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Just a quick follow-up on what I’ve been juggling lately.

Psychiatrist

I still don’t have one. It’s all well and good to just say “switch shrinks” when things go bad, but it’s not necessarily that easy. With a shortage of providers in my area, it’s extra difficult to find anyone good who is taking patients and my insurance.

I actually got a call early this week from the old psych’s office saying that it was OK to discontinue the Strattera – 3 weeks after I called in distress. When I told them that I’m moving to another provider, they practically hung up on me. I think the only reason that they followed up at all is that my therapist called for my records. He had to call because they didn’t send the records two weeks ago when I went in and signed the paperwork for release (specifically, Record of chronic/serious problems, Psychiatry notes/medication history, and Summary of care.)

Hippie Dude and I were going to review my records last week but now we have to wait until my next appointment on the 9th because the psych’s office is f*cking incompetent.  It’ll take a month from getting referrals to actually being able to make an appointment. We’re reviewing my records because I have no idea what the old untrusted psych would be sending to a new one. I want to take better control of the situation with respect to what I let the psych in on this time, since being forthcoming really screwed me over last time. So I’m taking the long road to make sure I have a better shot of getting decent care with the next psychiatrist. It’s just really frustrating.

Meds

I’ve been stable on the Lamictal and Wellbutrin for 2 months, and still have a month’s supply remaining. Still having little mood swings, but nothing horrible or intolerable, I think. I ran out of Adderall and then Concerta, and promptly lost intellectual functioning.

A friend offered his stash of hoarded Concerta to tide me over until I can get in to a new psych, averting near-disaster with respect to preparing for the upcoming dissertation defense. It’s not a great solution, but it’s better than buying stimulants from my neighbor. The downside is that they’re 54mg tablets and I was used to 36mg. It doesn’t seem to be causing problems and I’m basically less scattered all the way until around bedtime, which is pretty great.

Therapy

I’m getting more comfortable with Hippie Dude (I know, it’s only been 5 months, right?) and feeling like I can get into some of the bigger/deeper/uglier issues with him. Like last time we talked about my past suicide attempts. And he actually returned my call when I phoned him about the potential psychiatrist wanting my records. It’s something so simple and basic that it should be taken for granted, but it’s not. I haven’t been given that courtesy by a mental health “professional” in a long time.

As I mentioned recently, I’m joining a DBT group in April. At the intake interview one of the co-leaders explained the purpose and rules, so now I’m just waiting to find out which group they can fit me into and when it will get started. I might be out of town for the first meeting for newbies, but they assured me that it will be OK if that’s how it works out. I’m slowly reading through the background material in Marsha Linehan’s Skills Training Manual, because that’s how I roll. More to come on the DBT experience when I get there…

Random Details

Still smoking, but only 2-3 per day, usually only half at a time, and the first one is usually between 10 & 11 AM. So fairly manageable. For now.

Thursday I had a fleeting thought of self-harm. It came out of nowhere: “I could burn myself.” That was really alarming. I won’t act on it, but just having that pass through my head was unsettling.

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