Hi folks! A lot of my artwork and public speaking are related to my mental health, so I’m collected my thoughts and some resources here for other folks in a similar space.
- What my OCD is like: here
- What changing meds is like: here
- Go to therapy: here
- Changing meds, round 2: here
- What I’m thinking now: here
I have been in therapy for pretty much as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with ADD and misdiagnosed with Major Depression at a young age. I tried Prozac and Adderall and I hated all of it. I felt like I lost my personality. In 2011, when I was 22, my psychiatrist at the time realized I had General Anxiety Disorder, not depression, and proposed I might have OCD. I started taking Wellbutrin because I had such a bad time on Prozac and it worked. It worked for eight years.
There are elements of my OCD that didn’t ever go away, but my symptoms became manageable. Until suddenly they weren’t. Starting in 2018ish, my meds slowly stopped working and my symptoms slowly became worse. Over the course of 2019, a new psychiatrist tried upping my dose of Wellbutrin to see if that would work and it did not.
Thanks to an insurance debacle, I had to find a new psych and am grateful to have found Apex Counseling Center. Because I’m on Medicaid, I am entitled to free psychiatry as long as I go to therapy, which is also free. This is a total game-changer and I want to recommend them to anyone in Baltimore looking for mental health support.
My new psych tapered me off of Wellbutrin and put me onto Zoloft. I took Zoloft for a month and it did not work. At first, I was extremely nauseated and sleepy, which was likely from Wellbutrin withdrawal, but it also made me feel numb and anxious in cycles. When I went back to my psych, he stopped the Zoloft immediately. I took several days off to let the Zoloft leave my system and then I started Lexapro. Lexapro also made me numb and anxious in cycles. They were both SSRIs, which made me nervous, but it is the best class of meds for treating OCD and anxiety, so we had to eliminate it as an option. Ultimately, I ended up on Effexor, which is an SNRI. My doctor ended up supplementing that with an anti-depressant called Doxepin, which has helped me with my sleep and also managing some COVID-related depressive episodes, and I take Concerta for my ADHD. My brain’s still not perfect, but it’s functioning better than it used to. Stay tuned.
Some resources that might be helpful:
- The Shrink Wrap is a social media account run by Sheva Rajaee, MFT, who is an anxiety and OCD specialist and the founder of The Center for Anxiety and OCD. Her account has some great tips and insights
- The National Institute of Mental Health’s page about OCD has a very thorough explainer
- The International OCD Foundation has a helpful roundup of symptoms
If you need to talk or have questions or would like to see me talk about something, you can do that! The form is anonymous unless you tell me who you are, which is totally optional. I’d love to hear how I can help.