined job responsibilities. The last thing you need is to have to deal with the various side effects that go along with starting new meds. I would hold off on actually starting new meds and if you find your cocktail is failing you once you start work again, then make an appointment with whomever is available. Don’t wait until February if you feel it’s urgent.

    I’m so happy you feel refreshed and had a fabulous time on your trip 😀

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  2. Wish I had more experience to offer advice. I’ll up what La Sabrosona said, tho. Make sure the nurse fully understands your concerns. Tell her to be READY for an emergency call from you: give yourself that safety net. Get through the rush of the holidays first. That’s always stressful, right? See how you do handling that type of stress. If it doesn’t go well, you can contact your nurse right away. ❤ Pulling for you!

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  3. I was seeing a nurse practitioner for my meds for a few years. Then I ended up in hospital after taking an overdose of valium. The psychiatrist there changed my meds and the improvement with my sleep was dramatic. Where before I had insomnia and woke up shaking from nightmares, the new meds gave me a terrific night’s sleep and I no longer woke up shaking. I wish I had gotten a second opinion sooner.

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  4. There’s nothing wrong with a second opinion. But as you change, so does the effect of the meds. If you are doing well right now, maybe don’t mess with it? The effect of a certain cocktail is NOT static over time—just as it is possible for an effective combo to stop working, it is also possible that something that didn’t work in the past will actually work well now.

    That said, I often question my care providers. Nobody knows you as well as you do. Follow your instincts and good luck!

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  5. Q, I keep coming back to the statement “once you reduced the stress in your life the meds were able to work”. It’s bugging me. Lol! Shouldn’t they help you when you are most stressed? I have been on both Effexor and trazadone, along with other things. Aside from a very brief honeymoon period with my meds they didn’t work when I was at my worst. During a period where I was feeling much like you are now I got a second and third opinion, before I ended up back in that awful place again, when I might be desperate to do anything to change how I feeling and quell the suicidal thoughts. This meant I was in a great headspace to evaluate all the information I needed to make a change (or not if that was how I decided to proceed).

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  6. I’m still too new in the psych meds track so I wish I knew what to do as well. I don’t think my ADHD meds are really helping me much at the moment. Perhaps I still haven’t found the right dosage or the right meds, I don’t know. But I feel like if the practitioner dismiss your views and opinions like that, then perhaps it’s good to see another? Maybe give it a month to see how you are on the meds while at work and see if it actually does what the practitioner says it does and then decide?

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    • Funny, that is pretty much what I have decided to do. Let’s see how I am doing by the end of January or early February.

      It’s a dilemma, isn’t it, when we have maybe a bit of an improvement but aren’t fine while on meds. I always wonder if the whole thing is a waste? Or, as you say, maybe it’s not quite the right dosage or a different medication would do it. How can we know?!?

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      • Yeah! Exactly! It’s quite frustrating. And all the time you’re dealing with all the side effects. The worst part is how psych meds affect your mind so if you are not mindful enough to know the difference between just having an off day and it being the meds causing it, it’s hard to know whether it’s working. Unlike meds that help with physical problems, psych meds sometimes is all dependent on how you feel… Sometimes, I find it hard to distinguish whether it’s working or not…

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  7. Ooops!! Please retract my last statement: I’m always embarrassed:(mortified) by the callousness of some of my fellow practitioners. Obama-care, and insurance policy limitations, have made the search for a competent person very complicated. Keep in touch and best of luck.

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  8. Pingback: First Visit With a New Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner | la quemada

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