Friday, June 25, 2010


It might seem that I'm obsessed with my medication, as this is another post about it. It isn't an obsession, exactly, it is mainly fueled by frustration. When I was suffering from depression about ten years ago I was first prescribed Prozac. I quickly discovered that the side effects were more than I was willing to endure. My doctor switched me to Welbutrin and it worked really well for me. At the time my insurance covered name brand prescriptions with a $40 co-pay after I met the $150 deductible. Generics were cheaper. Fast forward a few years and to a different insurance plan.

I signed up for my current insurance about five years ago. At the time they covered mental health but they only covered generic prescriptions. I have a huge deductible for name brand medications, so I just don't take them. After a year on my new insurance they decided to drop the mental health coverage, including prescriptions. Since then I've been surviving by using SAM-e and willpower until this latest depression. I did a lot of research and couldn't find any prescription drug program that included the generic for Welbutrin, until Walgreens started theirs. At first I thought I was limited to the dosage listed on their plan, but recently I discovered that they'd cover higher dosages at a slightly higher cost. So I'm now taking four 75 mg tablets a day for $24.00 for a 90 day supply! This is wonderful! The price for the 300 mg extended release is over $100 so I'm getting quite a deal.

The irony here that I've experienced many times is that in order to get help for mental health issues you have to be mentally healthy enough to pursue all of your options. No one seems to get that when you are depressed just getting out of bed is a challenge, talking to anyone about your issues is a major challenge and trying to do anything out of the ordinary is an insurmountable challenge. All of those people who feel that their insurance is just fine and any government plan would be a burden should thank their lucky stars that they have good insurance or have never been sick.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

motherhood, friends and competition

I woke up angry this morning two hours before my alarm was due to go off. I knew it was going to be impossible to go back to sleep, but I wish I could get rid of the anger. I know why I'm angry it was what I was thinking about when I woke up. Right now my ten year old daughter is with family 600 miles away. The second night she took her cell phone into the bathroom at my brother's house and called me crying because she was homesick and missed me. I talked to her, reminding her how much she wanted to spend time with her cousins and eventually my sister-in-law heard her crying and comforted her too.

The part that bothered me was that when I mentioned this to my friend her response was "It'll be good for her. She'll be fine." That was all. It really bugged me because I was hoping for a bit more support than that. Even an "ow, that must've been hard" would have been enough. All I wanted was some commiseration, not a comment on my parenting. I'd dare any parent to listen to their ten year old child crying from homesickness on the phone and not hurt for them.

A bit of background on this is that this particular daughter of mine has always been a mama's girl. As a baby she didn't want anyone else to watch her unless she knew them really well. Sometimes even when she had cousins to play with she'd prefer to be near me. She was a clingy baby and I knew it, I had no idea what to do about it and honestly it didn't bother me too much. My younger brother was much the same as a child and he has grown up into a normal adult. So I wasn't really worried that my daughter would be clingy all her life.

Two friends of mine were always bothered by her clinging. They always made negative comments about it and made me feel like a bad parent because I didn't do something about it. Though I admit I have no idea what I should do about it. Today one of them has a 17 year old daughter who never wants to spend the night anywhere but at home, the other has a 9 year old son who wants to sleep in the same bed as his mom. Yet they both STILL make negative comments about my clingy daughter who is at this moment 600 miles away from home.

What is the reason behind the drive for friends to make negative comments about other people's children? I can understand that if I'd complained about how clingy my daughter is that I would be inviting advice. It didn't bother me though, it bothered my friends and they felt the need to make comments on it, and have been for nine years. They can't seem to see that even as my daughter has gradually grown more able to separate from me they both have children who are getting more clingy not less.

I made some comments online last night about this issue that seemed to annoy one of my friends and we're supposed to have lunch together today. I think that I need to have a conversation with her that I've avoided for too long. Maybe then I can sleep longer tomorrow and wake up in a better mood.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I was on vacation last week and I decided that I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed the week so I took the increased dosage of my anti-depressants even though that would mean that I wouldn't have enough of the medication to finish out the course. Today I called the Walgreen's prescription line to find out if I could actually get a prescription with three pills a day rather than just two and still get the discount. I can, it is $9.99 a month, rather than over $100.00, something that I can actually afford. So I have an appointment this week to speak to the dr. and ask for the higher prescription.

I'm so disappointed that the new healthcare legislation that Obama whimped out on will likely help me very little. After the kids are back in school this fall I'm going to make it my goal to find a job with health benefits.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

getting lower

When I'm healthy and call a friend who sounds distracted I think to myself that they must have something on TV that keeps catching their attention, or that they have something on their mind. When I'm depressed I think that they are trying to get me off of the phone because they don't want to waste their time talking to me.

When I'm healthy and someone cancels a date with me I believe the reason they give me and look forward to the time when we'll be able to get together in the future. When I'm depressed I'm sure they are lying to cover up the fact they don't really want to spend time with me.

When I'm healthy I can be happy for someone who is taking a vacation, buying a new car, getting a raise or promotion or achieves something that they have worked hard for. When I'm depressed all of those make me envious and miserable.

When I'm healthy I enjoy talking to my friends and loved ones. When I'm depressed I spend too much time analyzing those conversations to figure out what those people must really think of me.

I'm not sure if it is because of the rain but I'm getting lower lately. I keep going back to negative thoughts "no one likes me" and "I'm not worth anything." I keep thinking about everything that I've ever done wrong and anytime anyone has done anything that makes me think they don't like me. Often these times are when people are busy or distracted and usually I can remember that, but when I'm feeling down like this then those times seem personal.

I'm not sure why when I'm depressed that I'm so ready to believe that everyone hates me and no one wants me around. It is hard to feel like this and to make any effort to interact with anyone because I'm sure that by forcing them to call me I'm being a burden.

Next week I'm supposed to visit 'home' and I'm worrying that people resent having me around, don't really want to spend time with me, or simply will find a way to avoid me. I think I need to up my medications so I can get through this next week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Is it just me?

I'm leaving soon to go 'home' and visit my family again. As usual I find myself dreading the leaving, but looking forward to seeing my loved ones. I hate leaving my comfortable bed and home. Oddly, after planning and looking forward to the trip, as it gets closer the more I look for a way out of it. This happens all the time as I think "maybe this isn't a good idea?" I'm not sure why.

I know part of it is the change in routine, the fatigue of the long drive, trying to fit everyone in and not leave anyone out. It is exhausting and it always seems that once I'm back I'll be squishing my busier workweek into a shorter period of time so I have no time to recover. All of that is a recipe for triggering some of my depressive symptoms.

Friday, June 4, 2010


When I first got my prescription for anti-depressants I tried taking just one a day. I didn't notice a huge change, a tiny change maybe. I then upped it to the doctor's prescription of two a day (which was really half what he wanted to prescribe, but all that the pharmacy prescription drug program would cover) and I felt a bit better...but not normal yet. I then figured out that I had enough pills to take three until it was time to refill the prescription and after that dosage kicked, it was night and day. I suddenly had enough energy to get up in the morning, take care of the house and my job, make dinner at night and not be exhausted. I remember scrubbing my stove and thinking "I wonder if this is how normal people feel?"

When I refilled my prescription I went back to the two a day level and I haven't felt quite the same. I'm researching my options to try to get enough without paying more than I can afford. I may even look into combining two prescriptions. Anything to feel normal. I feel like I'm cheating my kids by not being my best.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


My middle child is the most like me and often it is the things that I hate most about myself that I see in her. She has a keen sense of humor, is loyal to her friends, and very loving. She also has very mercurial mood swings. I've long noticed that she is not her best in the winter time, usually starting out the school year okay, then going downhill from there. She recovers some in the spring, but her grades can never recover from the steep downward slope in the winter. For many years I've said that she'd do fine in school if school went from March to November.

Just recently it occurred to me that since I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, maybe she does as well? Could an anti-depressant be all she needs to get through the winter with her schoolwork intact? I think it may be something to pursue. I hate the idea of making her take medication, especially medication that may effect her brain development in yet unknown ways. On the other hand I know that soon she'll be in high school where all of her decisions will effect the rest of her life. If she thinks of herself as a failure now, it may become a self fulfilling prophecy.