invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

about me June 27, 2007

welcome to you all. i could no longer afford my domain at http://www.invinciblesummers.com, so here I am back at wordpress.

this is a blog focusing on mental illness and trauma. and the stigma and discrimination that still exists. i frequently voice my concerns on big pharma. as a victim of their dangerous psychiatric medications and tactics-i choose to no longer remain silent. i encourage everyone to find their voice. i also encourage everyone to find their own path as I am not a doctor.

a little background on my “mental illness”

i was diagnosed with depression at the age of 13. raped at 15 which only heightened my depression. diagnosed with double depression in my mid to late 20s. at 30 received yet another diagnosis: bipolar. somewhere in between all of the above i was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

i have been on numerous medications for nearly 20 years, all of which worked temporarily or not at all: abilify, celexa, lamictal, effexor, seroquel, lexapro, remeron, prozac, paxil, zoloft, wellbutrin (allergic reaction which required a hospital visit) and honestly there have been others but my memory fades me. i’ve seen the best and worst psychologists and psychiatrists. spent thousands and thousands of dollars out of pocket, again, thanks to the lack of mental health parity. quit therapy around 2004 when my therapist fell asleep during our session.

today i no longer take psychiatric medications. instead i rely on flax oil, multi vitamins and acupuncture (when i can afford it) i have found acupuncture works better than any medication i’ve ever been on.

FYI: any reference to “swain” in my entries is my husband, we quietly married (not on paper-for many reasons) in September of 2006.

i love quotes and one of my favorites would be an albert camus quote:
In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. hence, the title of my website.

 

18 Responses to “about me”

  1. mikewalzman Says:

    I thinks thats very brave of you laying it all out here. I know for me it’s been helpful writing and sharing my experiences with others. I too have had my share of alcohol/drug abuse. For me the best thing I have done, was get friends who can relate to what I am going through. Im sure there are support groups like AA for sexual abuse and other things. I wish you the best on your journey : )

  2. prufrockianpariah Says:

    I have bipolar disorder. I take four medications: Effexor 300 mg, Abilify 40 mg, Lithium 800 mg, and Zyprexa 20 mg.

    I am in the process of having a spiritual reawakening. I am hoping to simply get on only Lithium.

    I enjoy your blog, as I relate very well to your writings.

    Kudos to you , for being brave enough to lay it all out there.

    I look forward to reading more.

  3. kim Says:

    hello and thank you.
    this website has been a beautiful, healing outlet for the past three years.
    in my opinion, two antipsychotics is ridiculous and and i am happy you are in the middle of a spiritual reawakening….the truth will lead you to peace. i promise. it will never be easy but i am (we all are) learning to be okay with that.

  4. Hi,
    Happen to stumble upon your blog,and read your post regarding those mental illness, depression etc. Well my suggestion is, though suggestions aren’t invited, to be low on medicines .Medicines are no good. Everything is a state of your mind. Kindly give it a thought.
    i am always open for a discussion if you like to.You can contact me at the given email address.

  5. PrincessMoon Says:

    I was diagnosed with anxiety when I was 3. I took atimulants for ADD when I was 9 and the stimulants increased my anxiety and they put me on antipsychotics. I was on antidepressants when I was 12, I was on antipsychotics when I was 14, and throughout middle school and high school I’ve been on everty type of medication. None of them worked. The worst ones were Risperdal, Abilify, Effexor and Celeca. Risperdal was the worst. I got off all medication and drugs after being on a cocktail of antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, mood stabolizers and stimulants in middle school, high school and part of college. After getting off my anxiety increased and I developed anorexia and became anorexic. I did intense exercise and hardly ate a thing. My experience on medicaton was horrible, especially because I was middle school when I was put on antipsychotics and being put on those drugs really messed me up. The antipsychotics have the worst side effects ever. Taking drugs during puberty was a bad mix. Thank God I got off that stuff. I’m much younger than you, but have been on much more medication. During my pre-teen and teen eyars I was on:

    Ritalin, Dexedrine, Concerta, Risperdal, Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, Zoloft, Abilify, Adderall, Seroquel, Welbuitrin, Buspar, Lexapro, Geodon, Klonopin, Lamictal, Luvox

    and many more I can’t remember. This is just from the top of my head. During my middle school and high school and my first two college years I was on a ton of drugs. Now I’m off them. However, the anxiety and anorexia is really bad and is tearing me apart. Everyone keeps saying “go back on medication” The side effects were awful and horrible. Abilify gave me Akathisia, which is severe restlessness, a movement disorder. Imagien a teenager who suddenly is extremely restless and can’t stop moving and has no idea why because no one warned them about the side effects of the medication theyw ere on? I thought I was going crazy. I have many more stories to tell. Be glad you weren’t on the meds I was on. Risperdal and Abilify were the worst. Being on them during my school years messed me up. I’d rather deal with the anxiety and anorexia than the side effects of the drugs.

  6. PrincessMoon Says:

    I have been off medications since May 2008. I started medication when I was 9 years old.:

    9 years old: Stimulants
    12 years old: Antidepressants and Stimulants
    14 years old: Antipsychotics, Antidepressants and Stimulants
    A few years later: Antipsychotics, Antidepressants, Mood Stabolizers and Stimulants
    A few years later: Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Mood Stabolizers, Benzodiazepines and Stimulants

    May 2008 to now: No medication.

    I’ve been off drugs since May 2008 and no matter how bad thigns get, I’m staying off the meds.

    The worst drug is Risperdal. I was put on Risperdal when I was 14 and I had the most awful side effects. The thing is, everyone thought I was doing so well because I was quiet, well behaved but the side effects were the most awful things that had ever happened to me. Risperdal is the worst, especially to put a teenager on.

    Stay off the medication, you can do it. It’s hard, but I was able to while going through the worst anxiety of my life.

  7. PrincessMoon Says:

    Antipsychotics have the worst side effects. I remember, being on them in middle school and high school, I feel completely pissed off that I was one of the teenagers who was given drug after drug after drug after drug in an attempt to find the right drug combination. I was never warned of any of the dangerous side effects and I thought I was going crazy. I remember when I developed Akathisia from the Abilify, I wondered why I was so restless and couldn’t stop moving. The side effects of all these drugs were awful and it’s not fair that my teenager and pre-teen years had to have that. I am still mad, seven years later at the doctor who put me on Risperdal as a teenager. That is the worst drug ever.

  8. kim Says:

    hi again,

    i am very pleased you chose the path of ‘no meds’
    a smart choice. especially considering the hell you’ve been through. There are so many to blame for this child ‘bipolar’ epidemic, everyone from doctors to teachers to parents to the FDA and Big Pharma.

    in my opinion, yes, antipsychotics are the worst of all psychiatric medications. the side effects are horrendous and we have no clue as to the long-term risks. and you are correct, doctors tend not to warn you of the side effects, in the end we’re just a number. you are patient #10 and I’m patient #11. no matter how much money we might pay them, they simply don’t care. I’m not saying all head docs are bad but with the recent news of the Joseph Biedermans, etc….we are learning doctors are heavily influenced by big pharma.

    also, i should add, it was not an easy decision going back on meds…not at all. it was a very sad day and yet i was not dealing with just anxiety and depression, i was suicidal for the first time in more than 11 years. my doctor prescribed 3 meds (one of which was an evil antipsychotic, Abilify) and they were prescribed short-term only. basically to get me out of the deep dark hole i was in. I only took the Abilify for ten or less days-could not deal with the all to familiar side effects. and soon, when money permits I will travel the path of eastern medicine, the only thing that works for me.

    thanks for visiting and my best to you.
    check out this link:
    http://beyondmeds.ning.com/
    you will find many in the same boat as you.

  9. kim Says:

    also, regarding your anger. that is healthy but you must let it go. there are things in life that are out of our control-for example-my rape at 15, twenty years ago, destroyed my innocence and left me dead inside for years. i can’t erase that moment and learn to live with it on a daily basis.

    also, you could at least report your doctor, that’s something I wish more young patients like yourself would do. also contact your local congressmen, the FDA, an attorney if need be, etc. let it out. tell everyone you possibly can.

  10. PrincessMoon Says:

    I’m sorry I posted three comments in a row. It was 1:00 in the morning or so and I was in a particularly emotional mood. I’m a very kind person, I don’t ever show anger, somehow, I just hold all my anger in and for years I would be the sweetest, most kindest person and never say a negative thing to or about anyone, never argue, when someone was mean to me or did something bad to me, I’d hold it in and never confront or insult them and as a result all of this unresolved anger just followed me for years and years and I’d hold it in.

    What happened to you was very horrible and must only be an unimaginable pain to live with and go through. I never get angry or show my anger and I’ve just “sucked it up” every time someone did or said something to me that hurt or upset me and would act nice and for years and years the anger just continued to be inside me and I have trouble arguing or saying anything negative and I’m worried about how this passive behavior will affect me eventually. I act too nice and what may appear to be me being very nice is more about me being passive and trying to not go into confrontation or upset anyone. I guess I’m more of a pleaser, wanting others to be happy with me and worried that any sort of disagreement will ruin relationships. The weird thing is, the whole passive, kind behavior thing started after I took Risperdal and when I got off it it just stayed and I guess I find it hard to be assertive and I usually cave into other’s wants regardless of my wants often.

    Thank you for the very nice message, I’m sorry I wrote so many messages. I wish you the best and take care. Sorry my messages are a little messy. It’s great you have this blog. I hope everything goes better for you. My messages may seem a little long and odd, a lot of the things I don’t remember writing, it was late.

  11. kim Says:

    no worries on your messages. writing is a healthy outlet. my concern is that you are an example of the growing number of innocent people where we are beginning to see what the long-term effects are when prescribed so many medications at such a young age. i’m not sure where you live, but contact whomever you can, write, vent, get the word out. the world needs to know and hear more stories from people like you! it’s the only way this madness will be stopped.

    and i completely understand the ‘bottling up anger’ issue. i did that for years and that will pass. i didn’t want to upset anyone, i was afraid people wouldn’t like me, etc. you will learn to find a release-for me, it has been writing.

    you are not alone. all my best to you and be sure to check out this link:
    http://beyondmeds.ning.com/

  12. It is absolutely lovely to meet you. Thank you for visiting my blog tonight.

    I have taken many antidepressants over the years and though I haven’t had allergic reactions to any, they certainly don’t seem to help most of the time. I am on Wellbutrin, though I’m not sure if it’s doing much because I continue to have rather deep depressive phases.

    I love the name of your blog. 🙂

  13. kim Says:

    chunks of reality,
    i’m not convinced any psychiatric medications work. they work short-term and then i always hit a plateau, the depressive phases you mention are always right around the corner.
    thanks for visiting and looking forward to more of your writing.
    all my best to you…

  14. untreatable Says:

    The medication decision is never easy and it is something that a lot of long term mental illness people have to come to terms with. My decision was to take them as they do seem to help but the decision whether to take or not to take should be taken very seriously. I know what I got myself into but like I said it works for me. It is nice to meet you by the way and I am looking forward to reading through your posts

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  16. Altostrata Says:

    Hello —

    I hope you are feeling better. Your blog is so insightful and intelligent.

    I don’t know when or how you got off all the psych drugs. Have you considered you might be suffering from prolonged withdrawal syndrome?

    Yes, it exists, although medicine denies it. It’s probably endemic. I’ve had Paxil withdrawal syndrome since October 2004 and been disabled by it since December 2007. Since then, I’ve been under the care of a psychiatrist in San Francisco who is probably the only doctor in the world who treats drug damage. I’ve very, very slowly been getting better. I may be fully recovered this year.

    If you’re interested in discussing prolonged withdrawal syndrome, please visit SurvivingAntidepressants.org, a non-commercial peer support site.

  17. Gabriel... Says:

    Hi Kim… it’s been a while, so I wanted to find out how you’re doing. Your new (ish?) avatar is cool, “Eternal Sunshine…” is one of my favourite movies.

  18. Tom O'Clair Says:

    Hello Kim, I just came across this. I am Tom O’Clair, Timothy’s father. I am touched by what you have written as well as saddened by what you had to endure yourself. I would enjoy speaking with you further if you were interested. Tom


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