My SSRI Story

SSRI stands for Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Simply put: Antidepressants.

joshua-coleman-623113-unsplash.jpgJOSHUA COLEMAN

The last week or two of September were exceptionally cruel to me and even still the withdrawal symptoms linger. I have been strongly against taking these pills ever since I was a child. My childhood Psychologist would constantly mention these as an option to help curb my mood disorders and I was always hesitant and frustrated. I would put up a fight till my eyes were read and tears were streaming down my face.

This was not something I wanted to do. I did not want to partake in taking pharmaceuticals to help me. I didn’t even like taking Tylenol for any generalized pain.

I felt like being alive was bad enough;

I might as well suffer.

Fast forward to now and I still feel like a shell of myself. I’m always worried about the actions of other people and how they create a lasting impression on me. If someone says something rude, I dwell on it. I ask myself repeatedly why they did that and I start to feel unwell about it. I negatively obsess.

My activism, coupled with the horrible emails I receive from companies, corporations and wealth management companies make my mood worsen. I try to focus on the bigger picture and the hopes of creating a positive impact through my own pain and the pain and misunderstanding associated with my peers in the #actuallyautistic community.

I just can’t deal with anything very well.

I have tried three types of pills: Escitalopram (Cipralex/Lexapro), Sertraline (Zoloft) & Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) with absolutely no positive experiences.

The Cipralex left me feeling very hollow, very distracted and very much like I was just dragging myself to do anything – although, out of the three I tried, it worked the best.

The Zoloft didn’t seem to do much at all.

The Effexor XR just made me feel really unwell and my mood was worsened so, I decided to just stop without tapering off. The withdrawal effects were worse than what I expected. Sweats, vomiting, car sickness, the worst nausea I have felt in what seems like forever and a “shaky brain” feeling. There was also a strong need for a whole lot of sleep.

I went to another appointment to my Psychiatrist and it didn’t go particularly well.  He is incredibly dismissive and has me in and out of his office in 5 minutes or less.

He asks me questions completely unrelated to my suffering:

“How are your parents?”, he asked.

“Well, I don’t REALLY talk to my Dad… so.. yeah. My Mom is fine though.. but why didn’t you just increase my dose of Cipralex?”

“Oh, If it wasn’t working at that dose then it’s unlikely it will work at a higher dose.” He then followed that statement up with another unrelated comment.

The sense of defeat and the dark cloud over me seemed to take on more rain at that instant.  It’s apparent, This person, this professional, this DOCTOR who is supposed to help me just wants me out of his office as fast as possible. I like to call them “Fast Food Doctors” because you’re in and you are out very quickly so the Doctor can see more patients and make more money in a shorter amount of time.

My depression and anxiety make my already intense light sensitivity and poor balance much worse. I often feel like I’m going to faint or fall over and my heart starts beating a mile a minute.

What now?

Well, I can’t even work. How am I supposed to get anything done when I just am running out of viable options? I can’t afford to get any kind of mental health assistance where I can talk to a psychologist. That’s not in the cards for me.

 

 

Disclaimer: Please don’t take my article for professional advice. If these medications worked for you then I wholeheartedly commend you on your successful wellness journey. These are my own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect my readers mental health/wellness plan.
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New JOB!

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Today I embark on a new (actually, continuation) of a journey I was once on. I was with an amazing company for 3 years. I helped set the store up and, sadly, I helped shut it down too.

Now that i’ve relocated to Vancouver, there’s another location. I was lucky enough to get hired and today is my very first day. I’m so happy to be able to utilize my art supply knowledge once again. I’m a bit rusty so i’ll definitely need to refresh and revive my memory. It’s incredibly nice to be able to ramble about different products and connect with customers on a creative level. It also helps to inspire me and keep my creative flow going. I also love the fact i’m going to meet new, local, likeminded people.

I’m finally focusing more on myself. I have to help my Mom clean out a car soon. I need to go to costco and return bottles. Life goes on. I still need to work more on my Retrophiliac & Co. bags…but all in due time, right?

-Margaux

Evolving, slowly.

I’ve been working on new patterns while we wait for our fabric tags for retrophiliac and co.

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I am very anxious and I have been really internalizing my stress. I’m trying not to, but my appetite is gone and my sleep patterns are all screwed up. I’m napping a lot and I haven’t gone outside as much as I should.

I’m going through a dramatic change. I have a job interview next week and I am crossing my fingers that I get it. It’s something i’ve done before and loved immensely. It’s also walking distance from where I am staying and right down the street from where my sister works.

Making friends or having a social life and getting involved in things that this city has to offer is something I would like to do a lot more of. I feel incredibly lucky to be back here, surrounded by family. I never felt like I spent enough time with them.

Please bear with me. I am growing as a person!

-Margaux

Am I an AUTISM Expert? No.

I remember watching a CBC Documentary “The Trouble With Experts” back in 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2651996758 

It essentially outlined how anybody can call themselves an expert. You didn’t need any kind of accreditation to utilize this title– You just COULD. Now, that got me thinking about self-proclaimed Autism Experts, yeah, you may know the ones. They are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and able to create a profit off of this. I’m certainly not talking about Amythest Schaber who I have the UTMOST respect for. (so please, don’t think that for a moment!) I’m talking about the ones who actually attend talks and tell people how to profit off of their different abilities and have acquired a mass amount of social media followers. I want to make one thing inherently clear: I AM NOT AN AUTISM EXPERT. I will begin to preface my videos by giving a little schpiel about this. My views, my opinions, yada-yada-yada. I’ve been asked for advice and I try to make sure they know that I, in no way, have any kind of training or expertise. I just live by experience. I want to share my story in the hopes that people relate with me but don’t go thinking I’m some kind of shrink. I do this blog because I love writing, taking photos, making videos and trying out things in my very own way.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. It’s more than OK to be a skeptic.

-Margaux

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2 NEW Videos!

CBC Docs POV Presents Love, Hope & Autism

Firstly, I want to say thanks to CBC for giving me the chance to view this incredible film before it even airs on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 9 PM.

Update: This has become my most popular post yet—but I have no idea where the traffic is coming from. Where did you find this post? Comment below and let me know, Thanks!

Love, Hope & Autism centres around fraternal twins Fraser and Hallee Fresco and their journey growing up. Their bond is beautiful. Fraser is Autistic and Hallee is not. The special connection Fraser has with his Cameraman Father is so unique and really amazing. I loved seeing all their adventures captured on screen. The fact that so much of it is footage captured by the Father during the twins childhood provides a fresh perspective like nothing i’ve seen before.

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I hope you have the chance to watch it and open the discussion of how diverse Autism really is and how it can bring some families together, much like it did for the Frescos. There is still a complete lack of funding and resources for adults on the spectrum and this film definitely brings it to light.

For more information, please check out:

@cbcdocs #CBCDocsPOV

 

 

” Autistic burnout is real guys and i’m feeling it real bad.”

I tweeted this out yesterday and I am still feeling the same way today.

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Explaining it to people is devastatingly hard. I commend the attempt at understanding but unless you’ve experienced it yourself, you never know. For me, the exhaustion kicks in, both mentally and physically. The light sensitivity happens and being able to see gets increasingly difficult. Trying to be social is virtually impossible and continues to drain energy that is barely left. I get goosebumps, I physically look ‘drained’. My attempt at tasks that require my fine motor skills becomes a course in ‘how many times can I fail?’

Autistic burnout isn’t a made up thing- I just wish it was easier to explain to people. It’s not an excuse and it’s not like I consciously (or unconsciously) decided to be perceived as lazy or unreliable. There’s such thing as ‘too much’ and I feel as though that’s where i’m at.

This happens to me, and i’ve documented it before:

 

New Videos!

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion and should not reflect the brands or companies I have graciously partnered with.

My plight as a Millennial

I never decided to be part of the Millennial or Me Generation.

I have heard that nearly half of Millennials rely on their parents for financial help! I think there’s a very common misconception that we all have that “luxury”, Simply put: We don’t.

Being nearly 30 years old, I have always known I do not want to have children. I am perfectly content with my beautiful, spoiled rotten Cats and constantly worry about the economical and environmental state of our fragile planet.

I have had plenty of time to potentially advance my career. I never knew what to pursue. The idea of student debt is a frightening preposition. In hindsight, I could have gone in to some kind of broadcasting or film job but it’s very oversaturated and there is never a guarantee that I could or would be able to make ends meet.

That brings me to my next subject, home ownership.

There is absolutely no way in today’s climate that I would ever be able to own a home. Firstly, I work at a job I enjoy but it’s only minimum wage. (surprise, surprise!) Secondly, with homes starting in the million dollar range, my only hope would be winning the lottery and, to be honest, I would probably skip town if that ever were to happen.

My social life is virtually non-existent. It’s so funny how we are in the age of technology and social media. Yet, we are so incredibly disconnected from each other.

I will say that I’m a content creator. There’s nothing truly unique about that other than my autistic perspective. That, sometimes, can sadly be seen as limited or not equal to the rest of the population. There are lots of us who want to change that often misunderstood perception and believe me: I’m working on it!

If  you happen to have baby boomer parents like me (or the generation that followed), some (not my own) don’t always understand what we go through.  For instance, I have heard of parents who own their home and can’t understand that their offspring will ever have the chance to be able to have the same lifestyle as them. That can really cause some deep family conflict. I often wonder if a common ground or sense of understanding  can happen here because the divide is so deep.

I would love to see affordable housing, an increased hourly wage and more support. I also believe that healthcare needs more funding. We really need to consider how all these things impact our mental health because I truly believe the state of the economy, the planet and our changing and dividing times impact us more then we even know and it’s not always positive.
Photo Credit:Nathan Dumlao

What’s my time worth?

I have been suffering from some of the worst anxiety lately. Sleepless nights accompanied by cold sweats, tossing and turning and waking up repeatedly. I’m irritated during the day and I want to be silent at night.

I’m wholeheartedly frustrated.

I feel like I’m someone who can relate to a fuzzy picture on an old television. Sometimes it’s in focus and sometimes it’s just completely static.

 

When I reach out to corporations and companies I hope my time is valued. I hope that the work I put in to it is either offered with some kind of trade like being provided a service in exchange for a review.

So here I am.

I approached one of the largest computer/tech companies.

They are trying to create a resurgence in the marketplace with products marketed to Millennials in hopes that they will be converted from silver products to colourful cubes. Oh, did I mention their net worth is 200+ BILLION DOLLARS? 

Naturally, I would have expected compensation for my time. Knowing a computer is an expensive and hefty piece of equipment to offer me, I would have been happy with  money that I could use to reinvest in items for my blog (a microphone?!) to better my content.

Apparently this corporation does not have the budget to pay me to essentially borrow their item and spend time analyzing it and reviewing it. I am just entirely blown away and what I’m trying to do is show neurodiverse (and neurotypical) individuals products that would enhance life. I like to interject my own humour and thoughts. I love to interact with all of you and hear your precious feedback.

Brands: Please value our time as bloggers. If you say you’re going to cross promote us, please post our content on your website and channels as well. Please provide us some kind of incentive and show us that we are appreciated. Please WORK with us.

Margaux