Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My....

Having OCD means dealing with a lot of fear and worry. It is stupid and needless and yet you can not stop. Fear is a very addictive drug. I have put off writing about this until today for fear that putting it on paper makes it a reality and I didn't want to admit it to myself yet that it was real. I was on a drug to help my OCD. It was the only one that ever worked for me. I loved this drug. It was my savior. Then it became my hell. My drug was killing people. There was no headline on the news to stop taking it. There was no headline to save "crazy" people's lives. There should have been. If it had been killing dolphins or poisoning cats there would be plenty of news on it. If it is for mental illness patients then it is just not that important.This is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to know what we are taking and what the risks are. We have the right to be informed when our medications are dangerous.
 I researched this drug meticulously before I asked to be put on it.There was minimal side effects.There was nothing about Torsade de pointes or QT prolongation. Constipation and rapid heart beat that goes away maybe but nothing deadly or I would have never taken it. There was talk about it being a miracle drug for people with severe OCD. I started on twenty milligrams. Before I knew it I was on eighty milligrams a day. Finally I was "normal" or as close to normal as I could get. It had been recommended not to take over sixty milligrams two years ago. I was never informed. Last year a UK newspaper had a headline about it and was put on flipboard. It was causing a heart arrhythmia. It was causing sudden death. Anything over twenty milligrams was deemed dangerous in the UK. I had heard nothing about this.I had to hear it from another country's newspaper. I had been taking way more than was safe. I had to spend over an hour on the internet to find something that said  what the US was recommending. The US said anything over forty milligrams was dangerous. Over twenty milligrams for people sixty and over was dangerous. I had been taking eighty milligrams for nine years! I was already off of the medication due to my insurance stopping and restarting. I was waiting to be put back on it. I have been off of this drug for a little over a year. Thinking I was safe I did not go to my doctor to be checked out. Until I read more about what the FDA now says about Celexa. I had the false belief that if it had caused me to have an arrhythmia that it would correct itself on its own now that I was free of the medication. I was wrong. I was terrified. What if I have this and I don't know. What if I fall a seep and never wake up? What would that do to my husband? My kids? What did I do to myself just to be "normal"? There was a time I really needed this drug. I know that many need medication to cope. I was one of those people. I am not anymore. The one thing that had "cured" me could have killed me. I had an EKG today. Ridiculous at thirty three that I have to have an EKG. That for two weeks I have had to worry about what my family is going to do with out me. I had to lay in bed terrified to go to sleep. I had to worry about dropping dead in front of my children. Thankfully, my EKG was normal. Somehow I had dodged a huge bullet. I am not going to do this anymore. I am not medicating. I am not suicidal and right now I am a good place in my life. There are many that are not where I am at. I have no medical advice except please, please, research your medications carefully. If you are on Celexa talk to your doctor and see what your choices are. If you are on any medication read the FDA reports. Talk to your doctor and make sure he or she knows what the are prescribing. Make sure the dosage is safe and that the regulations have not changed. Keep up with your medication information. Don't do what I did. Don't assume that your doctor knows everything. I have OCD but I would have rather be afraid of something I have no way of getting than be faced with the reality that what I did to make myself better was capable of killing me. All of my worries and fears are like the scene in The Wizard of OZ. My family and I will just skip down the yellow brick road and sing lions, tigers, and bears, oh my. They can not really hurt me, but what I do to get rid of them can. I think I  will just stick with Dorothy. I will make the best of it. Why not? It's just my whole life and in life you don't get a mulligan.
                                                        Neurotic Nelly

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