Hello, I take Zoloft. I am so gloriously mentally ill! You will love me, yes?
A couple of weeks ago I started talking with her again, and it seemed like things were going well at the time, in that we were managing to just be friends and get to know each other again after our 6 week separation. It's funny that a month and a half can seem so long sometimes, I often go that long or longer without talking to some of my closest friends or even my parents and don't even notice it. But when you are used to talking to someone every day for hours on end, it can seem like an eternity. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but last week she decided she didn't want to talk to me anymore. I think ultimately the reason was that she decided we would both be better off not being friends, or that we couldn't be friends. And maybe she is right about that, I really don't know how I could deal with seeing her being in love with someone, or even being interested in someone, but still, hearing that from her in such a blunt way really hurt. I spent that night wandering around DC. At one point I looked over the William Taft bridge, just south of the Woodley Park neighborhood, and considered, in a somewhat academic way, if jumping off of it would be sufficient to kill me.
I realized that night that this is not a healthy way to be. This afternoon I went to a psychiatrist in Bethesda who had been recommended to me by a couple of people. She seems easy to talk to, which I guess is hardly surprising considering she is a professional psychiatrist, but it is such a rarity to meet someone that I feel that way about that I still consider it notable. She thinks she can help me and I am hoping she can. Obviously after only an hour of talking to someone it's hard to say anything for certain, but she said that she is considering diagnosing me with obsessive compulsive disorder and/or hypomania. However on the sheet that I'm going to use to file a claim with my health insurance, the DSM code that is listed is for "anxiety disorder non-specific", presumably since she is unwilling to make a firm diagnosis at this point.
She wants me to both start regular cognitive behavioral therapy, which I am planning on doing, and wanted to write me a prescription for Zoloft or Wellbutrin, which I refused. While I have nothing against psychiatric drugs (and indeed, have several close friends who have been helped greatly by them), I want to feel confident that taking such drugs will actually help me rather than simply mask the symptoms of an underlying problem. I suspect that eventually (that is, in a month or two), I will start taking something, but I want to be able to feel certain that it the right course of action. It is somewhat amusing, even to me, that I am unwilling to start such a regimen of drugs but am perfectly happy self-medicating with large amounts of marijuana. That is something the doctor is specifically unhappy with, and she asked me to try to cut down as much as possible so as to make it easier to determine if what I am dealing with is being caused or exaggerated by heavy drug use. I don't believe that to be the case, as my most recent emotional train wreck started before I started smoking weed again, and whenever I stop it gets much worse for me to deal with things, to the point where I am feeling crippling fear and guilt. But still, I am paying fairly exorbitant sums to talk to her (hopefully my insurance will cover most of it, but even still, we're talking a few bucks per minute), so I figure I should follow her advice as best as I can.
I really don't know how this is going to turn out. But from what I have read of cognitive behavioral therapy, and of the success rates of it combined with drugs for the sort of things I seem to be dealing with, I do have hope that in time I'll be able to be relatively happy with my life and with who I am.